Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Country music star Kenny Rogers thanks the audience at the ceremony for the 2013 inductions into the Country Music Hall of Fame on Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013, in Nashville, Tenn. The inductees are Bobby Bare, the late “Cowboy” Jack Clement and Kenny Rogers. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)
Rogers, Bare inducted into Country Hall of Fame
First Published Oct 28 2013 05:23 pm • Last Updated Oct 28 2013 05:23 pm

NASHVILLE, Tenn. • Kenny Rogers, Bobby Bare and the late "Cowboy" Jack Clement — three men whose influence still ripples across the surface of modern music — are now members of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

The three were saluted by stars Garth Brooks, Kris Kristofferson, Emmylou Harris, Barry Gibb, John Prine and others during a ceremony Sunday at the newly expanded Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Each of the three inductees had a profound effect on music in his own way, and one could argue each deserved a place among the genre’s greatest names long ago.

"I’m flattered, I’m honored and I’m nervous," Rogers said before the ceremony. "I mean I didn’t know that I would be. Very few things make me nervous. But I’ve never done this before, so it’s pretty exciting. What I’ve realized is that success is not a happening, it’s a journey. So as I run back through my history and look at all the things that happened to me and how I got to where I am, this is like the culmination of my career because I’ve done pretty much everything else. And I think without this it would have been incomplete."

Rogers helped push country music farther into pop music territory than it had ever been. He could go deep country with songs like "The Gambler," "Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town" and "Lucille," but he also had crossover pop hits like "Islands in the Stream" and "Lady," foreshadowing today’s more pop-friendly country sounds.

Rogers remains a popular figure in the country music world. Alison Krauss said of his induction, "Justice has been done," and Garth Brooks gives him credit for taking him on the road on his first major tour as an opening act: "If there was an entertainer university, when it comes to Entertainer 101, I can vouch firsthand that Kenny Rogers would be the professor of that class."

Darius Rucker recalled a lifetime of being a fan of the 75-year-old Rogers before singing "Lucille."

"The thing I’ve always thought was crazy as a kid was he was about the only guy where you flip through the channels and you’d hear a Kenny Rogers song and a Buck Owens song," Rucker said before the ceremony. "And then you’d flip to another channel and you’d hear a Kenny Rogers song and a Cheap Trick song would come after it. He was that guy who was everywhere."

Bare scored dozens of hits like "Dee-troit City" and "How I Got to Memphis," mining the work of left-of-center Nashville songwriters like Tom T. Hall, Kris Kristofferson and Shel Silverstein. Though he was never really part of the so-called outlaw movement in country music, he was close friends with many artists who were and his insistence on controlling his own musical choices was an inspiration for others like Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson.

"He has been responsible for a lot of things that have happened in the country music business," singer John Anderson said. "I remember one day I was talking to my old friend Waylon, and I asked Waylon, ‘Man, what caused you to pack up and move to Nashville?’ He said, ‘Hoss, Bobby Bare had a whole lot to do with it.’"

story continues below
story continues below

Known also for his sense of humor, the 78-year-old Bare answered characteristically when asked what being inducted means: "It means that I will forever be referred to as a hall of famer. It sounds real good."

Clement’s resume as producer, songwriter, performer, inspiration, raconteur and bon vivant is too lengthy to list, but he veered all across popular music over the last half century. He was Sam Phillips’ first producer-engineer at Sun Records in Memphis. He wrote some of Johnny Cash’s early hits, putting those unforgettable mariachi horns on "Ring of Fire," and was a repeated touchstone for The Man in Black.

He helped Jerry Lee Lewis shape his proto-rock approach and was at the soundboard for the recording of "Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On." Also among his many career highlights was the discovery of Charley Pride and their 13-album association.

Clement found out in February that he would be inducted into the hall of fame, about five months before he passed away in August from liver cancer at 82.

"We do have a message from Cowboy," hall of fame director and CEO Kyle Young said. "He says, ‘By all means, relax.’"

Two trumpeters then walked on stage and played the horn intro to "Ring of Fire."

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.