Hank Cochran, Ronnie Milsap, Mac Wiseman Inducted Into Country Music Hall of Fame
Songwriter Hank Cochran, country star Ronnie Milsap and bluegrass aficionado Mac Wiseman achieved every country musician's dream by being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame on Sunday (Oct. 26).
The ceremony took place at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum's CMA Theater -- and the stage was full of stars all evening long. Steve Turner, chairman of the board for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, promised it would be "an evening of music and stories that will be like no other." And it was.
Alison Krauss honored the late Cochran, who passed away in 2010, by performing two of his hits, 'Make the World Go Away' and 'Don't Touch Me,' and Gene Watson sang 'Don't You Ever Get Tired of Hurting Me.'
"I'm one of the guys that admired Hank Cochran long before I ever met him, long before I ever knew how good a songwriter he was," said Watson. "He's one of the greatest writers that's ever been."
Bobby Bare presented Cochran's widow Suzi with her husband's medallion for entry in the songwriter category. Cochran produced 29 Top 10 hits throughout 35 years in country music.
The 71-year-old Milsap, who has been blind since birth, was honored by a slew of country stars, including Sam Moore and Vince Gill, who performed 'Lost in the Fifties Tonight;' Hunter Hayes, who gave a beautiful rendition of 'There's No Getting Over Me;' and Martina McBride, who delivered '(I'd Be) a Legend in My Time.'
Milsap was inducted into the modern era category by Brenda Lee and emotionally thanked his family, saying, "Thanks to my family for being by me all the time and making all this so much fun. I love you all. Thank you so much for having me in the Country Music Hall of Fame. It's a true honor."
Wiseman, known as 'the voice with the heart,' was inducted into the veteran era category by Jo Walker-Meador. Jim Lauderdale performed 'Goin' Like Wildfire,' Charlie Daniels sang 'Jimmy Brown the Newsboy,' and Gill delivered ''Tis Sweet to Be Remembered.'
"I started listening to him when I was a kid, and I think he's one of the greatest singers we've ever had," Lauderdale said. "I love the way he has bridged a gap with bluegrass and country music."
Daniels chimed in on the accolades, adding, "He has been a musical idol of mine since I learned my first three chords on the guitar. Tonight, Mac Wiseman, you the man."
Congratulations to the new inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame!