The British Country Music Hall of Fame was Established in 2006 to recognise individuals who have made significant contributions to the growth and promotion of Country Music in the UK.

Those listed below are from all areas of the industry and have been an integral part of creating the Country music community which continues to grow and evolve.

Jim Duncan – Curator – Inductee No. 44

Jim started promoting in the 70’s, bringing the top names to the Midlands. He started his radio career in the 70’s with Beacon and is now in his 40th year with Wolverhampton’s 101.8 WCRfm. Jim had the honour of being guest on the legendary WSM in Nashville in the 90’s, and has interviewed most of the major stars with the exception of Dolly, Johnny, and Tammy.

Jim started festival promotion 1993 with the Wolvestock Festival, culminating with collecting festival of the year at BCMAs and a highest attendence of 11,000 country fans. He is currently still promoting the Wolverhampton Country Nights for the new UK artists. Jim has been a country journalist since the 1980’s first with Country Music Round Up then with the emerging Cross Country as editor, latterly as columnist covering the new UK country scene. He is a founding member of the BCMA as it is today and curator of the hall of fame.

Because Jim Duncan is Curator of the British Country Music Hall of Fame, his induction was kept secret from him until the recent BCMA Awards show when he was inducted into the British Country Music Hall of Fame.

Gordon Davies – Inductee No. 43

Gordon Davies has spent a lifetime listening to and promoting Country music, both locally around the Shropshire/Wales border and nationally through his record label. Gordon learnt to promote early in his life, at first it was local bands and artists then as he became more successful he used the best of UK performers and eventually he promoted USA and Canadian stars.

When local radio started he was one of the first on air with a Country show on the  famed pirate station, Sunshine Radio, working with Muff Murfin. He soon learnt the skills of mixing and blending from a man who now owns several legitimate radio stations and is one of the biggest jingle producers in the UK. Realising a massive hole in the market for British artists to record and release their songs (in the 1970s there was no Facebook nor Twitter, Spotify nor Amazon -onto LPs), he formed the famous early Country label, Westwood Records. One of the first artists to record was Hall of Fame member, the late Keith Manifold. Soon there was a stream of people waiting to travel to Newtown to record. A notable series was with the premier UK bluegrass band, the famed Down County Boys. These early recordings are still eagerly sought after at record fairs.

Continuing his search for new artists to play on his radio show he bought the licences to press Canadian and USA Country singers. One of the first was Dick Dameron who released several albums on the Westwood label. Gordon became firm friends with Dick and visited Canada regularly to spend time with him. Dick Dameron now lives in sunny Mexico and Gordon has vacations there.

Gordon Davies brought the biggest nightclub in Newtown and continues to promote Country. Until recently he was the Country jock on Radio Maldwyn where he had been from its inception to its sale last year. Gordon will be the 43rd member of the British Country Music Hall of Fame.

Susan McCann – Inductee No. 42

One of the biggest Country stars ever from Northern Ireland, Susan always sang and loved the stories and rhythms of Country music. Her first band was a trio which also featured her husband, manager and mentor, Dennis Heaney on keyboards (a position he still holds over 40 years later). The band played all the clubs, pubs and dancehalls in a 60 mile radius of her home in Newry, Co Down, Northern Ireland.

It was a Christmas single that first introduced her to a wider audience, then, in 1977, a song, Big Tom Is Still The King, saw her sitting on top of the Irish charts. This meant many more bookings and the formation of a five-piece band, The Storytellers. She was soon playing the clubs and theatres in England, Scotland and Wales. In 1979 she performed for the first time at the Royal Albert Hall to a 4,000 people audience.

1980 saw her making the first of many visits to Nashville, this time to record an album at Porter Wagoner’s studio and as a result he invited her to perform on The Grand Ole Opry in the Ryman theatre.

These appearances led to the first invite to appear at the International Wembley Festival where she would go on to appear in 1981, 1985, 1989 and again in 1991. Astute fans would see her performing pre show in the large outdoor market on the Sundays when she would sell an amazing amount of her albums.

Susan McCann has toured in Germany, Holland, Switzerland, South Africa, USA and even at the Festival of Lights in Russia. She has appeared regularly at the Florida Strawberry Festival, once singing to and meeting President George Bush Jr.

Her extensive catalogue of albums, singles and dvds are approaching half a million in sales.

Her awards include:

1982 European Gold Star winner in Holland;

1983 – Top International Vocalist – Fort Worth, Texas;

1984 – International Female Vocalist – Fort Worth, Texas;

1994 – Top International Country Vocalist –  St Petersburg, Russia;

1990s – Multiple winner Irish Female Country Vocalist award;

2010 – Northern Ireland Lifetime Achievement Award;

2017- Number 42 inductee into the British Country Music Hall of Fame.

Ron Jones – Inductee No. 41

Born and raised in the Welsh mining villages around Aberaeron, Ron Jones went with his father to the pictures as a boy. His father’s love of westerns and Country music combined in the films of Gene Autry and Roy Rogers and the other singing cowboys. Tex Ritter, Eddy Arnold, Bill Boyd and Tennessee Ernie Ford all left an indelible mark on Ron’s music tastes.

His father bought him his first guitar when he became a teenager and he learned to play Country songs in the Engine Shed (his bedroom with a model railway in it). His first band was a skiffle group, formed in 1956. His guitar hero was Jack Pruitt (Marty Robbins’ guitar man) and so he learnt to replicate all his runs and riffs.

Marty Robbins shaped his musical career and he saw and met him many times. Ron, by this time, was playing all over the Valleys and across Wales and The Borders and in clubs and theatres in England. He was also co-running a club in Aberaeron with the famed Blondie (the club still meets monthly). While on a visit to the Royal Albert Hall with now Hall of Fame member, LLoyd Coles to interview Willie Nelson for Swansea Sound Radio, Willie invited him to open the show for him, backed by Willie’s band. His other strong memory of this was the fact the band only drank Coca Cola backstage, on Willie’s instruction. He was later to meet and open for Merle Haggard at another festival.

Ron Jones, musician, promoter and compere is still performing. He says, fondly, ‘I am unable sometimes to remember where I put my shoes but on stage I can remember every word of Marty Robbins’ and Slim Whitman’s songs’. Ron Jones will be number 41 on the list of British Country Music Hall of Fame inductees.

Lyn Jones – Inductee No. 40

Lyn was founder of one of the premier Country artist booking agencies in the UK, Chelsea Artistes, named after his wife and partner in the business, Chelsea Sylvia Jones. Lyn started his musical career as a skiffle/rock 'n' roller in the 50s and 60s. By the time the 70s came he was performing in the band, Drover. He left Drover to form his own successful band, Tallahassee. It was while ringing around getting bookings for his band that clubs started asking if he knew any other acts and he realised there was a gap in the market for an agency.

By the early 90s he had become one of the leading suppliers of good Country acts. His working knowledge of each act became a feature, as did his legendary long telephone calls when negotiating a deal. His Chelsea Party became the leading showcase for the industry and a must to perform at for his acts. Among his associates was NAM founder, Les Evans, who worked with Lyn for many years. Lyn developed his skill at providing the right acts for the right venues to the point where he was providing the complete line-ups for top venues like Pontins, Welshpool and the Norfolk festivals. He was also instrumental in helping to form bands and duos by introducing artists. One of his most successful was Pete Stothard and his act, Texas Tornados.

Darren Busby – Inductee No. 39

Darren is possibly one of the UK's most awarded Country artists, having amassed nearly 170 national and club awards during his long and successful career as a singer including being a multiple winner of BCMA awards, both as Male Vocalist of the Year and the prestigious Entertainer of the Year. In his early days in the Midlands, playing local to his home, he was spotted by agent/promoter, Frank Hambleton who guided his early career. His easy precise style of delivery made him a firm favourite amongst the club scene. Hall of Fame member, Keith Manifold advised him to give up his day job and go full time as a professional singer over 30 years ago. He now frequently headlines Country festivals across the UK.

Geordie Jack – Inductee No. 38

Geordie Jack was a native of Golspie, a wee village in Sutherland lying on the North Sea coast with a population of 1,600. It was from here this singer/songwriter founded one of the UK's most successful Country bands, Colorado. In the late 80s they were voted Best British Band for nine consecutive years. Colorado was formed in the 70s with the line-up of Geordie Jack on lead vocals, guitar and violin, Gordon Davidson on lead guitar and vocals, Dado Duncan on bass and Sandy MacKay on drums. All lived within 10 miles of Golspie. They backed major touring US stars including Melba Montgomery, Vernon Oxford and it was touring and backing Boxcar Willie that established Boxcar as a Country star. They later toured Boxcar and Jean Sheppard together.

They become the first Scottish group to play the Wembley Festivals which they did many times, becoming firm favourites. They recorded many hit albums including on Drew Taylor’s Big R label. Their version of Eric Bogle's No Man's Land (aka Green Fields Of France) with Geordie's violin rendering of Fleurs Of The Forest at the end has become one of the classic versions of this song. Friends with Hugh Moffatt, the songwriter, Geordie’s songbook is famous. The band later changed its name to Caledonia playing more Country folk and in recent years they became known as the Jacks with a line-up of his two sons and daughter and Dado Duncan on bass.

Stu Page – Inductee No. 37

Born in Leeds, Stu sang first in the church choir and at the age of 10 his parents got him his first guitar lessons from a local jazz teacher who soon had him playing and singing the songs of his first heroes, Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee. As a child of the 70s with suitably long hair his first band was a blues/rock trio, The Gritt Band playing clubs and pubs around Leeds.

1973 saw him getting a call for some guitar tracks for a recording by Radio Leeds which led to him quitting his job as a printer and going off to America. He spent a year playing on the college circuit with a progressive bluegrass outfit, the Warren Wilkinson Band, who also featured Country rock and blues in their programmes. After two years in the States he returned to the UK, his first job back being with a rock band, Whistler, he then joined a Country band, Midnight Flyer. Stu formed his own band, the legendary Remuda, playing all the clubs and festivals. It was following a tour in Switzerland that Stu then created the Stu Page Band. They toured as support to Don Williams, playing the UK including dates at the Royal Albert Hall and The Palladium which led to a lot of tv work on various shows.

A change of direction in 1985 led to the creation of the B'Eagles, an Eagles tribute band. Proving very popular they even played in Saudi Arabia before breaking up in 2006. He also backed touring artists Kris Kristofferson, Ricky Skaggs, Jim Glaser, Billie Jo Spears, Carl Perkins and Gail Davis on their shows.
He also produced albums including those of the Haleys. His last album was in 2012 featuring his son Tom on guitar. During back surgery after a slip on ice it was discovered he had advanced lung cancer which led to his death in April 2013.

Jackie Storrar – Inductee No. 36

Jackie Storrar was raised in Kirkcaldy just outside Edinburgh and attended the same school as Gordon Brown, the last labour prime minister.
Music was always her first love which was to take her to perform in over 80 countries worldwide, from the early days at school and in church to Country festivals, cruise ships and theatre shows. Jackie quickly became a media person after being given the chance to present her Country Girl show on Dundee's Radio Tay, the first female Country jock on the station. This led to other media work and the chance to be the breakfast jock on Island Sound Radio in Malta. This soon encompassed tv work and eventually to her performing live all over the Island.

Jackie all this time maintained her songwriting skills which led to her becoming a premier presenter on CMR Nashville from 2009 to 2011.
Meeting her husband to be on a cruise ship she married Steve Theibault in 2003 and a great musical partnership was born. It was only in recent years that Jackie’s health has caused her to stop performing, although a recent holiday in Malta has rekindled the writing bug and a new album is slowly being born.

Lloyd Coles – Inductee No. 35

Lloyd has been involved in Country music for the last 50 years. First a band member, later becoming the band leader with Welsh bands around Swansea and the valleys of South Wales, starting in a band called Country Folk backing touring artists like Brian Burrows, culminating in the largest club in London. The other bands were Black Rose and the Blue Lights Band. He persuaded others to join him in booking Boxcar Willie at the height of his popularity, with the cost being over £5,000. They just broke even but never tried the big name artists again.

When Swansea Sound started broadcasting they needed a Country presenter and Lloyd got the nod and for the next 40 years he put out his special brand of Country. Keeping up to date with all the new releases and playing a fair proportion of UK artists to boot, he never missed a show, travelling a 120 mile round trip to the studios each week. When he was on holiday he always recorded in advance. Together with Hall of Fame member, Kelvin Henderson and others, supported by Ritz Records and the CMA, Lloyd became secretary of the British Country Broadcasters Association. He is a long time member of the CMA.

Alf Robert – Inductee No. 34

Alf Roberts was selected by the BCMA Hall of Fame panel to be inducted into the Hall for 2014 in January but fate was to decree otherwise. It was a unanimous decision to posthumously induct him into the Hall of Fame. Alf Roberts was completely gentle at times but very hard and unmovable at others when negotiating a contract for his artist or for a venue.

He started his early earning as a builder/electrician but his love of Country music led him to set up A&J Management with his wife of nearly 60 years, Josie. This was a promotions company and as an agency for many clubs and festivals he was trusted to book acts for them.
As management, one the first acts he put on his books was a young Jim Ryder and he successfully promoted him to become a major player on the circuit.
Alf always was involved in charity, his regular events at Connahs Quay Civic were extremely well supported for many years. Added to this his Blackpool holiday events always sold out. Invariably Alf would visit the many clubs to check out his acts and would always put 100 percent into solving any of the many problems that arose.

After parting company with Jim Ryder Alf took a fledgling singer from Preston under his wing. Donna Wylde went from a very nervous young lady to twice winner of BCMA Female Vocalist of the Year. Alf Roberts is the 34th member of the Hall. The induction award was accepted by his daughter Heather Harris, Joanne his granddaughter and Donna Wylde.

Stu Stevens – Inductee No. 33

Stu Stevens billed in his heyday as ‘The Voice’, was one of the best Country baritones of the 60s and 70s. Stu's career started with a local talent show that his brother entered him into in 1965 and he won. This started his journey as a singer, he learnt guitar, then piano and he started touring around the club circuit in Nottingham. Changing his name from Wilfred Pierce to Stuart Stevens and his record label shortening it to Stu, he got a contract with EMI in the late 60s for the single, Soft Is The Night (b-side - Tender Hearted). His voice got him tv work, appearing on the Lonnie Donegan show. In 1970 he was booked to entertain visiting US stars at a pre Wembley party, impressing the organisers so getting a booking on the main event and becoming the first British act to appear.

It was just three votes that put him into second place behind a child drummer to winning Opportunity Knocks (early Britain’s Got Talent show). 1973 saw him touring in America and appearing on the Grand Ole Opry. 1979 was a big year for him, Terry Wogan played, on Radio 2, his single, The Man From Outer Space which rode high in the pop charts and created enough interest to have MCA pick up the song. For years he played theatres and concerts but it was the sudden death from a rare heart disease of his youngest son, his keyboard player, that caused him to withdraw from performing.

Vic Woodhouse – Inductee No. 32

Vic started in Country in the Early 70s, rapidly gaining national recognition with his award winning band, Hickory Lake, staying on the road with them for nearly 20 years. Aware of the problems of Country acts getting work he formed Vic Woodhouse Promotions, an agency still operating today.
In order to showcase Country he founded the first all British Country music festival back in 1979 with the help of Harlow council and went on to run it for the next 15 years. It used to attract over 16,000 visitors each year. Seeing a gap in the market he teamed with Pontins to start Country music holidays at Hemsby which led to similar events at Seacroft, Brean Sands, Prestatyn and other Pontins venues.

When local Radio BBC Essex started he was invited, in 1986, to present the Country show. Originally it was called All Kinds of Country becoming Essex Country later. He was voted best presenter on the station carrying on for 13 years. Vic has now eased off in promoting and is no longer involved in Harlow, Little Willy’s or the VWP concerts and holidays. He still gets up at the Hickory Lake Club supporting the club acts. Welcome Vic Woodhouse to the British Country Music Hall of Fame.

Johnny Larkin – Inductee No. 31

Johnny Larkin, performer, agent, promoter, charity fundraiser is the oldest inductee into the British Country Music Hall of Fame at 87 years. This legend of the North East started his musical career in 1948, just three years after the end of WW2, incidentally our other two inductees this year were just four years old. Such was his skill and charisma he teamed with Fred Rowe and won a Butlin’s talent competition.

In 1952 he formed an entertainment agency in the mid-50s, the renowned JL Entertainments to further the careers of the North East artists.
He has booked many major Country acts including Charlie Walker, Marvin Rainwater, the fiddler and Billy Armstrong who toured with a then nine year old Hall of Fame member, Sarah Jory. He also toured and played alongside Boxcar Willie and became friends with him. He’s not perfect, he turned down Tammy Wynette in her early days because she was not well known!

After the death of his wife from Parkinson’s disease he began an ongoing fundraising campaign starting with recording an album with all profits going to the Parkinson Society. He has so far raised over £5,000 for them. A prolific performer, he has over 20 albums in his back catalogue of strictly the old school Country, with an encyclopedic knowledge of the stars. Still performing when he gets a chance he has no intention of retiring, doing many charity gigs each year. His son runs the agency but he still shows an interest. Back in 2009 broadcaster and journalist, Brian Clough wrote if ever there is a British Hall of Fame, Johnny Larkin must surely be an inductee.

Philomena Begley – Inductee No. 30

Philomena Begley was born in Pomeroy in County Tyrone, Ulster on October 20th 1942. Her first job on leaving school was in a shirt factory before answering a dare from her mates on a night to sing with a ceilidh band led to getting the offer to join them. After a change of name for the band to Country Flavour her 50 year musical career was underway. After her previous three records, Philomena was in the studio again in 1970 to record Here Today Gone Tomorrow which peaked at number seven on the Irish chart.

In 1974 she left Country Flavour and formed The Rambling Men and 1975 saw the start of the duet period with Ray Lynham, their song, My Elusive Dreams getting a mention for them in the Pogues’ hit, A Pair Of Brown Eyes. The same year Philomena covered Blanket On The Ground which peaked at number five, ahead of Billie Jo Spears in Ireland. They later became very close friends and toured together. Her first tour in the USA was in 1977 and the following year she joined Porter Wagoner on the Grand Ole Opry. Her music has taken her to be guest on the St Patrick’s Day parade in New York City and singing in the Carnegie Hall with appearances at the Wembley, Peterborough and other major festivals. With over 20 albums in her back catalogue, her current best seller is How I Love To Sing The Old Songs on H&H Music. The opening track, I Ain’t Over The Hill says it all for this Queen of Irish Country. We welcome her to the Hall of Fame.

Frank Jennings – Inductee No. 29

One of the very successful band leaders from the 1970s, Frank was born in London at the end of World War 2, his parents came from Ireland and encouraged him in music. It was a short step from traditional Irish music sung at home and in the clubs to Country music. He achieved national recognition as a winner of Opportunity Knocks in the 70s with his band, Syndicate. Frank Jennings Syndicate were one of the first UK bands to get a major label deal and he released a series of successful singles on EMI, Columbia and One Up labels. Titles like A Good Love Is Like A Good Song in 76, his Christmas single, Silent Night in 77, while 78 saw Me And My Guitar, Everybody Needs A Rainbow and the One Up album, Ponderosa Country (with them all posing on a large steam roller on the cover).

His recently released, Yesterday Today And Tomorrow realised four top 10 hits on the Hotdisc top 40 and UK Country Radio top 10 chart. Two hit the top spot, Matamoros and Born And Raised In Black And White. During his long career he has recorded at Abbey Road for EMI and also in Nashville, where he appeared on the Grand Ole Opry, he has also appeared at the London Palladium. He toured in the UK opening for major artists like Don Williams and the legendary, Tammy Wynette. The road still goes on and he appears on tour with the band, Capricorn. Frank Jennings joins the British Country Music Hall of Fame in 2013.

Tony Byworth – Inductee No. 28

In 1969 Tony bought a ticket to go on the first BCMA trip to Nashville as a founding member. Wanting to help, he suggested he would try and get some media attention. It resolved in him getting a spot with Wally Whyton on Country Meets Folk which led to him becoming the UK correspondent for Billboard Magazine. By 1970 he had quit his sales job and became a fully fledged journalist. As well as Billboard he wrote for Record Mirror, CMP, Sounds and various other publications. In 1977 he became the editor of Country Music People, a job he held until 1983 when he teamed with Richard Wootton and launched the most successful PR company in the UK dealing with Country music. Tony Byworth’s journalistic skills were put to full use in his contributions to many books on Country music including writing five in his own right. As PR manager for Ritz Records he was responsible for Hall of Fame member, Sarah Jory’s first recording visit to Nashville, as well as promoting Daniel O’ Donnell in the USA.

Tony has also been honoured by the CMA for services to Country music. It was on one such trip last year he discovered Will Banister and started his career in the UK. In honour of his 70th birthday, the Texas Flag was flown over the State Capitol building in Austin for his work in promoting Texas music. With many American awards to his credit, it’s been many years since the journalistic awards of the 70s to being inducted into the British Country Music Hall of Fame in 2012 and he is still working in the industry.

Bob Harris – Inductee No. 27

The history of Country music on BBC national broadcasting goes back to the 1940s when all the bandleaders had their photographs up the main staircase at Bush House when it was referred to as hillbilly music. The BBC turned to their top specialist presenter, Bob Harris after his days on Radio One presenting very listenable late night music. He carried the iconic music through onto television with the Old Grey Whistle Test where he was introducing the nation to the Country rock sounds of Poco, The Eagles, The Byrd’s and Pure Prairie League, highlighting their lead singer, Vince Gill, New Riders Of The Purple Sage, the legendary Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris to name a few. Whispering Bob Harris was still carrying the nickname from the early days and he became the voice of Country music in the UK where stars and newcomers alike all accepted invitations to guest on his Thursday night show.

Voted International Broadcaster for 2004 by the CMA, he also appeared on the panel of the Americana Music Awards in 2008 and he gained a Fellowship at the University of Northampton. Bob Harris describes Nashville as his spiritual home and, with visits to Austin and the clubs of North Carolina, a close run second.

Jon Derek – Inductee No. 26

Jon Derek won a talent show on Radio Luxemburg at the age of 17 and formed his first band, Black Stetson, this metamorphed into Johnny & The Hayriders. He attracted the attention of the BBC with appearances on shows like Easy Beat, Country Time and eventually playing on Brian Mathews Saturday Club. This made him an obvious choice to open for Jim Reeves when he toured the UK.

In 1964 he turned professional and changed the name again to The Flintlocks. Jon joined Jamie Gunn and Jerry Hogan picking up another identity change to Jamie, Jon & Jerry, touring with Clodagh Rodgers, Carl Perkins and Hank Locklin. At this time a young Albert Lee, who is also a Hall of Fame member, joined the band. This evolved into the Jon Derek Band backing Clodagh Rodgers on her television shows. By 1958 this had become the renowned Jon Derek & Country Fever, still with Albert Lee on lead guitar. They toured with nearly every American star who toured the UK and Europe from Bobby Bare and Charley Pride to a massive 32 date tour with Slim Whitman.

With almost Hollywood good looks and a brilliant voice, during the 70s Jon Derek dominated the British Country scene. A regular at the now increasingly popular Wembley festivals including the European shows, in 1977 he had a double single released on Decca. One side was a cover of the then rising star, Don Williams, ‘Til All The Rivers Run Dry which had Don’s approval when they toured together.

Charlie Landsborough – Inductee No. 25

Charles Alexander Landsborough is the youngest of 11 children. Due to the bombing raids over Birkenhead, Charlie's mother, Aggie was moved to Wrexham. Like St Patrick, another of Ireland¹s legends, he was born in Wales but it was back to the family house of music for his raising. His father was a singer around the clubs and his brothers all played guitars and, being merchant seamen, all brought the latest music home. Charlie learnt Hank Williams and Gracie Fields songs and while at grammar school Charles' brother taught him to play and sing, he had long hair even back then.

From school he was dipping into various jobs during the day and playing guitar at night. With the Navy recruiting office closed Charlie walked around the town and joined the Army and was posted to Germany where he supplemented his wages by playing in various styles of music bands around the clubs. Leaving the Army, he ended up as a postman in Coventry before going back to Germany for some more band work. At this time he married Thelma and then decided to settle down. After a wide range of jobs, he finally became a teacher. This was the creation point for Charlie the Country singer, first as a writer and later a singer.

1994 was the year his songs began to gain recognition and with three children to support he needed success. Ritz Records signed him as a writer for their star, Daniel O'Donnell and realised he could also sing very well in his own right. It was a career turning moment when George Hamilton IV introduced him to a packed Wembley arena as the writer of My Forever Friend. As a writer he was always listening to people and it was a question a little girl asked her father at a bus stop that gave Charlie his signature song, the number one hit that knocked Garth Brooks off the top of the Irish chart, What Colour Is The Wind. It is a song that brings tears every time it's sung on his twice yearly theatre tours of the UK, annual tours in Australia, Canada and America. The pinnacle of his year is the annual concert in Liverpool playing to a 4,000 sell-out audience and backed by the full Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. After playing Birmingham's Symphony Hall, Charlie has won most of the awards applicable to a Country star, so it is time to induct him into the British Country Music Hall of Fame.

Iona Boggie – Inductee No. 24

In the years since the creation of the British Country Music Hall of Fame there have only been three ladies joining the illustrious ranks of heroes and legends, Sarah Jory, Bev Jackson and the late Sue McCarthy. The list now extends to four with the induction of Iona Boggie from the heart of Welsh speaking Wales. Born in the small village of Nantille, her singing started in the local chapel where her crystal clear vocals and diction meant she was always taking all the solos.

In her teens she started to play guitar to accompany herself on the growing number of bookings. While training to be a Primary School teacher at Bangor University she first met her soon to be husband, Scotsman Andy Boggie who was studying French. They started playing together in 1979 and married in 1980. Andy has become fluent in Welsh, both speaking and singing. They travelled extensively all over the UK during the 1980s, clocking up over 35,000 miles some years.

Iona was a regular nominee for Best Female Country Artist and in 1987 they picked up the Best Duo award. Iona's natural ability to speak Welsh and sing all the Country songs in Welsh led to a very long contract with Sain Records which in turn attracted the attention of the Welsh television channel S4C where she and Andy are regular performers. Iona is the only Welsh artist to have sung at the Grand Ole Opry, the Bluebird Café and the Station Inn in Nashville in her native tongue. For 15 years they ran the theatre based festival at the Cymru Theatre in Llandudno, having a long association with lots of visiting American Country stars.

As part of their involvement in County music, Iona has toured and also organised Country music themed trips to the USA, Canada, most of Europe and to places as diverse as North Africa and New Zealand ensuring that the Welsh brand of Country music was spread worldwide.
After 32 years on the road, Iona is still touring as the Iona & Andy Country duo. A highlight this year was to perform on a Welsh television show with last year's British Country Music Hall of Fame inductee, Albert Lee. The duo's autobiography, Llwybrau Breuddwydion (Paths Of Dreams) was published in 2007 by Gwasg Gomer.

Mike Storey – Inductee No. 23

Mike Storey will, perhaps, be best remembered for his part in the Mike & Margaret Storey Entertainments Agency, based in Longwood, Huddersfield from where he placed Country artists in venues all over the UK. Always trying to raise the bar, he was one of the first agents dealing with the rising Country market. He fought the prejudices of bookers who only wanted to deal direct with the artist, failing to recognise the advantage of a good company with a great portfolio of stars. He died peacefully in his sleep on November 26th 2005

Albert Lee – Inductee No. 22

Albert Lee was born during World War II in Leominster, Shropshire. His pianist father taught Albert from the age of seven and by the time he had mastered the piano, rock ¹n¹ roll had arrived. He then went on to learn the guitar from the records of all the American stars from Buddy Holly, Gene Vincent, Rick Nelson and later James Burton and Chet Atkins.

Albert was session man and top sidesman, playing with Jimmy Page before his Led Zeppelin days. His first number one came as part of Chris Farlowe¹s Thunderbirds. He then discovered Country music and backed all the American touring stars including George Hamilton IV and Skeeter Davis. He was also the main guitarist in Jon Derek¹s Country Fever.

In the 1970s he was a major part of Head Hands & Feet with the elite of London musicians including Dave Peacock of Chas & Dave. Albert Lee currently tours, when in the UK, with Hogan¹s Heroes and also plays in Bill Hyman¹s Rhythm Kings. Check his recent cds, Heartbreak Hotel on Sugar Hill (2003) and his compilation, The Road Runner on a 2008 Castle Records¹ release.

The Hillsiders – Inductee No. 21

One of the most important British bands ever. In the 70s they brought British country regularly to the TV screens backing touring American stars as well as performing in their own right. They were among the first to appear in Nashville and were regular performers on the Wembley festivals.

Ed Pearson – Inductee No. 20

Veteran performer of both his own and British country writers, has appeared at most major events either solo or with his band Memphis Roots. He was always in demand as a compere and host at large events. He is one of the vanguard of British artists.

Bob McKinlay – Inductee No. 19

He was a Wigan based country singer from the 70s until he retired. He performed solo, duo, trio and with his band, Dixie Fried. He was noted for his fine delivery style with ballads and in rockabilly songs. He wrote some very successful songs including his English Born Dixie Fried signature number.


Miki & Griff – Inductee No. 17

Meeting in 1947, they were the perfect husband and wife duo who respected each other. Joint presidents of fellow Hall of Fame member, Tony Best's Lazyacre, they typified easy listening Country. Barbara, a Scot from Ayrshire, raised on the Isle of Bute adopted the name Miki. As husband and wife they first worked with Max Bygraves as comedians and singers. Moving their singing to Country, they based their style on the Louvins and the Everly Brothers harmonies. The king of skiffle, Lonnie Donegan, heard them and invited them to join his roadshow and tv shows.

Lonnie got them a contract with the mighty Pye label. Their big hits included Hold Back Tomorrow, Rocking Alone (In The Old Rocking Chair), A Little Bitty Tear and I Wanna Stay Here were during the 50s and 60s.They backed Lonnie on his eponymous album and he played on two of their EPs. They also had a big hit in the 70s with Bob Dylan's Blowing In The Wind.
In 1964 they became the first UK Country act to play the Grand Ole Opry at the Ryman Theatre and in the 70s they toured with many visiting American Country stars.

Barbara Miki Griffiths died at their Twickenham home in May 1989 and Griff on 24th September 1995. In 2002 Castle Records released a cd of all their recordings.

Raymond Froggatt – Inductee No. 16

A chance meeting with guitar virtuoso Hartley Cane led to the formation of a rock band. He rapidly built up a large fan base around the Midlands, London and Germany. The rock career lost momentum when the major album Rogues & Thieves did not take off but he did get on Top Of The Pops as part of his mate, Roy Wood¹s band, The Move. Gradually his music became more Country and he was invited by Mervyn Conn to be part of the famed Wembley Festivals. Mervyn Conn backed two albums recorded in Nashville with the Jordanaires and Hargus Pig Robbins. The first, Southern Fried Frog was and still is a massive seller. Froggie did and still does sing 99 percent of his own material and he has the largest following of any UK artist.

His autobiography, Raymond Who?, is a great read. UK singers cover more of his songs than any other writer. When he released Don't Let Me Cry Again, Terry Wogan played it every day for a fortnight but unfortunately a distribution blip stopped it being a major pop hit.
After fighting health problems he is still a major player on the UK Country scene having played with most of the major American artists including Tina Turner who recorded one of his songs. Raymond Froggatt is the only UK artist to have played the Albert Hall, London Palladium and the Birmingham Symphony Hall. He is one of an elite band who can have a theatre tour each year.

Gerry Ford – Inductee No. 15

Gerry has won four Album of the Year awards and two Single of the Year awards. He has had five of his own songs nominated as Country Song of the Year, recorded 16 albums, appeared on most of the important Country festivals in the UK, including Wembley and has performed in Norway, Sweden, Holland, Germany, Ireland, Australia, USA and on the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville on 21 occasions.

His 21 year broadcasting career included Radio Forth in Edinburgh, 15 years with BBC Radio Scotland, his own series on BBC Radio 2 and guest presenter on Radio 2¹s Country Club on numerous occasions. He has his own Country music programmes on Glasgow Country 105 and Clan FM and has made many tv appearances. His accomplishments also include winning the CMA(GB) Country DJ of the Year award twice (plus two further nominations) and various Country dj awards and nominations from other organisations plus numerous Club awards as Artist/ Entertainer/Band of the Year.

John C King – Inductee No. 14

John C King has been hailed as a British Country music legend by his peers and is well respected on the Country music scene.
As his children grew, he formed the John C King Family Band who were possibly one of the most popular bands on the circuit through the 80s and mid 90s. John C King is now a solo artist once again with his guitar and backing tracks and still has his rich Country music voice and entertains dancer and listener alike with his mix of pure Country.

Wally Whytos – Inductee No. 13

Wallace Victor Whyton was born on 29th September 1929 in London. He started work in advertising before forming the Vipers in 1956, landing the plum residency at the 2i's Coffee shop in Soho, the equivalent to the Bluebird Café in Nashville - Cliff Richard and the Dakotas, Tommy Steele, Adam Faith and most of the emerging pop stars all played there. Sir George Martin, later of Beatles fame, was his record producer. Their big hit was Don't You Rock Me Daddy-O - next to Lonnie Donegan they were the top skiffle band.

Wallace Victor Whyton was born on 29th September 1929 in London. He started work in advertising before forming the Vipers in 1956, landing the plum residency at the 2i's Coffee shop in Soho, the equivalent to the Bluebird Café in Nashville - Cliff Richard and the Dakotas, Tommy Steele, Adam Faith and most of the emerging pop stars all played there. Sir George Martin, later of Beatles fame, was his record producer. Their big hit was Don't You Rock Me Daddy-O - next to Lonnie Donegan they were the top skiffle band.
Wally moved into tv where he did the Small Time, Lucky Dip and Tuesday Rendezvous (the Beatles made their second tv appearance on the show, singing Love Me Do). Then followed the Five o'Clock series including Ollie and Fred's Five o¹Clock Club. He created the puppet caricatures Ollie Beak (the Owl) and Fred Barker doing both voices. Muriel Young and Bert Weedon were on the show. Wally always sang a song while playing guitar. He later did Time For A Laugh on Granada tv.

From the 1960s until the 1990s he presented BBC Country show, gaining such an audience that it went to two-hour slots. He was rated by many as the finest Country presenter in the UK ever. During this time he recorded an album of Children's Songs of Woody Guthrie and wrote the conservation anthem, Leave Them A Flower. He attended all the major festivals in London and Peterborough where everybody knew him. Most of the stars guesting on his show. Wally Whyton died on 22nd January 1997.

Kelvin Henderson – Inductee No. 12

Born and raised in Bristol, Kelvin Henderson, during his promotion time, brought Guy Clark and Towns Van Zandt to Bristol. From the early 70s Kelvin always had a band that was made up of cutting edge musicians. When most acts were aspiring to change the Bedford to a Transit he had a Plaxton 28 seater tour bus. A regular at Wembley and Peterborough festivals, he played the Albert Hall in the famed Festival of British Country concert during the 80s.
Kelvin was the producer/presenter of My Kind Of Country on BBC South & West that was syndicated over five local stations from Cornwall to Gloucester to Southampton. He dominated the airwaves. When the Association of British Country Broadcasters was formed, he was elected chairman, gaining it recognition from the CMA. His shows always drew the aficionados of Country to them because of the variety of music he sang with his baritone voice.

Sue McCarthy – Inductee No. 11

Sue who lived in Petersfield, Hampshire was inducted into the British Country Music Hall of Fame for services to British Country music. Sue was the co-owner and editor of Southern Country magazine, set up to cover the south of the UK from Coventry down. The encouragement to all venues to write their reports regularly was also a great spur to bands to get good reviews and get better known. This also encouraged clubs to book acts they had seen mentioned at other venues. Blowing that gentle breeze of publicity on all the many gig albums released by the bands gave them a noticeboard that had been missing from the scene. Sue set up the UK Radio Awards in conjunction with the many local radio stations broadcasting a Country show. The UK Radio Awards take place at Lakeside venue, Surrey every February. Sue was a very respected journalist who had a fair eye and ear when reviewing shows.

Tony Best – Inductee No. 10

From Shrewsbury, Tony is a long serving musician, club promoter and the first person to develop and present Country music holidays before creating Tony Best Leisure, one of the most successful Country holiday companies in Europe and the UK. He had, for a long time, his own record label with a strong roster of artists. His club in Shrewsbury is held each week and is regularly sold out, being the most popular in the Shropshire area.

Chris & Bev Jackson – Inductee No. 9

From Stapleford, Nottingham, Chris & Bev were inducted as a partnership for their belief in the Country music scene. They encourage both young acts to perform and youngsters to embrace the music. They are best known for the promotion of the Americana International music festival held at the Newark Showground which attracts in excess of 40,000 people each year to enjoy the top American acts mixing their music on the main stage with the cream of the UK performers. They acknowledge the input of rockabilly and the skill of singer/ songwriters while still finding space for the Country music line dancers. Travelling to many events in the UK, USA and the Continent they are among the top talent spotters in the United Kingdom.

Sarah Jory – Inductee No. 8

Sarah is from Newark in Nottinghamshire. As one of the top five steel guitar players in the world the awesome talent of this young lady started at the age of eight when she had her first paid gig. She is currently steel guitar player in Van Morrison's band. Sarah has recorded many times in Nashville and is on first name terms with top session talent. She has many instrumental albums and has taken to singing with her band and is in constant festival demand both in the UK and on the Continent. Among her many career highlights was opening for Eric Clapton at the Point in Dublin.

Tony Hadlow – Inductee No. 7

Tony from Lytham, has created an almost unique venue at Lytham St Annes, nr Blackpool catering for Country fans who like to travel and camp for music weekends and most touring American and European artists get bookings when they come into the country. After long negotiations he has been able to provide the north west with a very special place to be entertained. Tony and his family are keen to encourage new bands and performers as well as the established circuit artists. They are always ready to assist any charity show or organisation.

West Virginia – Inductee No. 6

Arthur & Keith Thornhill, Mike Brown and Tony Peck make up West Virginia from Liverpool. As a band that has been together with very little personnel changes for nearly 30 years, they have now expanded into the holiday market. To work this they created their own roster of artists operating as Cloud 9 Entertainments to help keep the club scene alive. Over the years they have produced some very good albums both on vinyl and then on cd format. They are very much in demand on both the festival and club circuit.

Kenny Johnson – Inductee No. 5

Now in his 54th year as a performer, Kenny started in the Liverpool club and pub circuit as a rock 'n' roll band before forming the internationally renowned Hillsiders with five others. The band played the famous Wembley festivals backing visiting American stars and in their own right. This got them a regular spot on 1970s television and they played in America performing at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville when it was still the Grand Ole Opry. When he left the Hillies he formed one of the UK¹s premier bands, Kenny Johnson & Northwind playing all the major venues and festivals. Kenny still performs both as a solo artist and as a duo. His knowledge of Country music also got him the Country slot on BBC Radio Merseyside which broadcasts weekly. He has been with the BBC for over 25 years. He has released many albums and cds, his biggest hit is his song, City Lights.

Campbell Baxter – Inductee No. 4

For 52 years Campbell has been touring the British Isles and is able to play for listeners at clubs, line dance venues and provide hoe-down music for the western clubs. Now in his late sixties his voice and enthusiasm continues undaunted. A good guitar player he has, over the years, recorded a considerable collection of albums in his own studio. Known as a perfect country gentleman, even after the tragic death of his son he found strength to grieve privately and still entertain others.

Cal Ford – Inductee No. 3

Cal Ford worked from Swansea to cover most of the UK from the late fifties until his early death. He sang the songs of Johnny Cash, Hank Williams and Jimmie Rodgers and had a tremendous following entertaining four and five nights a week with no rhythm box or backing tracks.

Ben Rees – Inductee No. 2

Ben, known as the gentle giant, came from Runcorn and later lived in Warrington. He learnt his trade around the clubs in Liverpool, Manchester and north Wales and as his smooth baritone voice got better known he travelled all over the UK and to working holidays in Europe. He became the mainstay of the north Wales festival held in Llandudno each August. As a memorial to his awesome talent they have named the bar as Ben's Bar for the annual festivals where he would sing until the small hours with all the other acts.

Keith Manifold – Inductee No. 1

Keith Manifold, from Buxton in Derbyshire sang his songs at clubs and festivals. Keith would be a singing compere at festivals he organised and he often encouraged others. His daughter, Louise, became part of his act and his wife, Alice, was always giving support. Keith suffered a massive heart attack when setting up for a show and died doing what he loved most.