Ronnie Milsap, the late Hank Cochran, and Mac Wiseman were introduced as 2014’s Country Music Hall of Fame inductees during an emotional ceremony the Country Music Association held this morning (April 22) at Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
The Hall will induct Milsap in the Modern Era category, Cochran in the Songwriter category and Wiseman in the Veterans Era category. They’ll be honored at an invitation-only ceremony later this year at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
2013’s inductee into the Veteran Era category, Bobby Bare, named Cochran as this year’s induction for that category. “He called himself ‘The Legend’ before he was a legend, and I’ve been his friend for 60 years,” said Bare. Cochran’s wife Susan thanked attendees. “Though I always believed he would get here, I never dreamed it would be me, not Hank, standing here. It’s hard to imagine him without a pen and paper in his hand. He loved words, he loved music, he loved songs, he loved songwriters and he loved the musicians and artists who agave life to his songs.”
Cochran died in 2010. He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Association International Hall of Fame in 1974. His body of work includes “Ocean Front Property,” “Don’t You Ever Get Tired Of Hurting Me” and “The Chair.” Born in Mississippi, at age 24 Cochran hitchhiked to Hollywood, but ended up in Nashville in 1960. He co-wrote “I Fall to Pieces” with Harlan Howard, as well as “She’s Got You” and “Why Can’t He Be You.” In 1960, he penned “Make The World Go Away,” which became a hit for Ray Price.
Jo Walker-Meador introduced Mac Wiseman. “This is the height of things that have happened to me in the 70 years I have been in the music business professionally, and I hope I will prove worthy of the honor,” said Wiseman. “I can’t tell you how pleased I am to go in the same year as Hank Cochran.”
The Virginia native began his career as a disc jockey in his home state. He became an upright bass player for country singer Molly O’Day. He played guitar for The Foggy Mountain Boys, and later with Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Boys. After a performance on the Louisiana Hayride, he became a popular solo artist. He was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Honor in 1993.
Hunter Hayes introduced Ronnie Milsap. “Let the celebration begin! What a wonderful get together,” he said, praising Hayes for his musicianship. “I’ve wanted to be in the Hall of Fame for as long as I remember. I didn’t get to Nashville until I was 30. I’ve often thought if I got here earlier, things would have been different. I thank my friends who have been pulling for me for a long time.”
Milsap is one of the most successful and versatile country singers of his time. His hits include “It Was Almost Like A Song,” “Smoky Mountain Rain,” “There’s No Gettin’ Over Me,” “I Wouldn’t Have Missed It For The World,” “Stranger In My House,” and many others. He has six Grammy awards and 40 No. 1 Country songs to his credit.
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