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CMA Fest Close Up Stage to Host Legends Interviewed by Taste of Country’s Kevin Richards

Oak Ridge Boys Charley Pride Lee Greenwood
Jerry Markland / Chip Somodevilla / Mark Wilson, Getty Images

Legends like Charley Pride, Crystal Gayle, Lee Greenwood, the Oak Ridge Boys and Bryan White will answer questions for fans at the CMA Music Festival this week. Taste of Country writer Kevin Richards will host three separate panels at the CMA Close Up Stage at Nashville’s Music City Center on June 6-8.

Sixteen artists will be featured in total, including Mel Tillis, Ricky Skaggs and John Berry. Richards is the resident classic country expert at Taste of Country, having written dozens of popular Top 10 lists, including collections of the Top 10 Johnny Cash and Top 10 Kenny Rogers songs.

The ’70s Heritage Panel will take place on June 6 at 3PM at the Music City Center, right next door to the Country Music Hall of Fame. The ’80s Heritage Panel will be at 3PM on June 7, and the ’90s Heritage Panel will be at 3:30PM on June 8.

Greenwood said he’s looking forward to sharing stories with some of his friends. “I toured with them all & it will be fun to share thoughts & stories about that era,” he tells Richards.

“This panel should be a lot of fun,” says Joe Bonsall of the Oak Ridge Boys. “A lot of incredible success was had by the Oaks, Larry, Ricky and Lee in the ’80s. Heck, we were the first boyband and hair band in country.”

Kevin Richards is the afternoon host at WGNA-FM in Albany, N.Y. He’s been nominated for several CMA Awards, winning the medium market CMA Personality of the Year in 2006. In addition to his weekday job, he hosts a classic country show from 6 to 9AM ET on Sunday mornings.

The ‘70’s Heritage Panel: featuring Lynn Anderson, Crystal Gayle, Charley Pride, Jeanne Pruett and Mel Tillis. June 6 (3-4PM)

The ‘80s Heritage Panel: featuring Larry Gatlin, Lee Greenwood, Ricky Skaggs and the Oak Ridge Boys’ Duane Allen, Joe Bonsall, William Lee Golden and Richard Sterban. June 7 (3-4PM).

The ‘90s Heritage Panel: featuring Ty Herndon, Collin Raye, John Berry and Bryan White. June 8 (3:30-4:30PM).

Next: the 10 Best Country Songs of the '80s

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