Several weeks ago the Examiner web-site conducted an interview with Ray Stevens that I posted about on this blog page. It was an interview that touched upon the many areas of the music business that Ray has had a hand in. I've spoken about my thoughts when it comes to Ray's lack of membership in the Country Music Hall of Fame...and that subject is a topic of discussion in this latest Examiner article. It's more of an interview than an actual article but I often use words interchangeably based upon my particular mood. The interview is fan-driven and pro-Ray Stevens...those are a couple of hints as to who's being interviewed. Although Ray isn't a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame he often appears at the Hall of Fame participating in benefit concerts and early in 2010 the Hall of Fame saluted Ray in their Nashville Cats series. Ray appeared during the Hall of Fame ceremonies for Ralph Emery as well as Sonny James, just to name a couple. Ray, himself, has never been elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame and it's a baffling mystery as to why. All of that is discussed in the Examiner link.
I would like to mention that no matter who's a member or who isn't a member, The Country Music Hall of Fame is still a fabulous place. I've never been there in person (I live multiple states and thousands of miles away) but you don't necessarily need to have first hand experience to know how fabulous the place is. The pictures of the place and the events that take place there speak for themselves. Sometimes the country music talk-show duo, Crook and Chase, tape episodes of their TV programs inside the Hall of Fame and we get to see exhibits and other artifacts on-camera. The pictures and everything else I've seen of the Hall of Fame is proof enough that the venue is great.
I'd like to clear up some things, though, about the Hall of Fame. I think there's a segment of country music fans out there who hold the Hall of Fame itself responsible if their favorite singer doesn't "get in". Like other Halls of Fame it all depends on votes. The Baseball Hall of Fame, for example, is decided by the sports writers...if a player doesn't get in then it isn't the fault of the Hall of Fame...it's the fault of the voters.
Those who vote for the Country Music Hall of Fame...they are the ones to blame if an artist doesn't get in...the actual Hall of Fame shouldn't be held accountable. The venue honors those who've been elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Now, speaking of the Hall of Fame, Ray will make an appearance there next month. In August he'll appear on a panel discussing Chet Atkins. The panel, as of now, will consist of 13 people and it's to take place on August 13. I have no idea if this panel is open to the public or if it's an invitation-only event. I assume it's open to the public. Quite a few things that go on in Nashville (particularly benefit shows and publisher gala's) are typically closed to the public and a lot of time the event is reported on days later and in some cases not even mentioned to the general public at all.
Anyway...all of this is part of a Chet Atkins exhibit at the Hall of Fame which opens on August 12. Throughout the month there will be events focusing on the life and career of Chet including the discussion panel on August 13. The Hall of Fame web-site gives a much more descriptive explanation. The event-by-event breakdown is located here.