Monday, 20 August 2012

British Country Music Hall of Fame 2012 Inductees

British Country Music Hall of Fame 2012 Inductees

Bob Harris, Tony Byworth and the late Jon Derek are to be the inducted into the British Country Music Hall of Fame in September.
The announcement was made when Lee Williams the President of the British Country Music Awards (BCMAwards) and owner of Internet station CMR Nashville (“Europe’s #1 country music station”) spoke to BBC Radio Essex presenter and artist Steve Cherelle, on the phone, on Sunday’s August 19th “Big Country” show.

The induction will take place at on Sunday 2nd September 2012 at the BCMAwards being held at the Concorde Suite, Heathrow Airport. -
Bob Harris and Tony Byworth will be there to collect their awards and Jon Derek’s son Mark will be present to receive the award on behalf of his late father.

The British Country Music Hall of Fame was started in its own right in 2006 and was taken on by the board that now run the BCM Awards. To see a list of the past BCMHoF inductees visit -

The BCMAwards will be presented by TV personality Nicky Campbell and British country music stalwart Charlie Landsborough.
Appearing are:  Henry Smith, Glen Rogers, Darren Busby, C'est La Vie, Gary Perkins, Travellin Rose, Nancy Ann Lee and Winnipeg, Manitoba born and Nashville based country artist Ashley Robertson.

Much in demand British band C’est La Vie will be backing everyone appearing.
After a meal the evening event kicks off at 7pm and artists will perform in “CMA Fashion” 2 numbers in between the announcement of the 22 awards (19 main awards and 3 inductees into the Hall of Fame).
The Horizon Act of the Year is sponsored by the genres biggest body the CMA (Country Music Association, Nashville Tennessee)

Listen to the Lee Williams full interview with Steve Cherelle here:

Steve Cherelle - BBC Showpage (Sun 2 – 4 pm)  

About Bob Harris

Bob Harris Profile photo
 Best known as presenter of the legendary ‘Old Grey Whistle Test’ TV shows few people have broken as many bands into the mainstream consciousness as Bob Harris, through his work on Radio 1, and his current programmes on BBC Radio 2.
Bob took over the country show from David Allan (The Country Club) on BBC Radio 2 in 1999 and has been presenting Bob Harris Country every Thursday (7pm- 8pm – See BBC Show page) to this day.

The very first Bob Harris Country took place on April 7, 1999 with a recorded conversation with Emmylou Harris at her home.
His unbridled passion and commitment to country music has gained him the recognition of the Country Music Association, who honoured him with the ‘International Broadcaster of the Year’ award in 2004.

Terri Clark in session
 on Bob Harris Country,
 June 2012

Described by ‘Radio Times’ as ‘ of the greats of British contemporary music broadcasting’ and ‘ independent champion of great music’ and by ‘The Mail On Sunday’ as ‘A National treasure’, Bob has been at the centre of the British music industry for more than forty years. In 2011 he was rewarded with an OBE in the Queens Honours list for his ‘services to music broadcasting’.

Bob has appeared on International panels at the Americana Music Awards here in Nashville and was the keynote speaker at NXNE in Toronto, in 2008 and at the East Coast Music awards in Nova Scotia Canada in March of 2010.
Bob was presented with The Trailblazer Award by Emmylou Harris at the 10th Americana Music Association awards which took place at the Ryman Auditorium on October 13, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Bob and his wife Trudie run their own independent radio and television production house - The Whispering Bob Broadcasting Company.
About Tony Byworth:
Tony Byworth has long been involved in country music. He edited Country Music People, was a contributing editor for Billboard, Music Week and The Stage, provided columns for pop music publications and has worked with many top US artists. The author of several books, numerous sleeve notes and album compilations, he has received many awards, including CMA (GB) Journalist Of The Year (1976 and '77 ) and the CMA's prestigious Wesley Rose (Foreign Media Achievement) Award in 1993.

Tony is a former Chairman of the CMA (GB) in 1969. He presented the Billboard/Record Mirror Awards at the Wembley Country Music Festival in 1973.
Tony Byworth is the author of The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Country Music (see left)
Involved in country music for over 35 years working within the industry, he was Creative Manager for Acuff-Rose Music and, in 1983, co-founded Byworth-Wootton International with Richard Wootton. This
led to working with many top US artists and managements wanting to develop British careers. (see photos of Tony with Tammy Wynette) 

About Jon Derek::
After winning a Radio Luxembourg talent show, Jon met up with Jerry Hogan and Gordon Huntley and in 1958 they formed the Black Stetson Boys which later became Johnny & The Hayriders. They were mainly playing American Air Force bases but they also broadcasted regularly for the BBC in such network programmes as ‘Easy Beat’ ‘Country Time’ and ‘Saturday Club’ hosted by Brian Matthew - and Jon Derek became the first British Country Music artiste to perform in stereo for the BBC in 1962.

Jon Derek
Profile Publicity photo 1977
Jon Derek gave up any original ambitions of becoming an architect when he toured with Jim Reeves in 1963 and then turned 'Pro' in 1964. Managed by 'Don Arden' (who at the time also managed the 'Small Faces' and the 'Nashville Teens') he signed a record deal with ‘Decca’ and went on to tour with Hank Locklin, Carl Perkins and Clodagh Rodgers.

In 1968 he formed the renowned band ‘Country Fever’ with top guitarist ALBERT LEE. They remained one of the most popular and hardest working bands on the club and festival circuit. They quickly became the most sought after Country Music group in Britain and were often seen on television and regularly heard on radio. Tours and performances with a number of superstars such as Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Tammy Wynette, George Jones, Jerry Lee Lewis, Skeeter Davis, Don Gibson And Charley Pride soon followed and Jon formed great friendships with George Hamilton Iv, Marvin Rainwater and Slim Whitman, who he also worked with on a number of occasions.
Jon's pedigree was second to none, having won a number of awards and shared the stage with a plethora of superstars, Jon played just about every theatre in the UK including two appearances at the Royal Albert Hall, five at the London Palladium and numerous appearances at 'Wembley Arena’.
Stir in a string of major album and single releases including two No.1 hit records in Malta and it’s no wonder why Jon Derek was regarded as probably the hottest singing property that Britain ever produced in the realms of Country Music. 
Country Fever

In 1991 and, after 33 years on the road, Jon decided to semi-retire from live performing stating that he would only be available for selected dates. This came as a huge shock to many but Jon had his reasons for making this decision and he would leave a lasting legacy.

"Jon was at the top in the days when I was trying to make it."  CHARLIE LANDSBOROUGH (Musician)
Jon and I had a great friendship and I think the music speaks for itself. His talent certainly stood out - he was the real deal.  ALBERT LEE (Musician)

I worked with Jon when he was in his prime and when he was on form not many could touch him. An extremely talented performer indeed. A master of his trade.” MERVYN FUTTER (Musician)
Jon was a British country music icon and a real gent. ” David Allan (Broadcaster/Journalist)
Jon was the best Britain ever produced. I looked up to him and really admired him.” Frank Jennings (Musician)

Jon Derek, sadly passed away on October 13th, 2011. Diagnosed with lung cancer just months before, Jon failed to recover from an operation to remove a tumour on one of his lungs. A 3-page tribute feature appeared in the  December 2011 edition of UK publication Country Music People.

Further tributes - Link  -

Congratulations to all the 2012 Inductees!

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