Clarence Spalding, Montgomery Gentry Among Kentucky Music Hall of Fame Inductees

2015 Kentucky Music Hall of Fame Inductees. Photos: J and K Kreations

Pictured (L-R): Larry Cordle, Clarence Spalding, Brian Littrell, Kevin Richardson, Eddie Montgomery, Troy Gentry, and Pete Stamper. Photos: J and K Kreations

Maverick artist manager Clarence Spalding joined fellow Kentucky natives Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry of country music duo Montgomery Gentry, country-bluegrass singer/songwriter Larry Cordle, cousins Brian Littrell and Kevin Richardson of the Backstreet Boys, and songwriter/author/broadcaster Pete Stamper into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame on Friday (April 10). Folk music legend Doc Hopkins and R&B group The Moonglows were also inducted posthumously.

The eight inductees officially joined the 47 previously-inducted members of the Hall, recognizing contributions to music in the bluegrass state and around the globe.

During the 2015 event at Lexington, Ky.’s Lexington Center, Bluegrass Ballroom, an emotional tribute was made for the late Doc Hopkins by his nephew, Kenneth Hopkins, 94, who sang “Will The Circle Be Unbroken.” There were also Bluegrass-infused renditions of “I Want It That Way,” and “Larger Than Life” from Richardson and Littrell, and a performance from Montgomery Gentry.

“When people hear the Backstreet Boys, most people probably don’t equate us with Kentucky, but two-thirds of the Backstreet Boys are strongly, deeply rooted in Kentucky,” said Richardson.

The “Bluegrass State” is rich in its musical heritage across all genres including pop, rock, country, gospel, folk, jazz and more. Since 2002, its hall has recognized Loretta Lynn, Ricky Skaggs, Sam Bush, The Judds, Dwight Yoakam, Crystal Gayle, Molly O’ Day, Exile, The Kentucky Headhunters and Steven Curtis Chapman, among others.

About the 2015 inductees:

Kevin and Brian of the Backstreet Boys. Photo: J and K Kreations

Kevin and Brian of the Backstreet Boys. Photo: J and K Kreations

The Backstreet Boys has sold 130 million records worldwide and is recognized as the best-selling boy band in history.

Clarence Spalding is President of Maverick Nashville where he manages Jason Aldean, Rascal Flatts, Kix Brooks, Terri Clark and Seth Alley. He managed the award winning duo Brooks & Dunn for 20 years. He has also been involved in the careers of Eddie Rabbitt, Ronnie Milsap, K.T. Oslin, Roger Miller, among others. All combined Spalding’s acts have sold over 70 million records and won over 130 major industry awards. He served as Chairman and President of the Country Music Association (CMA) and currently serves as a member of the Nashville Music Council with Mayor Karl Dean and the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Doc Hopkins is one of the founders of the folk group Cumberland Ridge Runners. He played and performed over seven decades. The Rockcastle County, Ky., native started performing in medicine shows and featured for two decades featuring his combination of spoken word with three-finger-and-thumb guitar style on nationally broadcast radio programs.

Larry Cordle‘s original songs have been recorded by artists such as George Strait, Alan Jackson, Reba McEntire, Trace Adkins, Ricky Skaggs, Alison Krauss and Garth Brooks, among others. Cordle also performs with his own band, Lonesome Standard Time, who have garnered two Grammy nominations of their own and landed No. 1 slots on the Bluegrass and Americana charts. Cordle is also serves as a background vocalist for Nashville sessions.

Montgomery Gentry. Photo: J and K Kreations

Montgomery Gentry. Photo: J and K Kreations

Montgomery Gentry has charted over 20 singles. The Blaster Records duo will soon celebrate their sixth anniversary as Grand Ole Opry members, and on June 9 they will celebrate the release of a new album.

Pete Stamper is a comedian, songwriter, musician, author, broadcaster. His talents were well recognized within the country music; in the mid-1950s as part of the ABC weekly TV broadcast, Red Foley Ozark Jubilee Show. He made numerous appearances on The Porter Wagoner Show and also from the stage of the Grand Ole Opry. An accomplished songwriter, he has written songs for stars including Red and Betty Foley, Porter Wagoner, Billy Anderson, among others. Today, Pete continues to host a morning show on WRVK in Renfro Valley. In 2008, the Kentucky Broadcaster’s Association honored Stamper with the Stephen Foster Award.

The Moonglows, an R&B vocal group formed in the early 1950s is known for two original Christmas standards: “Hey Santa Claus,” and ”Just a Lonely Christmas,” among Billboard Top 10 hits “We Go Together,” “See Saw,” “Please Send Me Someone to Love” and “Ten Commandments.” The Moonglows were inducted into The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in March of 2000. Henry Fuqua, the last remaining member, passed away in July of 2010.

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Eric T. Parker oversees operations and contributes editorial for MusicRow's print magazine, MusicRow.com, the RowFax tip sheet and the MusicRow CountryBreakout chart. He also facilitates annual events for the enterprise, including MusicRow Awards, CountryBreakout Awards and the Rising Women on the Row. eparker@musicrow.com | @EricTParker

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