Tuesday, March 27, 2018
– Johnny Gimble, Ricky Skaggs and Dottie West will be joining the Country Music Hall of Fame , it was announced today.
Gimble will be inducted in the "Recording and/or Touring Musician" category, which is awarded every third year in rotation with the "Songwriter" and "Non-Performer" categories. Skaggs will be inducted in the "Modern Era Artist" category, while West will be inducted in the "Veterans Era Artist" category. Gimble, Skaggs and West will increase membership to 136 members.
Upon receiving the news, Gimble's family shared their immediate reactions: "Touched. Happy Hearted. Proud of Papa. Grateful. Honored. Blessed. Amazingly Graced!"
"I was totally shocked and I burst into tears when I heard that I was going to be the newest inductee into the Country Music Hall of Fame," said Skaggs. "When I came to Nashville in 1980, I came to play music and hopefully get a record deal. All of that happened, but I never dreamed that I'd ever be a member of this hallowed Hall. 'Why me? And why now?' was going through my mind. There are so many others that have inspired me, encouraged me, ones that I've truly learned from, and ones that have made such great contributions to country and bluegrass music. I'm humbled and very grateful to soon be listed among my many heroes."
"The whole West family is full of emotion," said West's daughter, Shelly West. "When I got the news that Dottie was being inducted, I don't remember if I was laughing or crying louder. My heart just swelled as I knew that Mom's fans would soon hear this sweet news. Our deepest thanks to our great and hardworking CMA folks and our special friends at the Country Music Hall of Fame. Although she sings in the angel's band these years, she has needed her resting home on earth. She will have that home here at the Country Music Hall of Fame, sharing her love with all."
A formal induction ceremony for Gimble, Skaggs, and West will take place at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in the CMA Theater later this year.
Gimble, a fiddle player, was best known for being a member of Bob Wills' Texas Playboys. He also played with Nelson. Gimble's work earned him 15 CMA Awards nominations, including 14 nominations for Instrumentalist/Musician of the Year from 1975 through 1990. He won five times, in 1975, as well as 1986-87, and 1989-90. He also won two Grammy trophies. Gimble died in 2015 at 88.
West, who died at 58 in a car accident on the way to the Grand Ole Opry in 1991, was known for singing with Jim Reeves, Kenny Rogers, Don Gibson and Jimmy Dean. The duets with Rogers also propelled West's solo career to new heights, with songs such as "Are You Happy Baby?" and "A Lesson In Leavin'"
Skaggs has enjoyed success both as a bluegrass and country singer. As a teenager, Skaggs was picked by Ralph Stanley to be in his Clinch Mountain Boys band. Throughout the 1970s, Skaggs continued to develop his chops, playing with The Country Gentlemen and J.D. Crowe before launching his own musical troupe, Boone Creek (which featured Jerry Douglas and future Country Music Hall of Fame member Vince Gill). He then came to the attention of Emmylou Harris, who invited him to join her Hot Band.
Skaggs eventually went out on his own, having big hits on both country and bluegrass charts.