On October 20, Ray Stevens was officially inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, where he was inducted by fellow Country Music Hall of Famer Ralph Emery. Stevens became the 137th member of this hallowed American institution in Nashville.
Stevens acknowledged that people would come up to him and tell him that “it’s about time” that he was being recognized with an induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame. “Anytime is a good time to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. It doesn’t get better than this,” Stevens said.
Bluegrass Music Hall of Famer and Country Music Hall of Famer Ricky Skaggs performed “Misty” in his honor, while Keith Bilbrey and Gregory joined forces to sing his hilarious chart-topping hit single “The Streak.”
The McCrary Sisters also tipped their hats to Stevens with a sultry version of his smash hit “Everything Is Beautiful.” This was quite special since The McCrary Sisters performed on the original recording of the tune back in the day.
The country crooner recalled that it’s a long way from his high school gym in South Georgia where he used to play the piano with a small four-piece band. “A lot of folks in this room have been there, that’s part of the life we’ve chosen,” he said.
He elaborated that nobody chooses to be in the Country Music Hall of Fame. “We can dream about it, but we can’t plan on it or choose it. We have to be chosen. Let me say how sweet it is to be chosen to be here,” he said.
In this year’s class, Stevens was recognized in the “Veterans Era Artist” category, while hit country duo Brooks & Dunn were honored in the “Modern Era Artist” category. Also, veteran record producer Jerry Bradley was recognized in the “Non-Performer” category.