How does Kentucky celebrate its diverse musical heritage?
From the Backstreet Boys to Montgomery Gentry, the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame embraces diversity. It is called the Bluegrass State for good reason, but Kentucky residents appreciate more than just banjo music. Influenced by the Nashville scene to the south, many Kentucky musicians go the country route. Past inductees to the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame include Wynonna and Naomi Judd, Dwight Yoakam, Keith Whitely, and John Michael Montgomery.
On April 10, 2015, Eddie Montgomery will join his younger brother as the popular country duo Montgomery Gentry is inducted into the Hall of Fame. Ten days later, the group’s eighth studio album will be released on Blaster Records. I still recall hearing “Hillbilly Shoes” for the first time in 1999. I was the program director for a radio station in southern Kentucky, reviewing new country singles for possible airplay. As soon as I heard Troy Gentry’s baritone voice, I knew this song would be in heavy rotation—not only on our station, but on country stations across the nation. What I could not predict was the immense popularity the duo would enjoy throughout their career as other artists of the time faded into obscurity.
The Backstreet Boys also have eight albums to their name since 1996, and have enjoyed massive success particularly among the female population. Two members of the boy band, Brian Littrell and Kevin Richardson, hail from Lexington, and will be honored as 2015 Kentucky Music Hall of Famers. Littrell and Richardson are more than just bandmates—they are first cousins. Littrell has appeared on all BSB records, as well as the NKTOBSB compilation with New Kids on the Block. Richardson left the group after the 2005 release Never Gone, but returned for 2013’s In a World Like This. The Backstreet Boys have toured extensively since 2013 to promote that release, and are scheduled to perform in Asia less than a week after the Hall of Fame induction.
The other 2015 Kentucky Music Hall of Fame inductees are country singer Doc Hopkins, country music comedian Pete Stamper (“A Chevy-Kaiser-Olds-Mo-Laca-Stud-War-Linco-Baker”), vocal R&B group The Moonglows, manager Clarence Spalding, and singer/songwriter Larry Cordle (“Murder on Music Row”).
The Kentucky Music Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place April 10, 2015, at the Lexington Center. Tickets to the historic event are still available and include a three-course meal served banquet-style, giving attendees the chance to “dine with the stars.” Reserve your table today by calling 877-356-3263 or 606-256-1000.
For more information about the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame and Museum, please visit www.kentuckymusicmuseum.com.
Posted on March 26, 2015, in music and tagged Backstreet Boys, Clarence Spalding, Doc Hopkins, Kentucky Music Hall of Fame, Larry Cordle, Lexington KY, Montgomery Gentry, Pete Stamper, The Moonglows. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.