The Country Music Hall of Fame pulled out all of the stops during its induction ceremony for the Class of 2020 on November 21. Dean Dillon (songwriter), Marty Stuart (modern era) and Hank Williams Jr. (veteran era) officially joined the Hall during a star-studded medallion ceremony that included performances by Alan Jackson, Eric Church, George Strait, Kenny Chesney, and more.
Dean Dillon was honored with performances by Kenny Chesney (“A Lot of Things Different”), Brittney Spencer (“Tennessee Whiskey”), and George Strait (“The Chair”).
Marty Stuart’s tribute included performances by Evelyn Hubbard (“It’s Time to Go Home”), Emmylou Harris and Charlie Worsham (‘Tempted”), and Ashley McBryde (“The Observations of a Crow”).
Shooter Jennings (“Feelin’ Better”), Eric Church (“A Country Boy Can Survive”), and Alan Jackson (“The Blues Man”) celebrated Hank Williams Jr.
Dean Dillon, Marty Stuart and Hank Williams Jr. became the 140th, 141st, and 142nd members of the Country Music Hall of Fame. The Class of 2020’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony was postponed last year due to the pandemic.
Alan Jackson Gets the ‘Blues’
Hank Williams Jr. penned and recorded “The Blues Man” on his 1980 album, Habits Old and New. While the tune was never officially released as a single, it certainly caught the ear of Alan Jackson.
Alan recorded “The Blues Man” on his 1999 cover album, Under the Influence. The album also featured covers of Johnny Paycheck, Merle Haggard, Jimmy Buffett, and more.
After Alan scored a Top 10 hit with “Pop a Top” in 2000, he released “The Blues Man.” The single peaked at No. 37 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.
Watch Alan’s HOF performance below.
Jr. Finally Joins the Club
The induction ceremony was a long time coming for Hank Jr.
Many pundits believe Hank’s outspoken political views kept him out of the Hall of Fame for a number of years. The two-time CMA Entertainer or the Year referenced that notion during his acceptance speech.
“Well, the good news is this didn’t happen yesterday,” said Hank. “Which was the opening day of deer season… A lot of people to thank. And I know who they are. They know who they are. That part about the family with the open arms, well, that might have been a little bit different in my case. But I went to Muscle Shoals, Alabama, and all my rowdy friends are coming over tonight. I was born to boogie. And this is a family tradition.”
The ceremony concluded with a performance of “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” by Connie Smith.
The Class of 2021—Eddie Bayers, Ray Charles, Pete Drake and the Judds—will be inducted next year.