On Wednesday, April 5, the Country Music Association revealed the 2017 inductees to the Country Music Hall of Fame in a special announcement ceremony (watch it above). Those new hall-of-famers are Alan Jackson (Modern Era Artist), Jerry Reed (Veterans Era Artist) and Don Schlitz (Songwriter).
“It’s such an honor,” said Jackson after he was named to the Hall of Fame. “Today I heard them say I was ‘Modern Era’ and that was the biggest honor I’d heard in a long time. I’m still in the modern era! I love that.” He reminisced about his upbringing and his father, who inspired him to get into country music. Then he reflected more on the significance of the Hall of Fame. “I don’t do as many interviews as I used to. People always ask me, ‘You’ve done everything, you’ve accomplished everything. What goals do you have left, what dreams?’ I never say the Country Music Hall of Fame because I felt like it was pretentious to think I deserved to be in there, but now I can say this is about the last dream on the list.”
This is hardly the first time Jackson has been honored by the Country Music Association. He won 16 CMA Awards including Entertainer of the Year in 1995, 2002 and 2003. Among his best known songs is “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning),” which was released in November 2001 and was inspired by the September 11 terror attacks that took place two months earlier. He won Single of the Year and Song of the Year at the CMAs for that song, and also claimed his first career Grammy for Best Country Song.
Jerry Reed, who died in 2008 at age 71, was best known for songs including “Guitar Man,” “A Thing Called Love,” “When You’re Hot, You’re Hot” and “East Bound and Down.” The famed guitarist won a pair of CMA Awards for Instrumentalist of the Year (1970-1971).
Don Schlitz’s first big songwriting hit was the iconic “The Gambler” recorded by Kenny Rogers in 1978, for which he won the first of his three CMAs for Song of the Year. He won again for “On the Other Hand” performed by Randy Travis (1986) and “Forever and Ever, Amen” also performed by Travis. He also won Best Country Song at the Grammys for “The Gambler” and “Forever and Ever, Amen.” And his numerous other songs have been recorded by a wide range of artists including Alabama, Mary Chapin Carpenter, The Judds, Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire and many more.
Check out the entire Country Music Hall of Fame announcement ceremony above, and discuss this and more with your fellow music fans in our forums.