2013 Kentucky Music Hall of Fame inductees are named

Lexington, KY (March 13, 2012) – On March 13, Robert Lawson, executive director of the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame and Museum, announced Steven Curtis Chapman, The Kentucky Headhunters, Exile, Skeeter Davis, The Hilltoppers, Old Joe Clark and Emory & Linda Martin will make up the 2013 class of Kentucky Music Hall of Fame and Museum inductees. These artists will join other Kentucky native music professionals to be honored for their contribution to music in the state of Kentucky and around the world. The induction ceremony will take place on April 12, 2013 at the Lexington Center Bluegrass Ballroom (430 West Vine Street, Lexington, KY 40507).Tickets for this prestigious induction ceremony will go on sale April 9, 2012. For more information please visit http://www.kentuckymusicmuseum.com/.

"On behalf of the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame and Museum board of directors and staff I am honored to announce the 2013 Kentucky Music Hall of Fame Induction Class,” said Lawson. “The 2013 class showcases why the state of Kentucky has produced some of the world's greatest music achievers in all genres of music, and I am truly honored to recognize them with induction into the hall of fame." Past inductees include musical legends such as Loretta Lynn, Patty Loveless, Steve Wariner, Keith Whitley, Crystal Gayle, Dwight Yoakam, Wynonna & Naomi Judd, Ricky Skaggs, Tom T. Hall, Bill Monroe and many more.

Arielle Reese, community relations director at Rockcastle Regional Hospital & Respiratory Care Center, and Joseph Claypool, associate vice president for clinical network development at University of Kentucky HealthCare represented the title sponsors. “We are honored to be a part of this very special celebration that recognizes Kentucky talent and tradition,” said Reese. “The partnership between Rockcastle Regional Hospital & Respiratory Care Center, UK HealthCare and the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame will enable very deserving careers to be recognized at the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame in 2013. Congratulations to all of the inductees and their family and friends!”

About the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame and Museum:
The Kentucky Music Hall of Fame and Museum exists both to honor native Kentucky music professionals who have made significant contributions to the music industry in Kentucky and around the world and to be an educational source for anyone desiring to increase their knowledge of Kentucky’s music.

Steven Curtis Chapman has sold over ten million records including two RIAA certified platinum albums and eight RIAA certified gold albums. Along with his five GRAMMY awards, Chapman has won an American Music Award, has recorded 46 No. 1 US radio hits and been awarded 56 Dove Awards, more than any other artist to date. Since his recording career began in 1987, Chapman has recorded seventeen projects with Sparrow Records. He has performed at the White House and has appeared on multiple national programs via CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, MSNBC, CMT, FOX News, the Hallmark Channel and E!, including Good Morning America, Larry King Live, Fox & Friends, Huckabee, CBS Sunday Morning, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and more. Chapman and his wife Mary Beth created Show HOPE in 2001 after bringing their first adopted daughter, Shaohannah, home from China. The ministry’s goal is to help families reduce the financial barrier of adoption, and has provided grants to more than 2,700 families wishing to adopt orphans from around the world.

The Kentucky Headhunters are an American country rock band. The band has released seven studio albums, two compilations, and twenty singles, of which the highest-peaking is a cover of the Don Gibson song, “Oh Lonesome Me,” which the band took to #8 in 1990. The single was recorded on the band’s debut album Pickin’ On Nashville, which produced four consecutive Top 40 country singles including "Walk Softly on this Heart of Mine," "Dumas Walker," and "Rock 'n' Roll Angel” in addition to “Oh Lonesome Me.” The album also earned the band a GRAMMY Award for “Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal,” “Best New Vocal Group” award from the Academy of Country Music (ACM), and “Album of the Year” and “Vocal Group of the Year” awards from the Country Music Association (CMA). In addition, it earned a,” double-platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for shipping two million copies in the United States.

Exile’s history is full of twists and turns and but the ‘78 hit “Kiss You All Over” from Mixed Emotions introduced Exile to a world-wide market selling five million units. However after interest in the following single and subsequent albums waned it was suggested that the band go country. It seemed crazy at first, but the band went with the new direction and was quickly snatched up by CBS’ Epic Records. Second single, “Woke Up In Love” shot to #1 in early ’83.” Nine consecutive #1 singles followed including “I Don’t Want To Be A Memory,” “Give Me One More Chance,” “She’s A Miracle,” “Crazy For Your Love,” “Hang On To Your Heart,” “I Could Get Used To You,” “It’ll Be Me,” “She’s Too Good To be True” and “I Can’t Get Close Enough.” Exile released three gold albums, two greatest hits CDs and several multi-platinum singles including 11 #1’s. The band received thirteen award nominations from the Academy of Country Music (ACM) and the Country Music Association (CMA).

Mary Frances Penickbetter known as Skeeter Davis, was an American country music singer best known for crossover pop music songs of the early 1960s. She started out as part of The Davis Sisters as a teenager in the late 1940s, eventually landing on RCA Records. In the late '50s, she became a solo star. Her best-known hit was the pop classic "The End of the World" in 1963. One of the first women to achieve major stardom in the country music field as a solo vocalist, she was an acknowledged influence on Tammy Wynette and Dolly Parton and was hailed as an "extraordinary country/pop singer" by The New York Times music critic Robert Palmer. From 1960 to 1962, Davis had top ten hits with the songs "(I Can't Help You) I'm Falling Too," "My Last Date (With You)," "Where I Ought to Be" and "Optimistic.” Davis was nominated for a GRAMMY award for "Set Him Free," becoming the first female country singer to be nominated for a GRAMMY.Davis received a total of five GRAMMY Award nominations, including four for Best Female Country Vocal Performance: 1964 "He Says the Same Things to Me," 1964; "Sunglasses," 1965; "What Does It Take," 1967; and "One Tin Soldier," 1972. Davis was also an accomplished songwriter, penning almost 70 songs and earning two BMI awards for "Set Him Free" and "My Last Date With You."

The Hilltoppers started out as a vocal trio consisting of Jimmy Sacca (born 26 July 1929 in Lockport, New York), Seymore Spiegelman (born 1 October 1930 in Seneca Falls, New York) and Don McGuire (born 7 October 1931 in Hazard, Kentucky) who were all students together at the Western Kentucky University in the town of Bowling Green. Sacca was acquainted with a pianist by the name of Billy Vaughn (born 12 April 1919 in Glasgow, Kentucky) who although considerably older than the trio of friends fitted their vocal style well and was drafted into the group as a full time member. He brought with him a song he had written called "Tryin" which the foursome recorded and sent the tape to a local radio DJ who in turn drew it to the attention of Randy Wood, the head of Dot Records in Nashville, Tennessee who duly signed the Hilltoppers to the Dot label. The single was a slow burner, breaking region by region but eventually secured a place in the top 10, peaking at #7. After "Tryin," a whole series of top 10 hits followed, "PS I Love You," "I'd Rather Die Young," "To Be Alone," "Love Walked In," "From the Vine Came the Grape" and "Till Then,” making the Hilltoppers one of the top US vocal groups of the 1950s. They reformed briefly in the mid-1970s and remade their biggest hits for ABC Paramount, continuing to perform until 1975.

In the mid-‘30s, country music was just a baby. Jimmy Rodgers was singing “T” for Texas,” the Carter Family was picking “Wildwood Flower,” and Manuel D. Clark was a teenager. He gave the home folks in and around Johnson City, Tennessee the first glimpse of the talent he was about to unleash to the world. As a tap dancing, guitar-strumming, mountain balladeer, Manuel “Speedy” Clark joined the ranks of a local band that was playing the schoolhouses and theaters throughout East Tennessee. After twelve years of learning his craft as an all-around entertainer he made his way to the Renfro Valley Barn Dance where Mr. John Lair, Renfro Valley’s founder, recognized this young man’s potential as a full-time comic and helped him develop an old man character he called “Uncle Joe Clark.” Soon, he adopted the label of “Old Joe Clark,” after a popular fiddle song of the day. Old Joe’s fame grew over the radio, television, and movies. The character appeared in such classics as Country Music on Broadway Second Fiddle, a Steel Guitar, Marshall of Sleepy Hollow and even played the Grand Ole Opry with illustrious performers of the day such as Bill Monroe. Old Joe Clark had over-shadowed the character in the famous song. He shared some of the same attributes, however: an irresistibly, ornery attitude, hilarious country humor, and a fantastic lick on the five-string banjo.

Billed as "The World's Only One-Armed Banjo Player," Emory Martin transcended novelty status to emerge as one of Nashville's most unique and inspirational musicians, backing country superstars including Kitty Wells and Uncle Dave Macon in addition to regularly appearing on radio's fabled Grand Ole Opry. In late 1943, he married fellow performer Wanda "Linda Lou" Arnold and settled in Rockcastle County, KY, operating an automotive service station and becoming a longtime fixture of WWLW's famed Saturday night broadcast Renfro Valley Barn Dance. Martin also recorded as a member of the gospel group the Holden Brothers, and in March of 1950 was summoned to Nashville to back Wells and Johnnie & Jack on respective RCA recording sessions. He nevertheless recorded infrequently and curtailed his musical pursuits in the years to follow, working for a carpeting installation company. In 1991 Martin and his wife published a memoir, “One-Armed Banjo Player: The Early Years of Country Music with Emory Martin”. He died April 17, 2006, at the age of 89.


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