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Brooks, Smith, Robbins to join country hall

Tuesday, March 6, 2012 – Garth Brooks, Connie Smith and Hargus "Pig" Robbins are going into the Country Music Hall of Fame, it was announced today.

Brooks will be inducted in the "Modern Era Artist" category, while Smith will be inducted in the "Veterans Era Artist" category. Robbins will be inducted in the "Recording and/or Touring Musician Active Prior to 1980" category, which is awarded every third year in a rotation with the "Non-Performer" and "Songwriter" categories.

Brooks, Robbins and Smith will increase membership in the Country Music Hall of Fame to 118.

"There are great artists and talents, and then there are Connie, 'Pig,' and Garth," said Steve Moore, CMA Chief Executive Officer. "Connie has been one of the most celebrated female voices in music for more than 45 years, setting a golden standard for the thousands of female vocalists who came after her. 'Pig' overcame adversity to become one of the most sought-after session musicians in the industry, contributing his considerable talents to classic songs that have been treasured by fans all over the world since the late '50s. And, Garth led modern country music to unbelievable heights of commercial success and pop culture relevance after bursting onto the scene as part of the now-legendary 'Class of 1989.' These three artists are more than just performers...they are forces of nature who are deservedly entering the Country Music Hall of Fame."

"I am astounded and honored to be in the Country Music Hall of Fame," said Brooks. "At the same time, I can't help but feel guilty going in when there are so many deserving artists that came before me who are yet to be inducted."

"I just couldn't believe it the other day when Steve Moore called and informed me that I had been chosen to become one of the new members of the Country Music Hall of Fame," said Robbins. "All I could say was 'thank you, thank you, thank you!' Well, I have always considered myself lucky, and I guess my good luck has struck again. I am so honored to be named one of the new members."

"I've had the privilege of participating in several Hall of Fame inductions," said Smith. "They were all very special. But now to become a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame myself is an honor for me and my family. So touching, it's difficult to find the words to express my gratitude."

Induction ceremonies for Brooks, Robbins, and Smith will take place at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum later this year. Since 2007, the Museum's Medallion Ceremony, an annual reunion of the Hall of Fame membership, has served as the official rite of induction for new members.

"The announcement of new inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame is always a cause for celebration," said Kyle Young, Director, Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. "This year's class features three artists who revered country music's traditions but quickly forged their own paths, taking the genre to new places and, in turn, profoundly influencing the artists who have followed them. Each is a musical paradigm: Connie Smith, the epitome of a vocalist, has used her powerful voice to convey every nuance of love, loss, heartache, and faith on her canon of now-classic recordings; Hargus "Pig" Robbins, the consummate session pianist, has contributed note-perfect stylings to many of American music's greatest recordings for more than three decades; and Garth Brooks, the prototype of a modern country superstar, has taken this genre to new venues and new heights, engaging fans with his unparalleled mix of showmanship, theatricality and musical talent, all while never losing sight of country music's roots."

CMA created the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1961 to recognize noteworthy individuals for their outstanding contributions to the format with country music's highest honor.

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Gunslinger CD review - Gunslinger
If naming your release "Gunslinger," you'd better let it rip and go for a harder country sound, especially if donning a black cowboy hat on the cover. The reality does not exactly match that sentiment for Garth Brooks, but at times he comes mighty close. The high points for Brooks are the three most traditional country songs - a couple of honky tonkers ("Honky-Tonk Somewhere" and "Cowboys and Friends") and a ballad ("Whiskey to Wine"). »»»
Man Against Machine CD review - Man Against Machine
After releasing his debut album in 1989, Garth Brooks released music almost every year until he announced his retirement in 2000. Since then, he has released repackaged hit collections, new music on "Scarecrow" and "The Lost Sessions" and last year's cover song collection "Blame it All on My Roots." Over the years, there have been live recordings, concert and music video collections. The country songwriter became a pop culture icon, transcending genre to become »»»
Blame It All On My Roots - Five Decades of Influences CD review - Blame It All On My Roots - Five Decades of Influences
Garth Brooks is back with his first release of "new" material since 2001's "Scarecrow." (Truth in advertising, his "The Ultimate Hits," which actually is part of the new box set, included four new songs back in 2007). And it's quite an undertaking - four CDs of covers - Country Classics, Classic Rock, Blue-Eyed Soul and Melting Pot, an amalgam of country, rock, soul and folk; the two-CD set, "The Ultimate Set" and a DVD of his live performance in Vegas. »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Kiah heats up – Amythyst Kiah's music career has seemingly been a slow burn, but that well could be changing. She was part of the quartet that put out the very fine "Songs of Our Native Daughters" earlier this year and is about to launch a tour with CD-mates Rhiannon Giddens, Allison Russell of Birds of Chicago and Leyla McCalla to bring out songs about... »»»
Concert Review: Sweeney maintains her musical integrity – Sunny Sweeney has gone the big label route and even earned a hit with "From a Table Away," but truth be told, she's better off without the baggage of the bigs, especially given the consistent quality and musical vision that was so clearly and admirably on display on this evening. When the East Texas native started her career, she was... »»»
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