Country star Alan Jackson, actor-singer-guitarist Jerry Reed and songwriter Don Schlitz will be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame later this year. Their selection was announced Wednesday.
Jackson, 58, from Newnan, Georgia, broke out in 1990 with his neo-traditional style of honky-tonk country music that earned him several multiplatinum records. His hit songs include “Chattahoochee,” ”She’s Got the Rhythm (And I Got the Blues)” and “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning).”
Jackson, with his signature white hat, said during the press conference that his dad’s wooden radio inspired him to write “Chasin’ That Neon Rainbow,” one of his first singles. The radio is now in an exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, along with a pair of water skis he wore for the music video for “Chattahoochee.”
“I’ll be in the Hall of Fame with Daddy Gene’s radio and my water skis and some blue jeans with holes in them,” Jackson said.
The singer-songwriter earned two Grammy Awards and was named entertainer of the year three times by the Country Music Association. Over the course of his 25-year career, he’s the second most nominated artist in CMA history with 81 nominations and has had more than 30 No. 1 country hits.
“This is about the last dream on the list, right here,” Jackson said.
Reed, from Atlanta, Georgia, became a popular country star in the 1960s with his fingerstyle picking that earned him the nickname “Guitar Man.” which became the title of one of his signature songs. His hits include Grammy-winning “When You’re Hot, You’re Hot” and “Amos Moses.”
After regularly appearing on Glen Campbell’s TV show, he started a successful career in Hollywood. He starred opposite Burt Reynolds in the “Smokey and the Bandit” films and appeared in Adam Sandler’s “The Waterboy.”
He died in 2008 at 71. His daughters Seidina Hubbard and Lottie Zavala spoke on his behalf Wednesday.
Schlitz, 64, from Durham, North Carolina, has written dozens of top country hits including “The Gambler,” ”On The Other Hand,” ”Forever and Ever, Amen,” ”The Greatest” and “When You Say Nothing At All.”
His songs were cut by Kenny Rogers, Randy Travis, Mary Chapin Carpenter, The Judds, Tanya Tucker and more. He has won three CMA song of the year awards and two Grammy Awards, and has been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
“I will never be able to believe that I deserve this, unless I receive it as a representative of my family, my mentors, my collaborators, my promoters and my friends,” Schlitz said. “That’s the only way I can deal with this.”