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Congratulations, at long last, thanks for Country Hall of Fame

Country Standard Time Editorial, July 1998

At long last, the Country Music Hall of Fame is inducting a few people this fall who you thought must have been elected a long time ago, Elvis and Tammy Wynette.

The two, along with George ³Candy Kisses² Morgan and Bud Wendell of the Gaylord Entertainment group, will enter the hallowed hall Sept. 23.

While all four are deserving, it is a most welcome news about The King and the former Queen of Country.

Elvis, of course, spanned different musical styles and often is credited with putting rock and roll on the map. But he had a strong presence in the country market, particularly at the beginning of his career and in the Seventies, although by then he went away from his country roots. He first hit the country charts in 1955 with ³Baby Letıs Play House." The next year he was at the top for 17 weeks with ³Heartbreak Hotel.² He also merged rockabilly into his country sound. He influenced a score of artists including Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Dwight Yoakam.

Tammy Wynette had a long career in country, rising from her hair stylist roots to become one of countryıs leading ladies. There was far more to Wynette than ³Stand By Your Man,² her signature song.

Overall, Wynette had 20 Number One hits. Of course, the changing country scene left her off the charts for the past decade, a real shame. If you liked happy songs, Wynette, who often sang of domestic discord, wasnıt your bag. Some were done with former husband George Jones in duets, a style rarely present in country nowadays. Wynette did not enjoy the easiest life both with a string of marital and health problems, the latter of which took her life earlier this year.

But Presley and Wynette finally are getting their just due in death. Itıs about time.