It is strange how people’s life circumstances can change so significantly. A perfect example of this is Alan Jackson. When he first moved to Nashville, he was so broke that he couldn’t even afford the admission fee to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Fast forward more than three decades and his situation could not be any more different. He has finally been inducted into the Hall of Fame and received his medallion which is given to all new inductees.
Alan Jackson has recorded 16 studio albums and had 10 Top 10 hits. He is well-known for combining mainstream country sounds with honky-tonk music. He has already been inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 2001, so his induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville is an additional honor.
Speaking of this new honor, he has said it is like a dream. Jackson was not alone in being inducted. Other new inductees included Don Schlitz and the late Jerry Reed. This makes this year’s list of inductees exciting for die-hard fans of country music. He was formally inducted by legendary singer Loretta Lynn who is currently recovering from a stroke.
Don Schlitz is a famous country music songwriter who has won two Grammy’s for his work. He has also won four ASCAP Country Songwriter of the Year Awards. He is best-known for writing ‘The Gambler’, which was Kenny Rogers’ signature song. Other songs he wrote include ‘One Promise Too Late’, Forever and Ever Amen’, and ‘When You Say Nothing At All’.
Schlitz has already been a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame since 1993. So, making it to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is a double achievement. He was formally inducted by Bobby Bare, one of his close friends. At the Medallion Ceremony, he described the experience as being overwhelming.
When he took to the podium, he described the feeling of being part of something much bigger than him. TO demonstrate this, he asked everyone in the room who had ever been linked to any of his work to stand. He then asked his grandchildren to look around the room as there were more than 800 people standing.
In honor of his work, Mary Chaplin took to the stage to perform a rendition of his song ‘When You Say Nothing At All’. The choice of the performer was significant as Chaplin co-wrote three songs with Schlitz’ ‘I Feel Lucky’, I Take My Chances’, and ‘He Thinks He Keeps Her’. This was not the only performance of his work. ‘The Gambler’ was sung by Aloe Blacc and Vince Gill. One of Schlit’s lesser-known pieces, ‘Oscar, The Angel’, was also played by Jelly Roll Johnson, Fred Knobloch, Tom Schuyler, and Charlie Worsham.
Jerry Reed was inducted posthumously as he died in 2008 at the age of 71. Reed had a prolific career in the country music industry as a singer, songwriter, and guitarist. He was also an actor who appeared in over a dozen films. He is best-known for his classics, such as ‘Amos Moses’ and ‘East Bound and Down’.
On his behalf, Reed’s daughters, Lottie Zavala and Seidina Hubbard, attended the ceremony. It was a memorable occasion for them and spoke fondly of their father’s great love of music. Jerry Reed was formally inducted by Bobby Bare.
At the end of the Medallion ceremony, it is traditional to have a performance of the country music anthem, ‘Will the Circle Be Unbroken’. This year the song was proudly performed by Alan Jackson, Loretta Lynn, George Strait, and Connie Smith.