CMA Announces Emmylou Harris, Tom T. Hall, Statler Brothers and Ernest 'Pop' Stoneman as Newest Members of Country Music Hall of Fame

Announcement Made at Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum With Special

Guests Tony Brown, Ralph Emery, Marshall Grant, Patsy Stoneman Murphy and

Eddie Stubbs



12 Feb, 2008, 00:00 ET from Country Music Association

    NASHVILLE, Tenn., Feb. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The Country Music Association
 announced today that Emmylou Harris, Tom T. Hall, The Statler Brothers and
 the late Country Music pioneer Ernest "Pop" Stoneman will become the newest
 members of the coveted Country Music Hall of Fame.
 
     Harris will be the fourth artist included in the "Career Achieved
 National Prominence Between 1975 and the Present" category, which was
 created in 2005. Due to a tie, both Hall and the Statler Brothers will be
 inducted in the "Career Achieved National Prominence Between World War II
 and 1975" category. Stoneman will be inducted in the "Career Achieved
 National Prominence Prior to World War II" category, which is awarded every
 third year in a rotation with the "Recording and/or Touring Musician Active
 Prior to 1980" and "Non- Performer" categories.
 
     "It is truly fitting that these artists receive Country Music's biggest
 honor and become the newest members of the Country Music Hall of Fame,"
 said Tammy Genovese, CMA Chief Executive Officer. "Emmylou possesses the
 voice of an angel. She is one of the most revered song interpreters on the
 planet, and has been instrumental in preserving Country Music's past while
 expanding Country Music's horizons throughout her career. Tom T. Hall's
 story-filled songs and keen observations of life have connected with
 audiences around the world. The harmonious Statler Brothers, whom Kurt
 Vonnegut once called 'America's Poets,' sang songs about life and love
 while often providing nostalgic looks at simpler times. And Pop Stoneman
 was not only the head of the Stoneman Family, but one of the patriarchs of
 Country Music."
 
     Harris, Hall, the Statler Brothers and Stoneman will be officially
 inducted later this year during the traditional, invitation-only Country
 Music Hall of Fame Formal Induction and Medallion Ceremony presented by CMA
 and the Country Music Hall of Fame(R) and Museum.
 
     "This is so exciting," said Kyle Young, Director of the Country Music
 Hall of Fame and Museum. "The 2008 Hall of Fame inductees represent a
 historical spectrum encompassing the earliest days of commercial Country
 Music recordings, the modern evolution of the Country gospel quartet
 tradition, the arrival of more complex themes and social consciousness in
 Country Music songs, and the advent of a vocalist who espoused the
 integrity of Country Music's root forms and transcended the genre in a way
 that few others have been able to do. That's a pretty complete spectrum.
 These artists have created a rich and enduring tapestry of music that will
 always recount the story of our homeland and its people over a period of
 almost 100 years. We applaud them and we congratulate them."
 
     The announcements were made this morning at the Country Music Hall of
 Fame and Museum in a press conference hosted by Genovese. Hall was
 introduced by his good friend and Country Music Hall of Fame member Ralph
 Emery, Harris was introduced by her longtime friend and former Hot Band
 member Tony Brown and the Statler Brothers were introduced by their
 longtime representative Marshall Grant. Country Music historian Eddie
 Stubbs paid tribute to Stoneman, who passed away in 1968. Stoneman was
 represented onstage by his daughter, Patsy Stoneman Murphy.
 
     CMA created the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1961 to recognize
 noteworthy individuals for their outstanding contributions to the format
 with Country Music's highest honor. All inductees are chosen by CMA's Hall
 of Fame Panel of Electors, which consists of more than 300 anonymous voters
 appointed by the CMA Board of Directors. Harris, Hall, the Statler Brothers
 and Stoneman will increase membership in the coveted Country Music Hall of
 Fame from 101 to 105 inductees.
 
     Career Achieved National Prominence Prior to World War II
 
     Ernest V. "Pop" Stoneman was born May 25, 1893 in Carroll County, Va.,
 near the communities of Iron Ridge, Monorat and Fries to a lay preacher and
 his wife. His mother passed away when he was just three years old, leaving
 the young Stoneman and his brothers to be raised by his father and three
 cousins.
 
     The family bonded together through music, especially the traditional
 songs of the Blue Ridge Mountain inhabitants. Music was an important part
 of Stoneman's life, and he was always writing and performing songs. He
 learned to play every instrument on hand at family musical gatherings and
 became proficient on the harmonica, guitar, mouth harp and clawhammer
 banjo. The autoharp, however, was his best known instrument. When he
 couldn't afford to buy one out of the Montgomery Ward catalogue, the
 industrious Stoneman built his own with parts salvaged from an old piano.
 
     While working as a sweeper at a cotton mill in Fries in 1914, Stoneman
 recorded a song on a home recording machine owned by a friend. This
 experience would be his first step toward a career in music.
 
     In addition to being a sweeper, Stoneman worked a variety of odd jobs
 as a young man, including serving as a farm hand and carpenter, while also
 performing music at local dances. In 1918, he married Hattie Frost, who was
 also a musician and played both the banjo and fiddle. Through the course of
 their marriage, the Stonemans became the parents of 23 children, 13 of whom
 survived to adulthood.
 
     After listening to a record by singer Henry Whitter in 1924, Stoneman
 was convinced he could deliver a better performance. Going to New York City
 that year, he cut two songs on the Okeh label. His first single "The
 Sinking of the Titanic," which he also wrote, charted at No. 3 on the
 Billboard and Variety charts and remained there for 10 weeks. The song was
 one of Country Music's earliest records to sell more than a million copies
 and became one of the biggest hits of the 1920s.
 
     During this time producer and future Country Music Hall of Fame member
 Ralph Peer guided him through many studio sessions for several record
 labels, including Okeh and Victor. Between 1924 and 1929, he recorded more
 than 200 songs. In 1926, Stoneman added his wife and adult family members
 to his band, giving him a full string band sound and establishing a
 precedent of working with his family that would continue throughout his
 career.
 
     Stoneman convinced Peer to travel to the Bristol, Tenn. area and
 audition talent in 1927. This led to the historic Bristol recording
 sessions, arguably the most important event in the history of Country
 Music. These sessions featured future Country Music Hall of Fame members
 Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family making their debut commercial
 recordings, which launched their careers on a national scale. Stoneman and
 his wife Hattie were the first artists to be recorded at these sessions.
 
     When the Great Depression hit, Stoneman lost everything. In 1932, he
 and his wife moved their children (who were performing with their parents
 and in their own groups) to Washington, D.C., where Stoneman worked odd
 jobs while suffering extreme poverty. He eventually gained employment at
 the Naval Gun Factory in 1941 and bought a lot in Carmody Hills, Md., where
 he built a house for his family.
 
     During this time he continued to perform as he worked to revive his
 musical career. After years of struggling, the Stoneman Family won a talent
 contest in 1947 hosted by local radio and television personality (and
 future Country Music Hall of Fame member) Connie B. Gay at Constitution
 Hall in Washington, D.C. First prize was six months of appearances on Gay's
 Country Music television program, which was broadcast in eight states in
 the region.
 
     1956 proved to be the turning point. That year, Stoneman, known by then
 as "Pop," won $10,000 on the NBC television quiz show "The Big Surprise"
 and the producers allowed him to perform on the broadcast. Around the same
 time, the Blue Grass Champs (a band featuring three of his children: Scott,
 Donna and Jimmy) won "Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts" on CBS. After that,
 folk musician/folklorist Mike Seeger recorded Stoneman, his wife Hattie and
 their children for the Folkways label.
 
     Stoneman's retirement from the Naval Gun Factory in the late '50s
 allowed him to be fully devoted to the music career he shared with his
 children. The Stoneman Family recorded several albums in the early '60s for
 the Starday and World Pacific labels. They toured extensively across the
 nation, including performances at folk festivals and Disneyland, while
 making occasional appearances on network television shows that included
 "The Jimmy Dean Show" and "The Hollywood Palace," both on ABC.
 
     The Stoneman Family debuted on the Grand Ole Opry in 1962, and moved to
 Nashville in 1965. Soon after they signed with MGM Records and hosted a
 syndicated television series, "Those Stonemans." The group achieved their
 first Top 40 hit with "Tupelo County Jail" in 1966, followed one year later
 by the Top 30 hit "The Five Little Johnson Girls."
 
     In 1967, the Stoneman Family was the first recipient of the CMA Vocal
 Group of the Year Award. That same year they also appeared in two movies:
 "The Road to Nashville," alongside other Country Music artists and
 personalities that included future Country Music Hall of Fame members Bill
 Anderson, Mother Maybelle Carter (of the Original Carter Family), Johnny
 Cash, Ralph Emery, Waylon Jennings, Webb Pierce, Marty Robbins, Hank Snow,
 Porter Wagoner, Kitty Wells and Faron Young; and "Hell on Wheels," again
 with Robbins.
 
     In the middle of all this success, Stoneman's health began to fail. He
 continued to record and perform through the Spring of 1968, but passed away
 on June 14, 1968 at the age of 75.
 
     Just as he would have wanted, his children continued his musical
 legacy. His daughter Patsy re-joined the Stoneman Family and the group
 carried on, charting a Top 50 hit with "Christopher Robin" in 1968. The
 band was nominated for the CMA Instrumental Group of the Year Award that
 same year. A few years later, the group recorded several songs for the
 soundtrack to "The Country Bear Jamboree" attraction at Walt Disney World
 in Orlando, Fla. Throughout the '70s and '80s, the Stoneman Family
 underwent several personnel changes before easing into retirement. Group
 member (and Stoneman's youngest daughter) Roni Stoneman also became
 well-known, as a banjo player and as a regular performer on the successful
 syndicated television series "Hee Haw." The remaining Stoneman children
 still perform individually and together on occasion. The Stoneman Family
 remains the longest continually performing family act in Country Music and
 the proud legacy of Ernest V. "Pop" and Hattie Stoneman.
 
     Career Achieved National Prominence Between World War II and 1975
 
     (First of Two Acts in this Category)
 
     Tom T. Hall was born May 25, 1936 in Olive Hill, KY. He learned to play
 guitar at age 4. His father, Rev. Virgil L. Hall, who was a brick plant
 worker and an ordained Baptist minister, gave him his own guitar when he
 was eight. This encouraged the youngster to grow from writing poetry to
 writing music, and at age 9 he wrote his first song, "Haven't I Been Good
 to You." A local musician named Clayton Delaney taught Hall the musical
 technique that would serve him well in his career.
 
     Hall's mother, Della, died when he was 11. Four years later, his father
 was shot in a hunting accident, which prevented him from working. Hall quit
 school and took a job in a local garment factory to support himself and his
 father. He also formed his first band, the Kentucky Travelers, and played
 Bluegrass at local schools as well as a radio station in Morehead, KY. Hall
 wrote a jingle for one of the radio stations sponsors, the Polar Bear Flour
 Company, and later became a D.J. at the station when the band broke up to
 serve their country. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1957 and was stationed
 in Germany where he finished high school and performed on the Armed Forces
 Radio Network, singing mostly his own original songs.
 
     Following three years in the Army he returned to the U.S. where he
 studied journalism at Roanoke College and worked as a D.J. at a radio
 station in Salem, VA. A Nashville songwriter visiting the radio station,
 impressed after hearing Hall's songs, convinced publisher Jimmy Key of New
 Keys Publishing to sign him. Jimmy C. Newman reached No. 1 with Hall's
 "D.J. For A Day" in 1963, while Dave Dudley charted No. 10 with the Hall
 penned "Mad" in 1964. These successes convinced Hall to move to Nashville
 and pursue a career as a professional songwriter. Drawn by their strong
 narratives and detailed observations, additional artists started to record
 his songs, including Johnnie Wright who reached No. 1 with "Hello Vietnam"
 in 1965.
 
     At a BMI banquet in Nashville that same year, Hall met United Kingdom
 native Iris Lawrence, better known as Miss Dixie, who was attending the
 event because she'd written the Dudley hit "Truck Drivin' Son-Of-A-Gun."
 Miss Dixie had moved to Nashville to work for Starday Records after
 successfully obtaining a record release for Tex Ritter in Great Britain.
 She was living with Mother Maybelle Carter, and was a member of the family.
 It wasn't long before Hall also was pulled into the loving circle. The new
 friends, who shared a love of songwriting and bluegrass, soon started
 dating and eventually married.
 
     Hall signed with Mercury Records in 1967 and that summer released his
 first single "I Washed My Face in the Morning Dew." While this became a
 minor hit, his following two singles did not crack the Top 40. But in the
 summer of 1968, Jeannie C. Riley had a major hit with the Hall-penned
 "Harper Valley P.T. A." The song hit No. 1 on both the Country and pop
 charts, which inspired both a motion picture and television series.
 
     The success of "Harper Valley P.T.A." put a spotlight on Hall, and his
 single "Ballad of Forty Dollars" rose to No. 4. After several additional
 hit singles, Hall charted at No. 1 in 1969 with "A Week in a Country Jail."
 A year later, he had two Top 10 hits with "Shoeshine Man" and "Salute to a
 Switchblade" before reaching No.1 again in 1971 with his biggest hit, a
 tribute to his musical mentor, "The Year that Clayton Delaney Died."
 
     The '70s were successful for Hall on radio and as a touring act. He
 earned the nickname "The Storyteller," bestowed on him by Tex Ritter,
 because his songs contained strong and detailed narratives that revealed
 his observations on life. He had five additional No. 1 hits between 1971
 and 1976: "(Old Dogs, Children and) Watermelon Wine," "I Love," "Country
 Is," "I Care," and "Faster Horses (The Cowboy and the Poet)." He also had
 hits with "Me and Jesus," "Ravishing Ruby," "That Song is Driving Me
 Crazy," "I Like Beer" and more. Blessed with a multi-generational
 following, Hall released the children's album Songs of Fox Hollow (For
 Children of All Ages) in 1974, which contained his much-loved song, "Sneaky
 Snake." He also produced a PBS television special on the history of
 bluegrass music.
 
     Hall continued to enjoy success in the latter half of the '70s,
 including the No. 4 hit "Your Man Loves You, Honey" in 1977. He appeared in
 the 1979 television movie "Skinflint: A Country Christmas Carol" and hosted
 the hit syndicated television series "Pop! Goes the Country" in 1980. By
 the early '80s, Hall's success at radio had begun to slow down. His final
 Top 10 hit was in 1984 with a cover of the Rudy Vallee hit "P.S. I Love
 You." In 1982, Columbia Records put out the classic Storyteller and the
 Banjoman by Hall and Earl Scruggs. Then, after releasing the album Song in
 a Seashell in 1985, he took a 10-year break from recording.
 
     He wasn't recording, but Hall still had stories to tell. He had already
 published his autobiography; The Storyteller's Nashville, in 1979 and went
 on to write several novels, among them: The Laughing Man of Woodmont Cove
 (1982), The Acts of Life (1986), Spring Hill, Tennessee: A Novel (1990) and
 What A Book!: A Novel (1996). He also wrote the children's book Christmas
 and the Old House in 1989, illustrated by Laura L. Seeley.
 
     During this time he also helped with his wife's humane shelter work in
 Tennessee and Florida, where they had a second home on St. George Island.
 He began to write songs again and played music for pleasure with a
 community of "swamp billies" who made him a lifetime member of the
 Sopchoppy Possum Club Recording Studio.
 
     Mercury Records put out the 2-disc Storyteller, Poet, Philosopher box
 set in 1995, reigniting interest in Hall and his career. That same year
 they also released Country Songs for Children, featuring all the songs from
 Songs of Fox Hollow (For Children of All Ages) plus seven new songs
 recorded by Hall. These projects convinced Hall to record his first,
 all-new album in 11 years, Songs from Sopchoppy, released in 1996. That
 album, inspired by his "swamp billy" friends and their location, contained
 his song "Little Bitty," which Alan Jackson covered and took to the top of
 the charts that same year. Hall followed up with two albums in 1997: The
 Hits and Homegrown, which contained "Bill Monroe for Breakfast," the No. 1
 and most played bluegrass song of the year. That year he also appeared in
 the TV movie "Miracle on Highway 31," which contained "There's A Miracle
 Everywhere You Go."
 
     For the past decade, Hall and Miss Dixie have immersed themselves in a
 shared love of bluegrass music. They have extended a helping hand to
 fledging musicians and veterans alike, with many established artists taking
 a new Hall song up and over the bluegrass charts. On the rising tide of new
 music, the Halls created two new publishing companies, Good Home Grown
 Music (BMI) and More Good Home Grown Music (ASCAP). The couple also
 transformed a building at their Fox Hollow farm outside Nashville into a
 state-of-the-art acoustic recording studio. The Halls have jointly received
 the Songwriter of the Year Award from the Society for the Preservation of
 Bluegrass Music Association's (SPBGMA) for seven years in a row (including
 the Master's Gold). They have also received numerous awards from the
 International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA), including the Lifetime
 Achievement Award.
 
     Recently, Hall released a collection of songs he co-wrote with his
 wife, Tom T. Hall Sings Miss Dixie and Tom T., on their independent,
 multiple-award- winning bluegrass label, Blue Circle Records. The project
 has received more than 70 five-star rated reviews.
 
     Throughout his career, Hall was nominated for seven CMA Awards,
 including Entertainer of the Year in 1973; received an RIAA Gold
 certification for his album, Greatest Hits Volume II for sales of 500,000
 units; and received the Grammy Award for Best Album Notes in 1972 for Tom
 T. Hall's Greatest Hits. He also had 33 Top 20 singles on the Billboard
 Country Singles chart between 1967 and 1985. He is a member of the Grand
 Ole Opry, Nashville Songwriter's Hall of Fame and the Kentucky Music Hall
 of Fame. He has an honorary degree at South Plains College in Levelland,
 Texas and has a Doctor of Musical Arts from Morehead State University in
 Morehead, Ky.
 
     Career Achieved National Prominence Between World War II and 1975
 
     (Second of Two Acts in this Category)
 
     The Statler Brothers achieved a familial sound well-suited for their
 catalog of songs reflecting everyday life and family values, even though
 only two of its members were true siblings.
 
     As teenagers, baritone vocalist Phil Balsley (born Aug. 8, 1939), tenor
 vocalist Lew DeWitt (born Mar. 8, 1938) and bass vocalist Harold Reid (born
 Aug. 21, 1939) formed a church group in their hometown of Staunton, Va. in
 1955. Don Reid (born June 5, 1945), Harold's younger brother, joined the
 group as lead singer in 1960 and they christened themselves the Kingsmen.
 The group began singing Country Music with their tight, gospel harmonies
 and built a following in the region. Because another group called the
 Kingsmen were popular around that time, the quartet changed its name to the
 Statler Brothers after a box of Statler tissues.
 
     In August 1963 the group performed at an event headlined by Johnny
 Cash. Early the next year, Cash decided to add a male harmony vocal group
 to his touring ensemble and the Statler Brothers were invited to audition
 on March 9 in Canton, Ohio. Cash then asked them to perform with him that
 night and worked up several numbers with the group. The initial performance
 went well, so Cash invited them to join the tour and they remained with him
 through 1972, working all of his television shows, concert dates and
 recording sessions. Years later, Marshall Grant of the Tennessee Three
 would become the Statler Brothers' representative.
 
     Signed to Cash's label home Columbia Records, the Statler Brothers had
 their first hit in 1965 with the DeWitt-penned hit that would become their
 signature smash, "Flowers on the Wall." Their performance of this song
 earned the quartet a Grammy Award in the all-genre category for Best
 Contemporary Performance - Group (Vocal or Instrumental), even beating The
 Beatles. They also won a second Grammy Award that same year for Best New
 Country & Western Group.
 
     The quartet moved to Mercury Records in 1969, where they remained for
 more than two decades. Their first single for their new label home was
 1970's "Bed of Rose's" written by Harold Reid, which became a Top 5 hit.
 This song was the first success in a long relationship between the Statler
 Brothers and their new producer, Mercury VP Jerry Kennedy. Kennedy would
 continue to produce the group throughout their career, even after he left
 Mercury Records to form his own production company.
 
     In 1970, the Statler Brothers also created one of their most loved
 events with their annual Happy Birthday U.S.A. Fourth of July concert,
 parade and community celebration. The event, held in their hometown of
 Staunton until it ended in 1995, was a top tourism draw for the area and
 always featured one of Country Music's top artists as a special guest
 performer. All proceeds from the event were given to local charitable
 organizations.
 
     The early '70s was a successful time for the Statler Brothers as they
 hit the Top 40 repeatedly with songs such as "Carry Me Back," "Do You
 Remember These," and "Whatever Happened to Randolph Scott?," all written by
 Harold and Don Reid. Their hit "The Class of '57," another Reid brothers
 composition, which author Kurt Vonnegut once suggested should be considered
 as a new National Anthem, earned the group their third Grammy Award in 1972
 as Best Country Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group.
 
     The group challenged itself by creating several concept albums. The
 Statler Brothers Sing Country Symphonies in E Major, released in 1972, was
 structured like an orchestral performance complete with an "intermission."
 In 1974, they released the tongue-in-cheek Alive at the Johnny Mack Brown
 High School under their comic alias of Lester "Roadhog" Moran and the
 Cadillac Cowboys. And in 1975, they simultaneously released Holy Bible/Old
 Testament and Holy Bible/New Testament, fulfilling a long-time dream of
 recording a project celebrating their Christian beliefs.
 
     The Best of the Statler Brothers was released in 1975, featuring their
 Top Five hit, the Don Reid-penned "I'll Go to My Grave Loving You." The
 quartet continued their streak during the next few years with Top 10 hits
 "The Movies" (written by DeWitt) and "I Was There" (written by Don Reid),
 before achieving their first No. 1 single with "Do You Know You Are My
 Sunshine" (written by the Reid brothers) from their 1978 album Entertainers
 ... On & Off the Record.
 
     The Statler Brothers celebrated 10 years with Mercury Records in 1980
 with the release of 10th Anniversary. The album featured their hits
 "Charlotte's Web" (their song from the film "Smokey and the Bandit II," in
 which they also appeared), "Don't Forget Yourself" (written by Don Reid)
 and the autobiographical "We Got Paid By Cash" (written by the Reid
 brothers) that celebrated their history as well as their musical mentor.
 
     By the early '80s, DeWitt, who had suffered with Crohn's Disease since
 his youth, was in failing health. Jimmy Fortune (born March 11, 1955 in
 Williamsburg, Va.) was asked to temporarily replace him on the road in late
 January 1982. DeWitt's health never improved enough for him to return to
 touring on a fulltime basis, so he departed the band with Fortune assuming
 his position fulltime in August of that year. After a few years out of the
 limelight, DeWitt released two solo albums, On My Own (1985) and Here to
 Stay (1986). While working on a third album, he passed away due to heart
 and kidney failure on Aug. 15, 1990 at the age of 52.
 
     Fortune quickly lived up to his name. He wrote the group's second No. 1
 hit "Elizabeth," on their 1983 album Today, and then followed that with two
 more No. 1 hits: "My Only Love" (from 1984's Atlanta Blue) and "Too Much On
 My Heart" (from 1985's Pardners in Rhyme). Fortune also wrote their Top 10
 hit "Forever" from 1986's Four for the Show and co-wrote their last major
 hit, the No. 6 charting "More Than a Name on the Wall" from 1988's The
 Greatest Hits.
 
     As the group continued to tour and record albums, they decided to
 expand their reach into television. The Statler Brothers were no stranger
 to the medium, having been regulars on ABC's "The Johnny Cash Show" from
 1969-1971. During the '80s they had also hosted a string of successful,
 award-winning syndicated television specials including "An Evening with the
 Statler Brothers," "Another Evening with the Statler Brothers: Heroes,
 Legends and Friends" and "A Statlers Christmas Present." With that
 experience behind them, "The Statler Brothers Show" launched on TNN in 1991
 as a weekly, hour-long variety series. It quickly became the most popular
 show on the network and ran for seven years, reconnecting them with
 longtime followers while building a new generation of fans. "The Statler
 Brothers Show" was a popular booking for the biggest Country artists of the
 day as well as legends.
 
     In 2002, the Statler Brothers announced their retirement from the road
 and gave their farewell concert at the 10,000-seat Salem Civic Center in
 Salem, Va., not far from Staunton. One year later they released the concert
 on CD and DVD, as well as a new gospel album, Amen. The group then settled
 back to enjoy their well-earned retirement.
 
     The RIAA has certified the Statler Brothers with 10 Gold albums
 (Atlanta Blue, Entertainers...On & Off The Record, Radio Gospel Favorites,
 Holy Bible/New Testament, Holy Bible/Old Testament, Pardners in Rhyme, 10th
 Anniversary, The Best of the Statler Brothers Rides Again Vol. 2, The
 Originals, and Today) signifying 500,000 sales each; one Platinum album
 (Christmas Card) signifying one million sales; and one triple Platinum
 album (The Best of the Statler Brothers) signifying three million sales.
 
     For more than 40 years, the Statler Brothers were among the most
 honored acts in Country Music. Among their awards are: nine CMA Awards for
 Vocal Group of the Year (1972-1977, 1979, 1980, 1984); three Grammy Awards
 (1965 Best New Country and Western Group, 1965 Best Contemporary
 Performance by a Group and 1972 Best Country Performance by a Duo or
 Group); three American Music Awards for Country Group of the Year
 (1979-1981); and 48 Music City News Awards, including 26 Vocal Group of the
 Year Awards (1971-1982, 1984-1994, 1996, 1997) and 3 Entertainer of the
 Year Awards (1985-1987). In 1994, a monument was presented to the Statler
 Brothers and installed in Gypsy Hill Park in appreciation by the Happy
 Birthday U.S.A. Committee and the City of Staunton. The group was inducted
 into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2007.
 
     The three surviving original Statler Brothers currently live in
 Staunton with their families. Balsley still goes to the Statler offices
 every day, remaining involved in the group's day-to-day operations. Don
 Reid has written a number of books: Heroes and Outlaws of the Bible, Sunday
 Morning Memories, and a book with his two sons Debo and Langdon, You Know
 It's Christmas When.... He and his brother Harold have collaborated on the
 group's memoir, The Statler Brothers: Random Memories, which will be
 released Feb. 19. The Reid family musical legacy has continued as Don's son
 Langdon and Harold's son Wil formed the Country Music duo Grandstaff.
 Meanwhile, Fortune moved to Nashville and released several solo albums,
 including When One Door Closes (2003), I Believe (2005), and Feels Like
 Christmas (2006). And while only two of the group are siblings, all of its
 members remain as close as brothers.
 
     Career Achieved National Prominence Between 1975 and the Present
 
     Emmylou Harris was born April 2, 1947 in Birmingham, Ala., to Walter
 and Eugenia Harris. Her father was a Marine Corps officer and the family
 moved as her father's position required. She spent much of her childhood in
 North Carolina before moving to Woodbridge, Va., while in her teens.
 
     Harris took up guitar as a teenager inspired by the folk music of Joan
 Baez, Judy Collins, Bob Dylan and Pete Seeger. Starving-artist stints in
 New York City and Nashville led to regular club work in Washington D.C.
 where Chris Hillman first saw her perform. Hillman and Country-rock
 visionary Gram Parsons had been band mates in The Byrds and The Flying
 Burrito Brothers, but now Parsons was on his own doing solo material and
 had told his former band mate he was looking for "a chick singer" for his
 first solo record.
 
     Hillman had seen Harris perform at a club in DC and told Parsons about
 her, but they didn't know how to get in touch with her. A chance encounter
 between Harris' babysitter, Hillman and Parsons led to Harris flying to Los
 Angeles in 1972 to sing on Parsons' first solo record. Harris went on to
 become his permanent duet partner setting a new standard for harmonies and
 duet vocals.
 
     After Parsons' untimely death in 1973, Harris emerged as a solo star
 with Pieces of the Sky in 1975. The album electrified the Country Music
 world, becoming her first in a series of annual Gold or Platinum albums
 through the '70s.
 
     Around the same time Harris created the Hot Band featuring many of the
 musicians from Pieces of the Sky. Among the first members were Elvis
 Presley's bassist Emory Gordy Jr., pianist Glen D. Hardin and lead
 guitarist James Burton. After nine months Burton left the band due to
 conflicts with Presley's schedule and was replaced by Albert Lee. Other
 original Hot Band members included pedal steel player Hank DeVito, drummer
 John Ware and a young singer/songwriter/guitarist named Rodney Crowell.
 With the Hot Band backing her, Harris opened shows for a diverse group of
 artists ranging from Elton John to Conway Twitty, James Taylor and more,
 and quickly gained a reputation for its superb musicianship on record and
 on the road.
 
     Crowell would leave the band in 1978 for a solo career, though he would
 continue to perform with Harris as schedules allowed. For the next four
 years, Crowell's place in the Hot Band was filled by Ricky Skaggs. Skaggs
 also left for a solo career and was replaced by Barry Tashian. When Hardin
 left he was briefly replaced by another former Presley sideman, Tony Brown.
 In 1980, Brown, DeVito and Gordy left the Hot Band to tour behind Crowell
 as the Cherry Bombs.
 
     Her next three releases (Elite Hotel, Luxury Liner and Quarter Moon in
 a Ten-Cent Town) made her a Country-rock leader, and since then Harris has
 been regarded as a key figure in the movement that united rock audiences
 with Country traditionalists. She was among the artists who made Country
 Music "hip" and brought it to a vast youth market. Then she led the way
 back to neo- traditionalist sounds with 1979's Blue Kentucky Girl. The
 following year, Roses In the Snow paved the road toward the bluegrass
 revival of the '80s. Harris rose to become the authentic voice of Country
 with these albums, as well as Evangeline, Cimarron and Bluebird.
 
     Over the next few years, Harris released several solo projects, but her
 most successful album during this time was 1987's Trio, with Dolly Parton
 and Linda Ronstadt. The three singers had talked of recording an album
 together for more than a decade, and it was worth the wait. The
 critically-acclaimed project was certified Platinum by the RIAA for sales
 of one million units and reached No. 6 on the Billboard Top 200 Album
 Chart. The trio would also win the 1988 CMA Vocal Event of the Year Award.
 Eleven years later, the women reunited to release Trio II, which earned the
 three singers a Grammy Award for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals for
 their performance on "After the Gold Rush" and a Gold certification from
 the RIAA.
 
     By the early 1990s Harris changed her sound again with the acoustic
 band The Nash Ramblers, featuring Larry Atamanuik, Sam Bush, Roy Huskey
 Jr., Al Perkins and Jon Randall. Together, they honored Country Music's
 most legendary concert hall with the At the Ryman album, winning the 1992
 Grammy Award for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group
 
     Three years later, Harris took a leading role in yet another musical
 revolution-the Americana movement that gave Country Music its "alternative"
 wing. Continuing to expand boundaries, this time she paired with producer
 Daniel Lanois and reinvented her sound. The result was her 1995 watershed
 album, Wrecking Ball, for which she earned another Grammy Award. The album
 was hailed by critics as a masterpiece and portrayed a new side of Harris -
 spiritual yet sexual, and a woman with very eclectic tastes. She followed
 Wrecking Ball with the live album Spyboy and closed the decade with a
 powerful album of duets with Ronstadt, Western Wall: The Tucson Sessions.
 
     Harris performed "Didn't Leave Nobody But the Baby" with Alison Krauss
 and Gillian Welch for the O Brother, Where Art Thou? movie soundtrack
 album, which became a phenomenon in 2000. The album was named the 2001 CMA
 Album of the Year, the 2001 Grammy Album of the Year and the 2001 Grammy
 Soundtrack Album of the Year, among other honors.
 
     With 2000's Red Dirt Girl, she released the first album of her career
 that was nearly entirely comprised of Harris-penned songs. The album, and
 its follow-up, 2003's Stumble Into Grace, revealed her remarkable
 songwriting talent, and further demonstrated Harris' diverse musical
 influences, mixing world music instrumentation and rock rhythms into her
 Country and folk confidence and verve.
 
     In 2006, she teamed with guitar virtuoso Mark Knopfler to release the
 album All the Roadrunning, which had been recorded over seven years. Also
 that year, she was a featured performer in the documentary Neil Young:
 Heart of Gold.
 
     In 2007, Rhino Records celebrated Harris' distinguished career by
 releasing Songbird: Rare Tracks and Forgotten Gems, a DVD and 4-CD box set
 featuring previously unreleased material, demos, studio tracks,
 collaborative work with other artists, and a collection of videos and
 performances beginning with the Hot Band in the 1970s. Her forthcoming
 studio album will be released on Nonesuch Records in the spring.
 
     The wide range of Harris' repertoire is mirrored by the musicians who
 have sought her out as a collaborator. She has recorded with artists from
 diverse points on the musical compass including The Band, Bright Eyes,
 Johnny Cash, Elvis Costello, Bob Dylan, Vince Gill, George Jones, Little
 Feat, Lyle Lovett, Bill Monroe, Roy Orbison, Bonnie Raitt, Don Williams,
 Lucinda Williams, Tammy Wynette, Neil Young, and many others.
 
     Harris has received three CMA Awards, including Female Vocalist of the
 Year in 1980. She has received 12 Grammy Awards, including four for Best
 Country Vocal Performance, Female (1976, 1979, 1984, 2005) and two for Best
 Contemporary Folk Album (1995 for Wrecking Ball and 2000 for Red Dirt
 Girl). She is a member of the Grand Ole Opry and serves as Trustee Emeritus
 of the Country Music Hall of Fame.
 
     In 1999, Billboard honored her with its prestigious Century Award,
 aptly calling her a "truly venturesome, genre-transcending pathfinder." Los
 Angeles Times praised the unfaltering quality of her work, saying, Harris
 "has made consistently outstanding musical choices over her 35-plus-year
 career." But perhaps even more outstanding than her accolades is her
 beautifully crystalline voice, about which New York Times says, it
 "inhabits her songs like a wraith, intangible but omnipresent."
 
 
 

SOURCE Country Music Association
    NASHVILLE, Tenn., Feb. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The Country Music Association
 announced today that Emmylou Harris, Tom T. Hall, The Statler Brothers and
 the late Country Music pioneer Ernest "Pop" Stoneman will become the newest
 members of the coveted Country Music Hall of Fame.
 
     Harris will be the fourth artist included in the "Career Achieved
 National Prominence Between 1975 and the Present" category, which was
 created in 2005. Due to a tie, both Hall and the Statler Brothers will be
 inducted in the "Career Achieved National Prominence Between World War II
 and 1975" category. Stoneman will be inducted in the "Career Achieved
 National Prominence Prior to World War II" category, which is awarded every
 third year in a rotation with the "Recording and/or Touring Musician Active
 Prior to 1980" and "Non- Performer" categories.
 
     "It is truly fitting that these artists receive Country Music's biggest
 honor and become the newest members of the Country Music Hall of Fame,"
 said Tammy Genovese, CMA Chief Executive Officer. "Emmylou possesses the
 voice of an angel. She is one of the most revered song interpreters on the
 planet, and has been instrumental in preserving Country Music's past while
 expanding Country Music's horizons throughout her career. Tom T. Hall's
 story-filled songs and keen observations of life have connected with
 audiences around the world. The harmonious Statler Brothers, whom Kurt
 Vonnegut once called 'America's Poets,' sang songs about life and love
 while often providing nostalgic looks at simpler times. And Pop Stoneman
 was not only the head of the Stoneman Family, but one of the patriarchs of
 Country Music."
 
     Harris, Hall, the Statler Brothers and Stoneman will be officially
 inducted later this year during the traditional, invitation-only Country
 Music Hall of Fame Formal Induction and Medallion Ceremony presented by CMA
 and the Country Music Hall of Fame(R) and Museum.
 
     "This is so exciting," said Kyle Young, Director of the Country Music
 Hall of Fame and Museum. "The 2008 Hall of Fame inductees represent a
 historical spectrum encompassing the earliest days of commercial Country
 Music recordings, the modern evolution of the Country gospel quartet
 tradition, the arrival of more complex themes and social consciousness in
 Country Music songs, and the advent of a vocalist who espoused the
 integrity of Country Music's root forms and transcended the genre in a way
 that few others have been able to do. That's a pretty complete spectrum.
 These artists have created a rich and enduring tapestry of music that will
 always recount the story of our homeland and its people over a period of
 almost 100 years. We applaud them and we congratulate them."
 
     The announcements were made this morning at the Country Music Hall of
 Fame and Museum in a press conference hosted by Genovese. Hall was
 introduced by his good friend and Country Music Hall of Fame member Ralph
 Emery, Harris was introduced by her longtime friend and former Hot Band
 member Tony Brown and the Statler Brothers were introduced by their
 longtime representative Marshall Grant. Country Music historian Eddie
 Stubbs paid tribute to Stoneman, who passed away in 1968. Stoneman was
 represented onstage by his daughter, Patsy Stoneman Murphy.
 
     CMA created the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1961 to recognize
 noteworthy individuals for their outstanding contributions to the format
 with Country Music's highest honor. All inductees are chosen by CMA's Hall
 of Fame Panel of Electors, which consists of more than 300 anonymous voters
 appointed by the CMA Board of Directors. Harris, Hall, the Statler Brothers
 and Stoneman will increase membership in the coveted Country Music Hall of
 Fame from 101 to 105 inductees.
 
     Career Achieved National Prominence Prior to World War II
 
     Ernest V. "Pop" Stoneman was born May 25, 1893 in Carroll County, Va.,
 near the communities of Iron Ridge, Monorat and Fries to a lay preacher and
 his wife. His mother passed away when he was just three years old, leaving
 the young Stoneman and his brothers to be raised by his father and three
 cousins.
 
     The family bonded together through music, especially the traditional
 songs of the Blue Ridge Mountain inhabitants. Music was an important part
 of Stoneman's life, and he was always writing and performing songs. He
 learned to play every instrument on hand at family musical gatherings and
 became proficient on the harmonica, guitar, mouth harp and clawhammer
 banjo. The autoharp, however, was his best known instrument. When he
 couldn't afford to buy one out of the Montgomery Ward catalogue, the
 industrious Stoneman built his own with parts salvaged from an old piano.
 
     While working as a sweeper at a cotton mill in Fries in 1914, Stoneman
 recorded a song on a home recording machine owned by a friend. This
 experience would be his first step toward a career in music.
 
     In addition to being a sweeper, Stoneman worked a variety of odd jobs
 as a young man, including serving as a farm hand and carpenter, while also
 performing music at local dances. In 1918, he married Hattie Frost, who was
 also a musician and played both the banjo and fiddle. Through the course of
 their marriage, the Stonemans became the parents of 23 children, 13 of whom
 survived to adulthood.
 
     After listening to a record by singer Henry Whitter in 1924, Stoneman
 was convinced he could deliver a better performance. Going to New York City
 that year, he cut two songs on the Okeh label. His first single "The
 Sinking of the Titanic," which he also wrote, charted at No. 3 on the
 Billboard and Variety charts and remained there for 10 weeks. The song was
 one of Country Music's earliest records to sell more than a million copies
 and became one of the biggest hits of the 1920s.
 
     During this time producer and future Country Music Hall of Fame member
 Ralph Peer guided him through many studio sessions for several record
 labels, including Okeh and Victor. Between 1924 and 1929, he recorded more
 than 200 songs. In 1926, Stoneman added his wife and adult family members
 to his band, giving him a full string band sound and establishing a
 precedent of working with his family that would continue throughout his
 career.
 
     Stoneman convinced Peer to travel to the Bristol, Tenn. area and
 audition talent in 1927. This led to the historic Bristol recording
 sessions, arguably the most important event in the history of Country
 Music. These sessions featured future Country Music Hall of Fame members
 Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family making their debut commercial
 recordings, which launched their careers on a national scale. Stoneman and
 his wife Hattie were the first artists to be recorded at these sessions.
 
     When the Great Depression hit, Stoneman lost everything. In 1932, he
 and his wife moved their children (who were performing with their parents
 and in their own groups) to Washington, D.C., where Stoneman worked odd
 jobs while suffering extreme poverty. He eventually gained employment at
 the Naval Gun Factory in 1941 and bought a lot in Carmody Hills, Md., where
 he built a house for his family.
 
     During this time he continued to perform as he worked to revive his
 musical career. After years of struggling, the Stoneman Family won a talent
 contest in 1947 hosted by local radio and television personality (and
 future Country Music Hall of Fame member) Connie B. Gay at Constitution
 Hall in Washington, D.C. First prize was six months of appearances on Gay's
 Country Music television program, which was broadcast in eight states in
 the region.
 
     1956 proved to be the turning point. That year, Stoneman, known by then
 as "Pop," won $10,000 on the NBC television quiz show "The Big Surprise"
 and the producers allowed him to perform on the broadcast. Around the same
 time, the Blue Grass Champs (a band featuring three of his children: Scott,
 Donna and Jimmy) won "Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts" on CBS. After that,
 folk musician/folklorist Mike Seeger recorded Stoneman, his wife Hattie and
 their children for the Folkways label.
 
     Stoneman's retirement from the Naval Gun Factory in the late '50s
 allowed him to be fully devoted to the music career he shared with his
 children. The Stoneman Family recorded several albums in the early '60s for
 the Starday and World Pacific labels. They toured extensively across the
 nation, including performances at folk festivals and Disneyland, while
 making occasional appearances on network television shows that included
 "The Jimmy Dean Show" and "The Hollywood Palace," both on ABC.
 
     The Stoneman Family debuted on the Grand Ole Opry in 1962, and moved to
 Nashville in 1965. Soon after they signed with MGM Records and hosted a
 syndicated television series, "Those Stonemans." The group achieved their
 first Top 40 hit with "Tupelo County Jail" in 1966, followed one year later
 by the Top 30 hit "The Five Little Johnson Girls."
 
     In 1967, the Stoneman Family was the first recipient of the CMA Vocal
 Group of the Year Award. That same year they also appeared in two movies:
 "The Road to Nashville," alongside other Country Music artists and
 personalities that included future Country Music Hall of Fame members Bill
 Anderson, Mother Maybelle Carter (of the Original Carter Family), Johnny
 Cash, Ralph Emery, Waylon Jennings, Webb Pierce, Marty Robbins, Hank Snow,
 Porter Wagoner, Kitty Wells and Faron Young; and "Hell on Wheels," again
 with Robbins.
 
     In the middle of all this success, Stoneman's health began to fail. He
 continued to record and perform through the Spring of 1968, but passed away
 on June 14, 1968 at the age of 75.
 
     Just as he would have wanted, his children continued his musical
 legacy. His daughter Patsy re-joined the Stoneman Family and the group
 carried on, charting a Top 50 hit with "Christopher Robin" in 1968. The
 band was nominated for the CMA Instrumental Group of the Year Award that
 same year. A few years later, the group recorded several songs for the
 soundtrack to "The Country Bear Jamboree" attraction at Walt Disney World
 in Orlando, Fla. Throughout the '70s and '80s, the Stoneman Family
 underwent several personnel changes before easing into retirement. Group
 member (and Stoneman's youngest daughter) Roni Stoneman also became
 well-known, as a banjo player and as a regular performer on the successful
 syndicated television series "Hee Haw." The remaining Stoneman children
 still perform individually and together on occasion. The Stoneman Family
 remains the longest continually performing family act in Country Music and
 the proud legacy of Ernest V. "Pop" and Hattie Stoneman.
 
     Career Achieved National Prominence Between World War II and 1975
 
     (First of Two Acts in this Category)
 
     Tom T. Hall was born May 25, 1936 in Olive Hill, KY. He learned to play
 guitar at age 4. His father, Rev. Virgil L. Hall, who was a brick plant
 worker and an ordained Baptist minister, gave him his own guitar when he
 was eight. This encouraged the youngster to grow from writing poetry to
 writing music, and at age 9 he wrote his first song, "Haven't I Been Good
 to You." A local musician named Clayton Delaney taught Hall the musical
 technique that would serve him well in his career.
 
     Hall's mother, Della, died when he was 11. Four years later, his father
 was shot in a hunting accident, which prevented him from working. Hall quit
 school and took a job in a local garment factory to support himself and his
 father. He also formed his first band, the Kentucky Travelers, and played
 Bluegrass at local schools as well as a radio station in Morehead, KY. Hall
 wrote a jingle for one of the radio stations sponsors, the Polar Bear Flour
 Company, and later became a D.J. at the station when the band broke up to
 serve their country. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1957 and was stationed
 in Germany where he finished high school and performed on the Armed Forces
 Radio Network, singing mostly his own original songs.
 
     Following three years in the Army he returned to the U.S. where he
 studied journalism at Roanoke College and worked as a D.J. at a radio
 station in Salem, VA. A Nashville songwriter visiting the radio station,
 impressed after hearing Hall's songs, convinced publisher Jimmy Key of New
 Keys Publishing to sign him. Jimmy C. Newman reached No. 1 with Hall's
 "D.J. For A Day" in 1963, while Dave Dudley charted No. 10 with the Hall
 penned "Mad" in 1964. These successes convinced Hall to move to Nashville
 and pursue a career as a professional songwriter. Drawn by their strong
 narratives and detailed observations, additional artists started to record
 his songs, including Johnnie Wright who reached No. 1 with "Hello Vietnam"
 in 1965.
 
     At a BMI banquet in Nashville that same year, Hall met United Kingdom
 native Iris Lawrence, better known as Miss Dixie, who was attending the
 event because she'd written the Dudley hit "Truck Drivin' Son-Of-A-Gun."
 Miss Dixie had moved to Nashville to work for Starday Records after
 successfully obtaining a record release for Tex Ritter in Great Britain.
 She was living with Mother Maybelle Carter, and was a member of the family.
 It wasn't long before Hall also was pulled into the loving circle. The new
 friends, who shared a love of songwriting and bluegrass, soon started
 dating and eventually married.
 
     Hall signed with Mercury Records in 1967 and that summer released his
 first single "I Washed My Face in the Morning Dew." While this became a
 minor hit, his following two singles did not crack the Top 40. But in the
 summer of 1968, Jeannie C. Riley had a major hit with the Hall-penned
 "Harper Valley P.T. A." The song hit No. 1 on both the Country and pop
 charts, which inspired both a motion picture and television series.
 
     The success of "Harper Valley P.T.A." put a spotlight on Hall, and his
 single "Ballad of Forty Dollars" rose to No. 4. After several additional
 hit singles, Hall charted at No. 1 in 1969 with "A Week in a Country Jail."
 A year later, he had two Top 10 hits with "Shoeshine Man" and "Salute to a
 Switchblade" before reaching No.1 again in 1971 with his biggest hit, a
 tribute to his musical mentor, "The Year that Clayton Delaney Died."
 
     The '70s were successful for Hall on radio and as a touring act. He
 earned the nickname "The Storyteller," bestowed on him by Tex Ritter,
 because his songs contained strong and detailed narratives that revealed
 his observations on life. He had five additional No. 1 hits between 1971
 and 1976: "(Old Dogs, Children and) Watermelon Wine," "I Love," "Country
 Is," "I Care," and "Faster Horses (The Cowboy and the Poet)." He also had
 hits with "Me and Jesus," "Ravishing Ruby," "That Song is Driving Me
 Crazy," "I Like Beer" and more. Blessed with a multi-generational
 following, Hall released the children's album Songs of Fox Hollow (For
 Children of All Ages) in 1974, which contained his much-loved song, "Sneaky
 Snake." He also produced a PBS television special on the history of
 bluegrass music.
 
     Hall continued to enjoy success in the latter half of the '70s,
 including the No. 4 hit "Your Man Loves You, Honey" in 1977. He appeared in
 the 1979 television movie "Skinflint: A Country Christmas Carol" and hosted
 the hit syndicated television series "Pop! Goes the Country" in 1980. By
 the early '80s, Hall's success at radio had begun to slow down. His final
 Top 10 hit was in 1984 with a cover of the Rudy Vallee hit "P.S. I Love
 You." In 1982, Columbia Records put out the classic Storyteller and the
 Banjoman by Hall and Earl Scruggs. Then, after releasing the album Song in
 a Seashell in 1985, he took a 10-year break from recording.
 
     He wasn't recording, but Hall still had stories to tell. He had already
 published his autobiography; The Storyteller's Nashville, in 1979 and went
 on to write several novels, among them: The Laughing Man of Woodmont Cove
 (1982), The Acts of Life (1986), Spring Hill, Tennessee: A Novel (1990) and
 What A Book!: A Novel (1996). He also wrote the children's book Christmas
 and the Old House in 1989, illustrated by Laura L. Seeley.
 
     During this time he also helped with his wife's humane shelter work in
 Tennessee and Florida, where they had a second home on St. George Island.
 He began to write songs again and played music for pleasure with a
 community of "swamp billies" who made him a lifetime member of the
 Sopchoppy Possum Club Recording Studio.
 
     Mercury Records put out the 2-disc Storyteller, Poet, Philosopher box
 set in 1995, reigniting interest in Hall and his career. That same year
 they also released Country Songs for Children, featuring all the songs from
 Songs of Fox Hollow (For Children of All Ages) plus seven new songs
 recorded by Hall. These projects convinced Hall to record his first,
 all-new album in 11 years, Songs from Sopchoppy, released in 1996. That
 album, inspired by his "swamp billy" friends and their location, contained
 his song "Little Bitty," which Alan Jackson covered and took to the top of
 the charts that same year. Hall followed up with two albums in 1997: The
 Hits and Homegrown, which contained "Bill Monroe for Breakfast," the No. 1
 and most played bluegrass song of the year. That year he also appeared in
 the TV movie "Miracle on Highway 31," which contained "There's A Miracle
 Everywhere You Go."
 
     For the past decade, Hall and Miss Dixie have immersed themselves in a
 shared love of bluegrass music. They have extended a helping hand to
 fledging musicians and veterans alike, with many established artists taking
 a new Hall song up and over the bluegrass charts. On the rising tide of new
 music, the Halls created two new publishing companies, Good Home Grown
 Music (BMI) and More Good Home Grown Music (ASCAP). The couple also
 transformed a building at their Fox Hollow farm outside Nashville into a
 state-of-the-art acoustic recording studio. The Halls have jointly received
 the Songwriter of the Year Award from the Society for the Preservation of
 Bluegrass Music Association's (SPBGMA) for seven years in a row (including
 the Master's Gold). They have also received numerous awards from the
 International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA), including the Lifetime
 Achievement Award.
 
     Recently, Hall released a collection of songs he co-wrote with his
 wife, Tom T. Hall Sings Miss Dixie and Tom T., on their independent,
 multiple-award- winning bluegrass label, Blue Circle Records. The project
 has received more than 70 five-star rated reviews.
 
     Throughout his career, Hall was nominated for seven CMA Awards,
 including Entertainer of the Year in 1973; received an RIAA Gold
 certification for his album, Greatest Hits Volume II for sales of 500,000
 units; and received the Grammy Award for Best Album Notes in 1972 for Tom
 T. Hall's Greatest Hits. He also had 33 Top 20 singles on the Billboard
 Country Singles chart between 1967 and 1985. He is a member of the Grand
 Ole Opry, Nashville Songwriter's Hall of Fame and the Kentucky Music Hall
 of Fame. He has an honorary degree at South Plains College in Levelland,
 Texas and has a Doctor of Musical Arts from Morehead State University in
 Morehead, Ky.
 
     Career Achieved National Prominence Between World War II and 1975
 
     (Second of Two Acts in this Category)
 
     The Statler Brothers achieved a familial sound well-suited for their
 catalog of songs reflecting everyday life and family values, even though
 only two of its members were true siblings.
 
     As teenagers, baritone vocalist Phil Balsley (born Aug. 8, 1939), tenor
 vocalist Lew DeWitt (born Mar. 8, 1938) and bass vocalist Harold Reid (born
 Aug. 21, 1939) formed a church group in their hometown of Staunton, Va. in
 1955. Don Reid (born June 5, 1945), Harold's younger brother, joined the
 group as lead singer in 1960 and they christened themselves the Kingsmen.
 The group began singing Country Music with their tight, gospel harmonies
 and built a following in the region. Because another group called the
 Kingsmen were popular around that time, the quartet changed its name to the
 Statler Brothers after a box of Statler tissues.
 
     In August 1963 the group performed at an event headlined by Johnny
 Cash. Early the next year, Cash decided to add a male harmony vocal group
 to his touring ensemble and the Statler Brothers were invited to audition
 on March 9 in Canton, Ohio. Cash then asked them to perform with him that
 night and worked up several numbers with the group. The initial performance
 went well, so Cash invited them to join the tour and they remained with him
 through 1972, working all of his television shows, concert dates and
 recording sessions. Years later, Marshall Grant of the Tennessee Three
 would become the Statler Brothers' representative.
 
     Signed to Cash's label home Columbia Records, the Statler Brothers had
 their first hit in 1965 with the DeWitt-penned hit that would become their
 signature smash, "Flowers on the Wall." Their performance of this song
 earned the quartet a Grammy Award in the all-genre category for Best
 Contemporary Performance - Group (Vocal or Instrumental), even beating The
 Beatles. They also won a second Grammy Award that same year for Best New
 Country & Western Group.
 
     The quartet moved to Mercury Records in 1969, where they remained for
 more than two decades. Their first single for their new label home was
 1970's "Bed of Rose's" written by Harold Reid, which became a Top 5 hit.
 This song was the first success in a long relationship between the Statler
 Brothers and their new producer, Mercury VP Jerry Kennedy. Kennedy would
 continue to produce the group throughout their career, even after he left
 Mercury Records to form his own production company.
 
     In 1970, the Statler Brothers also created one of their most loved
 events with their annual Happy Birthday U.S.A. Fourth of July concert,
 parade and community celebration. The event, held in their hometown of
 Staunton until it ended in 1995, was a top tourism draw for the area and
 always featured one of Country Music's top artists as a special guest
 performer. All proceeds from the event were given to local charitable
 organizations.
 
     The early '70s was a successful time for the Statler Brothers as they
 hit the Top 40 repeatedly with songs such as "Carry Me Back," "Do You
 Remember These," and "Whatever Happened to Randolph Scott?," all written by
 Harold and Don Reid. Their hit "The Class of '57," another Reid brothers
 composition, which author Kurt Vonnegut once suggested should be considered
 as a new National Anthem, earned the group their third Grammy Award in 1972
 as Best Country Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group.
 
     The group challenged itself by creating several concept albums. The
 Statler Brothers Sing Country Symphonies in E Major, released in 1972, was
 structured like an orchestral performance complete with an "intermission."
 In 1974, they released the tongue-in-cheek Alive at the Johnny Mack Brown
 High School under their comic alias of Lester "Roadhog" Moran and the
 Cadillac Cowboys. And in 1975, they simultaneously released Holy Bible/Old
 Testament and Holy Bible/New Testament, fulfilling a long-time dream of
 recording a project celebrating their Christian beliefs.
 
     The Best of the Statler Brothers was released in 1975, featuring their
 Top Five hit, the Don Reid-penned "I'll Go to My Grave Loving You." The
 quartet continued their streak during the next few years with Top 10 hits
 "The Movies" (written by DeWitt) and "I Was There" (written by Don Reid),
 before achieving their first No. 1 single with "Do You Know You Are My
 Sunshine" (written by the Reid brothers) from their 1978 album Entertainers
 ... On & Off the Record.
 
     The Statler Brothers celebrated 10 years with Mercury Records in 1980
 with the release of 10th Anniversary. The album featured their hits
 "Charlotte's Web" (their song from the film "Smokey and the Bandit II," in
 which they also appeared), "Don't Forget Yourself" (written by Don Reid)
 and the autobiographical "We Got Paid By Cash" (written by the Reid
 brothers) that celebrated their history as well as their musical mentor.
 
     By the early '80s, DeWitt, who had suffered with Crohn's Disease since
 his youth, was in failing health. Jimmy Fortune (born March 11, 1955 in
 Williamsburg, Va.) was asked to temporarily replace him on the road in late
 January 1982. DeWitt's health never improved enough for him to return to
 touring on a fulltime basis, so he departed the band with Fortune assuming
 his position fulltime in August of that year. After a few years out of the
 limelight, DeWitt released two solo albums, On My Own (1985) and Here to
 Stay (1986). While working on a third album, he passed away due to heart
 and kidney failure on Aug. 15, 1990 at the age of 52.
 
     Fortune quickly lived up to his name. He wrote the group's second No. 1
 hit "Elizabeth," on their 1983 album Today, and then followed that with two
 more No. 1 hits: "My Only Love" (from 1984's Atlanta Blue) and "Too Much On
 My Heart" (from 1985's Pardners in Rhyme). Fortune also wrote their Top 10
 hit "Forever" from 1986's Four for the Show and co-wrote their last major
 hit, the No. 6 charting "More Than a Name on the Wall" from 1988's The
 Greatest Hits.
 
     As the group continued to tour and record albums, they decided to
 expand their reach into television. The Statler Brothers were no stranger
 to the medium, having been regulars on ABC's "The Johnny Cash Show" from
 1969-1971. During the '80s they had also hosted a string of successful,
 award-winning syndicated television specials including "An Evening with the
 Statler Brothers," "Another Evening with the Statler Brothers: Heroes,
 Legends and Friends" and "A Statlers Christmas Present." With that
 experience behind them, "The Statler Brothers Show" launched on TNN in 1991
 as a weekly, hour-long variety series. It quickly became the most popular
 show on the network and ran for seven years, reconnecting them with
 longtime followers while building a new generation of fans. "The Statler
 Brothers Show" was a popular booking for the biggest Country artists of the
 day as well as legends.
 
     In 2002, the Statler Brothers announced their retirement from the road
 and gave their farewell concert at the 10,000-seat Salem Civic Center in
 Salem, Va., not far from Staunton. One year later they released the concert
 on CD and DVD, as well as a new gospel album, Amen. The group then settled
 back to enjoy their well-earned retirement.
 
     The RIAA has certified the Statler Brothers with 10 Gold albums
 (Atlanta Blue, Entertainers...On & Off The Record, Radio Gospel Favorites,
 Holy Bible/New Testament, Holy Bible/Old Testament, Pardners in Rhyme, 10th
 Anniversary, The Best of the Statler Brothers Rides Again Vol. 2, The
 Originals, and Today) signifying 500,000 sales each; one Platinum album
 (Christmas Card) signifying one million sales; and one triple Platinum
 album (The Best of the Statler Brothers) signifying three million sales.
 
     For more than 40 years, the Statler Brothers were among the most
 honored acts in Country Music. Among their awards are: nine CMA Awards for
 Vocal Group of the Year (1972-1977, 1979, 1980, 1984); three Grammy Awards
 (1965 Best New Country and Western Group, 1965 Best Contemporary
 Performance by a Group and 1972 Best Country Performance by a Duo or
 Group); three American Music Awards for Country Group of the Year
 (1979-1981); and 48 Music City News Awards, including 26 Vocal Group of the
 Year Awards (1971-1982, 1984-1994, 1996, 1997) and 3 Entertainer of the
 Year Awards (1985-1987). In 1994, a monument was presented to the Statler
 Brothers and installed in Gypsy Hill Park in appreciation by the Happy
 Birthday U.S.A. Committee and the City of Staunton. The group was inducted
 into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2007.
 
     The three surviving original Statler Brothers currently live in
 Staunton with their families. Balsley still goes to the Statler offices
 every day, remaining involved in the group's day-to-day operations. Don
 Reid has written a number of books: Heroes and Outlaws of the Bible, Sunday
 Morning Memories, and a book with his two sons Debo and Langdon, You Know
 It's Christmas When.... He and his brother Harold have collaborated on the
 group's memoir, The Statler Brothers: Random Memories, which will be
 released Feb. 19. The Reid family musical legacy has continued as Don's son
 Langdon and Harold's son Wil formed the Country Music duo Grandstaff.
 Meanwhile, Fortune moved to Nashville and released several solo albums,
 including When One Door Closes (2003), I Believe (2005), and Feels Like
 Christmas (2006). And while only two of the group are siblings, all of its
 members remain as close as brothers.
 
     Career Achieved National Prominence Between 1975 and the Present
 
     Emmylou Harris was born April 2, 1947 in Birmingham, Ala., to Walter
 and Eugenia Harris. Her father was a Marine Corps officer and the family
 moved as her father's position required. She spent much of her childhood in
 North Carolina before moving to Woodbridge, Va., while in her teens.
 
     Harris took up guitar as a teenager inspired by the folk music of Joan
 Baez, Judy Collins, Bob Dylan and Pete Seeger. Starving-artist stints in
 New York City and Nashville led to regular club work in Washington D.C.
 where Chris Hillman first saw her perform. Hillman and Country-rock
 visionary Gram Parsons had been band mates in The Byrds and The Flying
 Burrito Brothers, but now Parsons was on his own doing solo material and
 had told his former band mate he was looking for "a chick singer" for his
 first solo record.
 
     Hillman had seen Harris perform at a club in DC and told Parsons about
 her, but they didn't know how to get in touch with her. A chance encounter
 between Harris' babysitter, Hillman and Parsons led to Harris flying to Los
 Angeles in 1972 to sing on Parsons' first solo record. Harris went on to
 become his permanent duet partner setting a new standard for harmonies and
 duet vocals.
 
     After Parsons' untimely death in 1973, Harris emerged as a solo star
 with Pieces of the Sky in 1975. The album electrified the Country Music
 world, becoming her first in a series of annual Gold or Platinum albums
 through the '70s.
 
     Around the same time Harris created the Hot Band featuring many of the
 musicians from Pieces of the Sky. Among the first members were Elvis
 Presley's bassist Emory Gordy Jr., pianist Glen D. Hardin and lead
 guitarist James Burton. After nine months Burton left the band due to
 conflicts with Presley's schedule and was replaced by Albert Lee. Other
 original Hot Band members included pedal steel player Hank DeVito, drummer
 John Ware and a young singer/songwriter/guitarist named Rodney Crowell.
 With the Hot Band backing her, Harris opened shows for a diverse group of
 artists ranging from Elton John to Conway Twitty, James Taylor and more,
 and quickly gained a reputation for its superb musicianship on record and
 on the road.
 
     Crowell would leave the band in 1978 for a solo career, though he would
 continue to perform with Harris as schedules allowed. For the next four
 years, Crowell's place in the Hot Band was filled by Ricky Skaggs. Skaggs
 also left for a solo career and was replaced by Barry Tashian. When Hardin
 left he was briefly replaced by another former Presley sideman, Tony Brown.
 In 1980, Brown, DeVito and Gordy left the Hot Band to tour behind Crowell
 as the Cherry Bombs.
 
     Her next three releases (Elite Hotel, Luxury Liner and Quarter Moon in
 a Ten-Cent Town) made her a Country-rock leader, and since then Harris has
 been regarded as a key figure in the movement that united rock audiences
 with Country traditionalists. She was among the artists who made Country
 Music "hip" and brought it to a vast youth market. Then she led the way
 back to neo- traditionalist sounds with 1979's Blue Kentucky Girl. The
 following year, Roses In the Snow paved the road toward the bluegrass
 revival of the '80s. Harris rose to become the authentic voice of Country
 with these albums, as well as Evangeline, Cimarron and Bluebird.
 
     Over the next few years, Harris released several solo projects, but her
 most successful album during this time was 1987's Trio, with Dolly Parton
 and Linda Ronstadt. The three singers had talked of recording an album
 together for more than a decade, and it was worth the wait. The
 critically-acclaimed project was certified Platinum by the RIAA for sales
 of one million units and reached No. 6 on the Billboard Top 200 Album
 Chart. The trio would also win the 1988 CMA Vocal Event of the Year Award.
 Eleven years later, the women reunited to release Trio II, which earned the
 three singers a Grammy Award for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals for
 their performance on "After the Gold Rush" and a Gold certification from
 the RIAA.
 
     By the early 1990s Harris changed her sound again with the acoustic
 band The Nash Ramblers, featuring Larry Atamanuik, Sam Bush, Roy Huskey
 Jr., Al Perkins and Jon Randall. Together, they honored Country Music's
 most legendary concert hall with the At the Ryman album, winning the 1992
 Grammy Award for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group
 
     Three years later, Harris took a leading role in yet another musical
 revolution-the Americana movement that gave Country Music its "alternative"
 wing. Continuing to expand boundaries, this time she paired with producer
 Daniel Lanois and reinvented her sound. The result was her 1995 watershed
 album, Wrecking Ball, for which she earned another Grammy Award. The album
 was hailed by critics as a masterpiece and portrayed a new side of Harris -
 spiritual yet sexual, and a woman with very eclectic tastes. She followed
 Wrecking Ball with the live album Spyboy and closed the decade with a
 powerful album of duets with Ronstadt, Western Wall: The Tucson Sessions.
 
     Harris performed "Didn't Leave Nobody But the Baby" with Alison Krauss
 and Gillian Welch for the O Brother, Where Art Thou? movie soundtrack
 album, which became a phenomenon in 2000. The album was named the 2001 CMA
 Album of the Year, the 2001 Grammy Album of the Year and the 2001 Grammy
 Soundtrack Album of the Year, among other honors.
 
     With 2000's Red Dirt Girl, she released the first album of her career
 that was nearly entirely comprised of Harris-penned songs. The album, and
 its follow-up, 2003's Stumble Into Grace, revealed her remarkable
 songwriting talent, and further demonstrated Harris' diverse musical
 influences, mixing world music instrumentation and rock rhythms into her
 Country and folk confidence and verve.
 
     In 2006, she teamed with guitar virtuoso Mark Knopfler to release the
 album All the Roadrunning, which had been recorded over seven years. Also
 that year, she was a featured performer in the documentary Neil Young:
 Heart of Gold.
 
     In 2007, Rhino Records celebrated Harris' distinguished career by
 releasing Songbird: Rare Tracks and Forgotten Gems, a DVD and 4-CD box set
 featuring previously unreleased material, demos, studio tracks,
 collaborative work with other artists, and a collection of videos and
 performances beginning with the Hot Band in the 1970s. Her forthcoming
 studio album will be released on Nonesuch Records in the spring.
 
     The wide range of Harris' repertoire is mirrored by the musicians who
 have sought her out as a collaborator. She has recorded with artists from
 diverse points on the musical compass including The Band, Bright Eyes,
 Johnny Cash, Elvis Costello, Bob Dylan, Vince Gill, George Jones, Little
 Feat, Lyle Lovett, Bill Monroe, Roy Orbison, Bonnie Raitt, Don Williams,
 Lucinda Williams, Tammy Wynette, Neil Young, and many others.
 
     Harris has received three CMA Awards, including Female Vocalist of the
 Year in 1980. She has received 12 Grammy Awards, including four for Best
 Country Vocal Performance, Female (1976, 1979, 1984, 2005) and two for Best
 Contemporary Folk Album (1995 for Wrecking Ball and 2000 for Red Dirt
 Girl). She is a member of the Grand Ole Opry and serves as Trustee Emeritus
 of the Country Music Hall of Fame.
 
     In 1999, Billboard honored her with its prestigious Century Award,
 aptly calling her a "truly venturesome, genre-transcending pathfinder." Los
 Angeles Times praised the unfaltering quality of her work, saying, Harris
 "has made consistently outstanding musical choices over her 35-plus-year
 career." But perhaps even more outstanding than her accolades is her
 beautifully crystalline voice, about which New York Times says, it
 "inhabits her songs like a wraith, intangible but omnipresent."
 
 
 SOURCE Country Music Association