60 Years Ago: Hank Williams Among First Inductees Into Country Music Hall of Fame
Sixty years ago today, on Nov. 3, 1961, Hank Williams, publisher Fred Rose and Jimmie Rodgers were among the first inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Each of the honorees was inducted posthumously.
Williams, who passed away in 1953, is credited with exponentially increasing the popularity of country music. By the time of his death, the artist had released more than 30 singles, with his final single, "I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive," reaching No. 1 after his death.
Rose is credited with helping the careers of Williams and several others; among his many credits as a songwriter are Eddy Arnold's "It's a Sin;" "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain," recorded by Roy Acuff, Willie Nelson and Williams; and several of Williams' hits, including "Blue Love (in My Heart)," "Crazy Heart," "Take These Chains From My Heart" and "I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive." Rose passed away one year after Williams.
Rodgers, meanwhile, was known professionally as the Singing Brakeman and America’s Blue Yodeler, and is also considered the Father of Country Music. His popularity soared in the 1920s and into the early '30s thanks to his signature sound, which combined yodeling, jazz, blues and the working chants of railroad crews (he also once worked on the railroad). Unfortunately for Rodgers, as his success was increasing, so were the effects of tuberculosis; he passed away in 1933, when he was 35 years old.
All three of the initial inductees are also inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
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