I've got some issues with the Country Music Hall of Fame.
One time, a long time ago, I belonged to the CMA. It was so long ago that I didn't remember how the Hall of Fame voting works, so I looked it up:
Hall of Fame Election Procedures
The first inductions were made in 1961. If one counts the latest announcement, from last week, that brings the total inducted to 108.
So, it's not exactly an exclusive club anymore, unfortunately. I was perturbed that it took until the year 2000 (after he had passed away) for Faron Young to get inducted into the Hall. Willie groused about that, too.
Let me be clear that I don't begrudge any artist being awarded the honor. But what's right is right. We're so quick in this throwaway society to discard the old, perhaps out of fear of appearing "uncool" or out of touch. But let's not play the game of leap frog. If a deserving artist gets passed over by someone who came later; much later, does the first guy or gal lose his or her chance completely? Is that how it works? I hope not.
I'm not some kind of Bobby Bare fanatic. I'm frankly not fanatical about any artist, at this stage of my life. I like a whole bunch of artists. It's just that when I started writing this blog, and I started posting about the Hall of Fame, whether it was a recap by year, or whether it was a post about the latest inductees, it occurred to me that Bobby Bare wasn't in the Hall, and I thought to myself, "that's odd".
The link to the criteria I posted above is all fine and dandy. You know, and I know, that these "electors" are not following any type of criteria. But, for the sake of argument, let's say that they are. In which of the criteria does Bobby Bare not fit?
Span of influence?
Bobby had his first hit record (as "Bill Parsons") in 1959. His last charted single was in 1983.
Influence on others?
Let's ask Mel Tillis and Kris Kristofferson. Let's ask Ian Tyson and Tom T. Hall. Let's ask Billy Joe Shaver, among others. I'm guessing that Bobby influenced these guys' careers as songwriters, and it's safe to assume that Bobby also influenced their pocketbooks.
Quantity vs. Quality?
No embed, but this is one of my favorites:
Ride Me Down Easy
If the videos were available, I could post a bunch more.
So, the latest crop of inductees has been announced. I'm not going to quibble with the choices (at least not now). I may write about them at a later time, if I can rouse myself from the slumber that overtook me as I read the names.
I will, however, post this quote from one of the three, Roy Clark:
"I think what happened," he said with a grin, "is that I lasted long enough until they ran out [of other candidates]."
Well, no. You didn't. The Hall just seemed to "forget" about some.
It's time to right the wrong. 2009 would have been a good time. Fifty years since his first hit record. Alas, it didn't happen in 2009.
Let's shoot for 2010. At least 2010. Unless the "e-LEC-torrrs" decide that Carrie Underwood deserves it more. Cuz that would be the "hip", albeit "wrong" thing to do.
By the way, do you wonder who these "electors" are? I do. And do they have any connection with or knowledge of the roots of country music?
Stand up and be counted, guys! (and gals!)
And if you need a lesson in the history of country music, YouTube is great for that. But then again, you'd have to actually have the right search terms.
As a postscript, just for fun, I'll leave you with this: