The Juds, Ray Charles was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame
Ray Charles and The Juds attended a ceremony filled with tears, music and laughter at the Country Music Hall of Fame on Sunday, a day after Naomi Judd died unexpectedly.
The loss of Naomi Judd changed the commonly celebrated ceremony, but the music continued, as singers and musicians of this genre mourned the country’s veterans and also celebrated the four inductees: The Judges, Ray Charles, Eddie Byers and Pete Drake. His hit songs were performed by Garth Brooks, Trisha Earwood, Vince Gill and many more.
Naomi and Wayonna Judd were one of the most popular couple of the 1980s, hitting 14 No. 1 hits in their nearly three-decade career. The family said in a statement to the Associated Press on the eve of her inclusion that Naomi Judd died at the age of 76 from a “mental illness.”
The girls, Waynona and Ashley Judd, embraced each other and recited a verse from the Bible.
“I’m sorry she didn’t survive to this day,” Ashley cried in the crowd about her mother. Wynonna Judd talked about the family gathering as they said goodbye and she and Ashley Judd read Psalm 23.
“Even if my heart is broken, I will continue to sing,” said Wayono Judd.
Fans gathered outside the museum, a bunch of white flowers outside the entrance, and a small framed photo of Naomi Jude below. A single rose was placed on the ground.
Charles’s induction featured country releases opposing his style, which demonstrated the commercial appeal of country music. The Georgia-born singer and pianist grew up listening to Grand Ole Opry and released “Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music” in 1962, which became one of the best-selling country releases of his time.
Blind and orphaned at an early age, Charles is famous for R&B, Gospel and Seoul, but his decision to record country music changed the way the world thought about this genre, expanding the audience in the age of civil rights.
Charles’ version of “I Can’t Stop Loving You” spent five weeks at the top of the Billboard 100 charts and remained one of his most popular songs. He died in 2004.
Brooks sang “Seven Spanish Angels”, one of Charles’ hit songs, with Willie Nelson, while Betty Lavett performed “I Can’t Stop Loving You.”
Country Music Hall of Famer Ronnie Millsap said he met Charles when he was a young singer, and others tried to imitate him, but no one could count.
“There was one and only one of them,” Millsap said. “He should sing like he sang country music.”
Charles is only the third black artist to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, along with Opry Pioneers Deford Bailey and Charlie Pride.
“Mr. Charles has always supported him in what he loves,” said Valerie Erwin, president of the Ray Charles Foundation. “And he really loved country music.”
The Hall of Fame also included two recording composers who were fundamental to many country songs and singers: Eddie Byers and Pete Drake.
Buyers, working on 300 Platinum records, have been members of the Grand Ole Opry band for decades, drummers in Nashville. He regularly played on record for The Juds, Ricky Scags, George Strait, Alan Jackson and Kenny Chesney. He is the first drummer to join the organization.
Drake, who died in 1988, was a member of Nashville’s A-Team of Pedal Steel guitarist and skilled session composers, playing hit songs such as Tammy Wynet’s “Stand By Your Man” and George Jones’ “He Stopped Loving Her Today”. . He is the first pedal steel guitarist to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Drake is known for creating talk boxes, a technology that allowed him to make sounds with his pedal steel guitar. It was later adopted by Peter Frampton and many other artists.
His wife, Rose, said musicians like her husband deserve a place in the history of music.
“Musicians from the 60’s and 70’s. And the 80’s made Nashville a music city, and we can’t let that go,” said Rose Drake.