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Photoset: 2013 Kentucky Music Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony (April 12, 2013 @ Lexington Center, Lexington, KY)

Hall of Fame class of 2013

Kentucky’s rich musical history was on full display Friday night in Lexington at the 2013 Kentucky Music Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, held in the Bluegrass Ballroom in the Lexington Center. Inducted were The Kentucky Headhunters, Exile, Linda Lou Martin and her late husband Emory Martin, Steven Curtis Chapman, The Hilltoppers, the late Skeeter Davis, and the late Old Joe Clark.

Chad Warrix and David Tolliver of Halfway to Hazard and their manager Josh J. Bliedt received the Danny R. Ford Distinguished Service Award for their work with Kentucky charities. Jackie DeShannon was honored with the Governor’s Award for Lifetime Achievement, presented to her by Miss Kentucky 2012, Jessica Casebolt. Halfway to Hazard provided pre- and post-show entertainment, and Keith Anderson joined them on stage during the post-show concert. Also in attendance were 2011 inductee Steve Wariner, 2006 inductee Sam Bush, and 2004 inductee Jerry Chestnut. Steven Curtis Chapman was unable to attend due to prior commitments.

Halfway to Hazard opened the ceremony with a stirring rendition of “My Old Kentucky Home.” Others who performed throughout the night included Jackie DeShannon, Donna Frost in tribute to the late Skeeter Davis, Emory and Linda Lou Martin’s granddaughter Alexandra with Old Joe Clark’s son Terry, The Western RedShirts in tribute to The Hilltoppers, Exile, and Kentucky Headhunters.

The honorees were visibly moved by induction, and even the surviving family members of those who have passed on displayed a deep appreciation for the recognition. Several fought back tears as they thanked both their fans and the board members of the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame. Terry Clark appeared on stage with Wayne Clark, the late Old Joe Clark’s brother; Skeeter Davis’ nephew accepted the honor on behalf of his late aunt; Roy Martin accompanied his mother Linda Lou to the stage and paid tribute to the late Emory Clark, also known as “The World’s Only One-Armed Banjo Player.”

Don McGuire of The Hilltoppers, a 1950s vocal pop group, provided plenty of laughs. “If you remember us, you’re deep into Medicare and far past menopause.” I had the pleasure of speaking to him before the ceremony and told him I was also a Western Kentucky University graduate. When I told him how many years it had been since I climbed the hills in Bowling Green, he laughed. “I have underwear older than that!”

Kentucky Headhunters showed their appreciation to their home state, saying, “We love Kentucky so much, we put it in our name.” Exile paid tribute to the late Jimmy Stokley and all other former members, two of whom were in attendance. The Kentucky Music Hall of Fame did a great job of putting together this sold-out ceremony, and all the performers showed the proper reverence for such an event.

Next time you find yourself in the Bluegrass State, be sure to visit the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame.

Purchase music from the 2013 inductees:

Want to see some photographs? They’re all after the jump: Read the rest of this entry

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