2014 Country Music Hall Of Fame Inductees Announced
by Chris Cannon
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The latest inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame were announced during a ceremony Tuesday in downtown Nashville. Songwriter Hank Cochran, along with performers Mac Wiseman and Ronnie Milsap will be the newest class of country music legends to have a plaque hanging on the wall of the Hall's famed rotunda.
"This is the highest honor that you can possibly attain in this business, and it's great because it cuts across all lines. You know, it's artists, songwriters, business folks," said Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum director Kyle Young.
Kix Brooks hosted the induction announcement ceremony, with several other people handling the introduction of the inductees.
Cochran, who died in 2010, is the songwriter inductee. He amassed a catalog of music over his career that has garnered 36 million performances.
Veteran era inductee, 88-year-old Mac Wiseman, has been a staple in the bluegrass genre for seven decades. He was also a founding member of the Country Music Association. He said he waited a long time to hear his name in an induction ceremony at the Hall of Fame.
"I wanted it so badly, my first thought was, it's about time, since I'm the only living member of the original board," Wiseman said jokingly. "But that didn't last but a fleeting second because I am just so grateful."
Rising country artist Hunter Hayes introduced the modern era inductee, Ronnie Milsap.
"It's a big deal for me to be here, just to witness this, just to be here for this, just to say I was here. But the fact I got to introduce him is a pretty big deal for me," Hayes said.
An invitation to join the Hall of Fame is not easy to come by. Milsap once asked a friend if there was anyway he could be inducted.
"I used to ask Tom Collins, I said, how can I run for this. And he said, you can't, you just keep on doing what you're doing and don't worry about it," Milsap said.
The 71-year-old has shown no sign of slowing down. Milsap released his 31st studio album back in March. "Summer Number 17" is the name of his latest project.
"It's all going to be songs from that summer when I was 17. So that's what's on this album and it's been very well accepted," Milsap explained.
All three of the inductees will become official members of the Country Music Hall of Fame during the prestigious medallion ceremony in October.