Congratulations are in order for the new inductees to the Country Music Hall of Fame, along with a big ol’ IT’S ABOUT TIME! All three inductees are more than deserving of the honor……
Sometimes referred to as “the last of the troubadours,” songwriter Dean Dillon has written hits for country acts from Jim Ed Brown and Helen Cornelius to Kenny Chesney, Vern Gosdin, Toby Keith, and Keith Whitley. His contributions to George Strait’s body of work—from co-writing Strait’s first charting single, “Unwound,” to signature songs “The Chair,” “Marina Del Rey,” and “Ocean Front Property”—helped define both men’s careers. Dillon’s “Tennessee Whiskey,” written with Linda Hargrove, charted for David Allan Coe, George Jones, and Chris Stapleton. Dillon has written with and for masters until he became a master himself.
Marty Stuart began his music career as a pre-teen, playing mandolin at revivals, festivals and campaign rallies before joining Lester Flatt’s band at thirteen. He remained until Flatt disbanded the group in 1978, landing a spot in Johnny Cash’s band in 1980. Stuart left Cash in 1985 to focus on a solo career, amassing four Gold albums and six Top 10 singles during the 1990s, his commercial peak as a recording artist. He went on to become not only a revered musician and singer but also a songwriter, producer, archivist, photographer, television host, and spokesman for the history and traditions of the music that he holds so dear.
Hank Williams Jr.
An artist who began his career at age eight, Hank Williams Jr. has bridged generations by mastering time-honored styles as well as embracing rock and blues. The son of Country Music Hall of Fame member Hank Williams Sr., Hank Jr. had his first charting single—a cover of his father’s “Long Gone Lonesome Blues”—at age fourteen. Over the next five decades, he would chart more than one hundred times, with ten of those records reaching #1 on the Billboard Country singles chart. Only Eddy Arnold, Johnny Cash, George Jones, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Ray Price, and George Strait—all Hall of Famer members—have logged more charting hits.