Country music stars Charlie McCoy, left, Roy Clark, center, and Barbara Mandrell meet during a reception before being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tenn. on Sunday. (Associated Press photo)
Tulsa resident Roy Clark, along with singer Barbara Mandrell and musician Charlie McCoy, were inducted Sunday into the Country Music Hall of Fame. The Medallion Ceremony in Nashville, Tenn., was at times emotional as stars paid tribute to the inductees, according to the Associated Press.
The three country icons were honored in a tribute that included performances by Oklahoma natives Garth Brooks and Reba McEntire, George Jones, Alison Krauss, Josh Turner, Michael McDonald, Rodney Crowell and others. With the inductions, the hall boasts 108 members.
Country music star Roy Clark performs after being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tenn. on Sunday. (AP photo)
To honor Clark, guitarist Duane Eddy performed the instrumental “Ghost Riders in the Sky,” one of Clark’s signature tunes. Josh Turner sang “Thank God and Greyhound.” And Garth Brooks praised his fellow Oklahoman, saying Clark inspired him to chase his dream. Brooks described Clark as “a man who never stopped being a man from where he was from,” according to the AP.
Clark, 76, learned to play play the guitar, banjo and mandolin at a young age. He started on the path to fame on Jimmy Dean’s TV show “Town and Country Time” and took over the show when Dean left. He moved to Las Vegas in 1960 and became a regular at the Golden Nugget. Later, he toured and recorded with Oklahoma native Wanda Jackson and was a regular at the Frontier Hotel in Vegas.
In the ’60s he had top 10 hits with “Tips of My Fingers” and “Yesterday When I Was Young.” He also broke into TV, appearing on “The Tonight Show,” “The Jackie Gleason Show” and the “Beverly Hillbillies.”
In 1969, Clark and Buck Owens were picked by CBS to co-host “Hee Haw,” a country version of the series “Laugh-In.” He and Owens, who died in 2006, hosted “Hee Haw” for more than 20 years.
“We love you Roy Clark. We love you,” Grand Ole Opry star Little Jimmy Dickens told Clark as he formally inducted him into the hall. “Everytime you hit the stage you update country music 10 years, and that’s what it’s all about.”
The AP reports that Clark got emotional and said it was humbling to be mentioned alongside many of his musical heroes.
“Just to be associated yourself with the members of the Country Music Hall of Fame and imagine that your name will be said right along with all the list … ,” he said.
Clark entertained the audience with a couple of humorous stories and a song, “Yesterday When I Was Young.”
Country music star Barbara Mandrell speaks after being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tenn., on Sunday. (AP photo)
Mandrell, 60, gave special thanks to her late father and longtime manager, Irby Mandrell, who died in March at age 84.
“Irby Mandrell was my manager as well as being my Daddy over my 38-year career. He taught me and guided me and directed me. It is his name, Mandrell, that I am blessed to have, and it’s the gracious loving public and the fans that made that name known and made it become popular,” she said in what the AP called an emotional speech. “So tonight I thank you with my entire being for putting my and my Daddy’s name into the Hall of Fame.”
According to the AP, Mandrell began her professional career in California when she was 11. She made her national TV debut on ABC with Red Foley’s “Five Star Jubilee.” Her first concert tour was with Johnny and June Carter Cash, Patsy Cline and George Jones.
She charted her first single in 1969, a remake of Otis Redding’s “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long,” and went on to have a long run of country hits including “Midnight Oil,” “Married But Not to Each Other,” “Sleeping Single in a Double Bed” and “I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool.”
At the height of her career, she acted in TV shows like the “The Rockford Files” and in 1980 teamed with her siblings to host “Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters” on NBC, which drew 40 million viewers a week and broadened her exposure beyond country music.
“I adore you with all my heart. You are my other big sister,” Reba McEntire told Mandrell. “I thank you for the things you taught me, not only musically but spiritually.
“And before I start balling like a baby, I’ll start singing,” McEntire said as she began “I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool” with Jones.
Bluegrass queen Alison Krauss sang “The Midnight Oil,” while Michael McDonald gave a bluesy take on “(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don’t Want to Be Right,” originally a soul song that Mandrell made into a No. 1 country hit. Her sister Louise sang “Sleeping Single in a Double Bed.”
Musician Charlie McCoy arrives to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tenn., on Sunday. (AP photo)
For McCoy, Rodney Crowell led a harmonica-heavy rendition of Roy Orbison’s “Candy Man.” McCoy, 68, is a multi-instrumentalist best known for his harmonica work, according to the AP.
McCoy’s first session was “Candy Man” in 1961. Since then, he’s recorded with Oklahoman Leon Russell, Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson, Gordon Lightfoot, Paul Simon, Ringo Starr, Tanya Tucker and many more.
McCoy, who continues to record and perform, said when he first arrived in town he wanted to be a singer and didn’t know what a “session” was. But he learned fast watching a teenage Brenda Lee record “Sweet Nothin’s” with Nashville’s top studio musicians, known as the “A Team.”
“When I watched those Nashville A Team musicians work I said ‘To heck with singing, I want to do this,’” McCoy recalled.
Check after the break to see more photos of the Medallion Ceremony.
Country music star Barbara Mandrell signs autographs for fans as she arrives to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tenn., on Sunday. (AP photos)
Country music star Roy Clark, left, is presented his medallion by fellow country performer Little Jimmy Dickens as Clark is inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tenn., on Sunday.
Country music star Roy Clark speaks after being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tenn., on Sunday.
Members of the Country Music Hall of Fame sing a closing song at the end of the induction ceremony for Barbara Mandrell, Roy Clark and Charlie McCoy in Nashville, Tenn., on Sunday. From left are Barbara Mandrell, Ralph Emery, Emmylou Harris, George Jones, and Roy Clark.