Kentucky is rich in history with its musical heritage. Today, the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame announced its 2018 Class of Inductees. Comprised of individuals from all across the state, the 2018 class represents a wide variety of talents. David “Stringbean” Akeman, Dale Ann Bradley, Jason Crabb, Billy Ray Cyrus, Jackie DeShannon, and Bobby Lewis were named the newest members of the Hall of Fame for 2018.
The Kentucky Music Hall of Fame and Museum honors Kentucky-born performers, songwriters, publishers, promoters, managers, and other musical professionals who have made significant contributions to the music industry.
The 2018 Kentucky Music Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will happen on May 11, 2018 at the Center for Rural Development in Somerset, Kentucky. Ticket information will be coming soon.
David “Stringbean” Akeman is a Jackson County native from the town of Annville. He was best known for his comedy and claw hammer banjo picking while performing on the Grand Ole Opry and Hee Haw tv show. He was also a part of Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Boys until Earl Scruggs replaced him later on playing banjo. Stringbean and fellow Kentucky Music Hall of Fame Member, Grandpa Jones, would become friends and neighbors over the years. They performed alongside each other on Hee Haw and the Opry up until the murder of Stringbean and his wife. Today, the folks of Jackson County honor Stringbean’s memory with a special festival in his honor each summer.
Dale Ann Bradley of Pineville is a 5-time IBMA Female Bluegrass Vocalist of the Year. She has been Grammy nominated artist and well respected in the bluegrass industry. Dale Ann Bradley has toured Japan, Ireland, Canada, and all over the United States, showcasing the talents of Kentucky and the Appalachian region. She was part of the New Coon Creek Girls and currently part of the Sister Sadie lineup.
Jason Crabb is a 21 Gospel Music Association award winner, including Artist of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, and Song of the Year. His family, the Crabb Family, are well known and respected in the gospel music industry. Jason Crabb is originally from Beaver Dam, just down the road from Rosine which was where Bill Monroe called home.
Billy Ray Cyrus broke into the scene with “Achy Breaky Heart” 25 years ago. At the time, he was homeless, living out of his car performing gigs across the state. The song would become his first number one hit. His debut album, “Some Gave All” spent 17 weeks on top of the Billboard All Genre charts. He has performed in several television shows, including his daughter’s “Hannah Montana” series on Disney. Jamey Johnson recently spoke highly of Billy Ray Cyrus in an interview. Click here to view.
Jackie DeShannon is no stranger to the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame. She received the Governor’s Award several years ago, but now will be an official inductee. The Hazel, Kentucky, native is best known for her songwriting. Her hit songs include “Put a Little Love In Your Heart,” “What the World Needs Now Is Love,” and the Grammy Song of the Year, “Betty Davis Eyes.”
Grand Ole Opry member, Bobby Lewis, of Hodgenville, is the last to be announced as an inductee. He is best known as the boy with the lute, a custom 6-string guitar-lute. His first lute is on display at the Country Music Hall of Fame. Bobby has constantly been in the country music charts with over 40 single records and with many of his 20 albums. Record after record, album after album, including “How Long Has It Been”, “Love Me and Make It All Better”, “From Heaven to Heartache”, “Hello Mary Lou”, “It’s So Nice To Be With You”, “Too Many Memories” and “For Your Love” have come 9 chart buster awards, and 16 ASCAP awards for Bobby. Out of these hits also came Bobby’s nomination for his Grammy award for Best Male Performance of a Country Record (single and album) – With his friends: Clay Hart, Charley Pride, Jerry Reed and Johnny Cash with his hit “From Heaven to Heartache” in 1969.
For more information on the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame and Museum, be sure to visit www.kentuckymusichalloffame.com. The museum is open daily for tours, as well as gift shop, and is conveniently located less than a mile on US 25 just off exit 62 in Renfro Valley.
Jessica Blankenship 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, Hollercast podcast, Overtones radio show, WFKY Nashville News Roundup, KET, and more. Beyond music, she enjoys traveling, helping her community, collecting gnomes, and Volkswagens.