Reba McEntire, Braddock, Shepard named to Country Music Hall of Fame
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Reba McEntire, Braddock, Shepard named to Country Music Hall of Fame

Tuesday, March 1, 2011 – Reba McEntire, Bobby Braddock and Jean Shepard were named to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Braddock, 70, was named in the new songwriters category. He has written songs, including He Stopped Loving Her Today, D-I-V-O-R-C-E, Golden Ring, I Wanna Talk About Me, Time Marches On and People Are Crazy. Braddock also discovered Blake Shelton and has produced his albums. He also was the piano player for Martin Robbins, starting in 1965.

"Oh gosh are you sure?" he asked. "Is this for certain?...I"m still wondering if someone has made a mistake. We songwriters are used to being low profile and traveling underneath the radar and not used to all this excitement."

"This, I was not expecting," Braddock. "Three of the last 112 inductees - only three have been non-performing songwriting inductions." He cited Cindy Walker, Boudleaux and Felice Bryant and Harlan Howard.

"I'm not sure I deserve it," he said. "It' doesn't mean I don't appreciate it. I do very much...Right now, I kind of feel like Minnie Pearl. I'm so proud to be here."

Shepard had a slew of hits including A Satisfied Mind with Ferlin Husky. Her first hit, A Dear John Letter, a 1953 duet with Husky, was the first post-World War II record by a woman country artist to sell more than a million copies. The song stayed number one for six weeks and was the only chart topper of her entire career on the Billboard chart. Shepard, 77, had 45 charted hits between 1953 and 1978 and has been a member of the Grand Ole Opry for more than 50 years.

"I can't tell you what a thrill it is to be inducted into the hall of fame. "When Mr. Moore (Country Music Hall of Fame Chairman Steven Moore) called, I said,' you're kidding. Where you been all this time?" She said the award was uplifting because she had lost her sister the previous day.

"There were no interstates. We traveled interstates pulling a trailer. Our reward was when we got to the date and we got paid. Boy, that was a chore, getting the money." She talked about doing it for the love of music.

Shepard also urged the hall of fame to remember those who have yet to join the hall including the Wilburn Brothers and Skeeter Davis. Shepard joined as a veterans nomination.

McEntire was not present because she was in Tulsa, Okla. where her father fell into a coma and was in a hospital. Kix Brooks, who made the announcements, read a note from his friend McEntire. "I'm so appreciative of being selected as one of the newest members of the Country Music Hall of Fame. This is an emotional honor at a very (difficult) time in my life."

"This is a huge blessing for me, knowing how all-important it was to him," McEntire said in the note. Her father is in a comatose state, but McEntire was able to tell him the news a few days ago.

The announcement was made Tuesday morning in Nashville. Induction will be later this year during a medallion ceremony.

©Country Standard Time • Jeffrey B. Remz, editor & publisher •
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