Tanya Tucker, Patty Loveless + Bob McDill to Join the Country Music Hall of Fame
Tanya Tucker, Patty Loveless and songwriter Bob McDill are the newest inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Tucker joins the Hall of Fame in the Veteran Era Artist Category, while Loveless joins in the Modern Era Artist Category and McDill is in the Non-Performer Category as a songwriter. Their names were announced as part of a livestream that aired on the CMA's YouTube channel, with help from host Vince Gill.
Gill began his remarks by touching on the recent Nashville school shooting which took place on March 27, just days before the Hall of Fame announced its class of inductees for 2023. Six people, including three children, died in the tragedy.
"It's a sweet morning to be here. We've had probably one of the worst weeks we've ever had in the history of this city," Gill said as he stepped up to the podium. "It's nice to be here on this occasion that's gonna celebrate some people and their lives' entirety of work...it's special in a way you can't even describe."
As he went on to name the Hall of Fame inductees, Gill emphasized his personal connection to the incoming class.
"If I've got a little sister, you're it," the singer said as he honored Loveless, who first met Gill as a fan in his meet-and-greet. They went on to record several duets together.
When she took the stage, Loveless also nodded to her long working relationship with Gill.
"What a dream come true that was for me, and another dream come true is this today," she said. "I'm trying to hold back tears, because there are some wonderful people that have made it possible for me to be here today, and one of them is my wonderful brother Roger."
Loveless' brother Roger Ramey, who played a key role in the early stage of her musical career, died in June 2022.
"But I know he's probably got the best seat in the house," Loveless said, going on to remember her early memories of the Country Music Hall of Fame as a child.
"I remember walking through the hall, and now I see so many other bronze hanging on the wall," she recounted from the stage. "And as I walked again, I got very emotional thinking I'm gonna be alongside of them. I am so honored, and it is such a privilege to be a part of this family. It's been a long road from the age of 14, but thank God I'm here and thank you all so much."
As he introduced the Modern Era Artist inductee, Gill shared an anecdote with the crowd about the recording session that produced Tucker's first Top 10 country radio hit, "Delta Dawn," when she was a young teenager.
"Even at 13, she had a good bit of grit to her. She walked in and said, 'I know my part, boys, do you know yours?'" Gill recounted. "...I'm crazy about her."
During her time at the podium, Tucker thanked all the people who helped her build her career as one of country music's youngest successful performers. She mentioned her dad, who first brought her to Nashville — and even once, in frustration, told her she'd never make it to the Country Music Hall of Fame.
"He was trying to tell me I had to work a little harder," Tucker remembered.
Also at the top of her list of her thank-you list was Billy Sherrill, the singer's first producer.
"He was a little left of center, and thank god he was, because I don't think anyone else would have listened to me at 13," Tucker recalled. When she was in the studio recording "Delta Dawn," he wouldn't even let her wear headphones, explaining that he wanted to "keep [her] honest."
"I think about that today, and when I hear that song, I think, 'How did I do that?'" she continued. "It's like it was another person. It was a time when it was almost like everything was already written for me. It was a special time."
Since the outset of his career in the mid-1960s, McDill has penned some of country music's most legendary songs, including Keith Whitley's "Don't Close Your Eyes," Alan Jackson's "Gone Country" and Mel McDaniel's "Louisiana Saturday Night" and "Baby's Got Her Blue Jeans On."
"I am so honored to join a handful of legendary songwriters who are in this Hall of Fame," McDill said during his time at the podium. "Thank you all, the CMA Hall of Fame and the voters, for looking beyond the spotlight and the glitter and seeing people like songwriters, who are not famous."
All three of the 2023 Country Music Hall of Fame inductees will officially be enshrined at the institution's Medallion Ceremony, which will take place this fall.
Here's All 146 Country Music Hall of Fame Members: