Country Music Hall of Fame Rotunda – Photo by Jessica Bray
Yesterday the Country Music Hall of Fame announced their 2016 inductee class. The newest members include Charlie Daniels, Randy Travis, and Fred Foster. While all three are deserving of the honor, there are some that many feel are left out. Most importantly, there has been a serious lack of females inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
If you counted each and every member, including those in a group/duo, there are 158 members of the Country Music Hall of Fame. Out of that 158, only 21 are females, as in only 13.29% of the membership are females.
Here are the Country Music Hall of Fame Female Members and when they were inducted:
Barbara Mandrell 2009
Jo Walker-Meador 1995
Felice Bryant1991 (with husband Boudleaux)
Carter Family1970 (Sara and Mother Maybelle)
It has been 4 years since a female was inducted and that was Connie Smith. There have been very long stretches in between female inductees. Kitty Wells was inducted in 1976 and then in 1988, Loretta Lynn was included 12 years later. Another long stretch was 1999 when Dolly Parton was inducted until 2008 when Emmylou Harris was included. The first members were inducted in 1961, but the first female didn’t appear until 1970 with Sara and Mother Maybelle as part of the Carter Family.
Why are women suppressed when it comes to Country Music Hall of Fame inductions? Why are the following not members yet?
Jeanie C. Riley
Patsi Bale Cox
The Coon Creek Girls
Many have blazed a trail doing things their own way, not minding what others may think or say. Many have done a lot of charity work off the stage within their own communities. They have stood strong, singing songs that they have written, and made a name for themselves, as well as gaining recognition around the world. Look at the instance of Shania Twain as compared to Garth Brooks, who is a member. Both have sold millions of records, performed sold out concerts, and went across genres, as well as across the pond internationally with their music. Yet, Garth was inducted many years prior to other deserving males who are still not inducted – Keith Whitley, Vern Gosdin, Dwight Yoakam, Marty Stuart, Hank Williams, Jr. and more.
When will we see another female inductee into the Country Music Hall of Fame? It is long overdue for many of these women. Who do you feel should be in the Hall of Fame?
Jessica Bray is the owner and founder of Kentucky Country Music website. The Berea College graduate has been a music journalist and historian for over 20 years. She enjoys providing concert photography, reviews, historical articles, red carpet event coverage, and exclusive interviews of your favorite musicians. Jessica is proud to be a Kentucky Colonel and alumni of the FFA and 4-H Clubs. In 2018, she was named one of Laurel County’s Ten Under 40 Award Recipients. In 2019, she was a member of the Inaugural class of BRIGHT Kentucky as part of Leadership Kentucky. She has been featured on the Kentucky Music Preview podcast, Overtones radio show, WFKY Nashville News Roundup, KET, and more. Beyond music, she enjoys traveling, helping her community, collecting gnomes, and Volkswagens.