Last night, the Country Music Hall of Fame inducted its Class of 2020. Dean Dillon, Marty Stuart, and Hank Williams Jr. all received country music’s highest honor and became the 140th, 141st, and 142nd members of the CMHOF.
Each of these men has earned their place in the Country Music Hall of Fame with years of dedication to the genre. Their contemporaries came out to celebrate them and their careers as they received their hard-won recognition. The night was full of speeches, tributes, songs, and more. Then, a hand-selected Hall of Famer hung the hallowed medallion on each of their necks. In short, it was a great night for country music.
Many country music fans may not know Dean Dillon by name. However, they probably know his work by heart. Dillon’s masterful songwriting won him his place in the Country Music Hall of Fame. He co-penned a stack of songs for George Strait. However, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. He wrote “Tennessee Whiskey” which David Allen Coe and George Jones cut long before it was Chris Stapleton’s signature tune. He also wrote Kenny Chesney’s “A Lot of Things Different,” Keith Whitley’s “Miami, My Amy,” and George Strait’s “Nobody in His Right Mind Would’ve Left Her,” as well as countless others.
During his Country Music Hall of Fame induction, several artists paid tribute to Dillon with his songs. Kenny Chesney performed “A Lot of Things Different,” Brittany Spencer played “Tennessee Whiskey,” and George Strait sang “The Chair.” Additionally, and fittingly, George Strait presented Dillon with the medallion.
Marty Stuart is so much more than a country music artist. Sure, he’s a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who excels in each role. However, he is also an archivist and music historian. He teamed up with Ken Burns for the epic country music documentary as well as the recent Honor Your Hometown Project. Additionally, Stuart plans to keep the history of the genre alive with Marty Stuart’s Congress of Country Music, a massive collection of country music artifacts housed in Mississippi. In short, his induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame has been a long time coming.
Pastor Evelyn Hubbard performed “It’s Time to Go Home,” Ashley McBryde sang “Observations of a Crow,” and Connie Smith, Stuart’s wife and now-fellow Country Music Hall of Fame member presented him with the medallion.
The Country Music Hall of Fame is a Family Tradition for Hank Jr.
Hank Williams Jr. followed in his father’s footsteps when he entered the country music world. However, it was when he started following his own path that he truly made a name for himself. Today, fans hail Bocephus as one of the original Outlaw Country artists. Over the years, he has released 56 studio albums, 25 compilation albums, as well as over 100 singles. 10 of those topped the Billboard Country Singles chart. Additionally, his influence reverberates through the genre today. Last night, he followed in his father’s footsteps again by entering the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Shooter Jennings performed “Feelin’ Better,” Eric Church performed “A Country Boy Can Survive,” and Alan Jackson sang “The Blues Man,” to honor Bocephus. Country music Hall of Fame member Brenda Lee presented him with the medallion.