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Daniels, Foster, Travis named to Country Music Hall

Tuesday, March 29, 2016 – Charlie Daniels, Randy Travis and Fred Foster will be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, it was announced today.

Daniels will be inducted in the Veteran's Era category. Foster will be inducted in the Non-Performer category. Travis will be the 2016 inductee in the Modern Era category.

Born 1936 in Wilmington, N.C., Daniels introduced southern rock sounds into mainstream country. Daniels has nine Gold, Platinum, or Multi-Platinum albums. "The Devil Went Down To Georgia," a huge hit for Daniels, was the CMA Single of the Year in 1979 and earned the Charlie Daniels Band a Grammy for Best Country Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group. It crossed over to become a Top Five pop smash as well. Daniels was named CMA Musician of the Year in 1979. The Charlie Daniels Band won CMA Instrumental Group of the Year Awards in 1979 and 1980. Daniels's religious recordings won Dove Awards in 1995 and 1997. Daniels became a Grand Ole Opry cast member in 2008 at 71.

Daniels' other Top Ten hits are "Drinkin' My Baby Goodbye" (1986) and "Boogie Woogie Fiddle Country Blues" (1988). "Uneasy Rider" one of his country chart making singles, was also a Top Ten pop hit in 1973.

Prior to gaining solo stardom, Daniels was a session musician (mostly in Nashville) for artists including Marty Robbins, Claude King, Flatt & Scruggs, Pete Seeger, Leonard Cohen, Al Kooper, Ringo Starr, and Bob Dylan. Daniels can be heard on Dylan's "Nashville Skyline," "Self Portrait" and "New Morning" albums of 1969-70.

Foster founded Monument Records and publisher Combine Music, playing a key role in the careers of Roy Orbison, Dolly Parton and Kris Kristofferson. Almost all of Orbison's classic hits of the early 1960s were produced by Foster and released on Monument; Parton was signed to both Monument and Combine before joining Porter Wagoner; and Kristofferson was writing for Combine when he penned some of his best-known songs, including "Me And Bobby McGee," on which Foster shares writer's credit.

Foster was born in Rutherford County, N.C. in 1931. He started writing songs while working in the food service industry in Washington, D.C. He met Jimmy Dean there, whose career he helped to promote. Foster later worked for Mercury Records, ABC-Paramount and for an independent record distributor in Baltimore. While at ABC-Paramount, he helped to launch George Hamilton IV's career by picking up the master to Hamilton's recording of "A Rose And A Baby Ruth" from the small Colonial label and helping to push it to sixth on the pop charts. In 1958, with very little money, Foster started Monument Records, which he named for the Washington Monument. Later that year, Billy Grammer's "Gotta Travel On," recorded in Nashville, became Monument's first hit.

In 1960, Foster moved his label to Nashville. Orbison's first Monument smash, "Only The Lonely (Know How I Feel)," was released that year. Orbison soon became a top-selling international artist who greatly heightened Nashville's visibility as a music center. Under Foster's leadership, Monument also garnered instrumental hits, including steel guitar player Jerry Byrd's "Theme From Adventures In Paradise" and saxophonist Boots Randolph's "Yakety Sax."

In 1963 Foster started Sound Stage 7, a soul music-oriented label and home to singer Joe Simon, of "The Chokin' Kind" fame. Two years later Foster signed Parton, in whom he saw pop-country crossover potential, to Monument.

Foster's enterprises thrived into the early 1970s, but by the mid-1980s financial troubles forced him to file for bankruptcy. Combine was sold in 1986, and CBS Special Projects acquired the Monument masters. He remains active as a producer, helming the Grammy-nominated Willie Nelson album "You Don't Know Me: The Songs of Cindy Walker" and "Last of the Breed," a collaboration by Nelson, Merle Haggard, and Ray Price.

Travis was instrumental as leading the New Country movement in the late 1980s. He was the first country artist to go platinum with his disc debut and the first debut country artist to go multi-platinum.

After winning the CMA Horizon Award in 1986, Travis went on to win Male Vocalist in 1987 and 1988. "Forever And Ever, Amen" won Single of the Year and "Always And Forever" was named Album of the Year, both in 1987. Three of his performances have resulted in Song of the Year honors: "On The Other Hand" (1986), "Forever And Ever, Amen" (1987), and "Three Wooden Crosses" (2003).

Travis has had twenty-nine Top Ten country hits and has taken 16 songs to the top of Billboard's country charts. Among the classic songs he has introduced are "1982," "On The Other Hand," "Diggin' Up Bones," "Forever And Ever, Amen," "He Walked On Water," "Look Heart, No Hands" and "Three Wooden Crosses." "Point Of Light" (1991) was the theme song of President George H. W. Bush's volunteerism campaign. He has revived the classics "King Of The Road" and "It's Just A Matter Of Time." Travis scored another chart comeback in 2009 when Carrie Underwood released her rendition of his "I Told You So." His voice was added to hers for a "duet" version, and this became a Top Ten pop and country smash and won a Grammy for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals.

Travis has been hit with health issues in recent years. In 2013, he was treated for viral cardiomyopathy after a viral upper respiratory infection. He later had a stroke, leaving him unable to sing and talk. He has progressed, but has been unable to perform.

These artists will be inducted during a special Medallion Ceremony at the Country Music Hall of Fame later this year. During the Medallion Ceremony, friends and colleagues pay tribute to each inductee through words and song. Bronze plaques honoring each inductee are unveiled, to be displayed later in the museum's Rotunda.

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