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Hank Williams, Chet Atkins, Willie Nelson: Hall of Famers Get More Honors

Country Music Hall of Fame member Chet Atkins.

Country Music Hall of Fame member Chet Atkins.

When Ferlin Husky and producer Billy Sherrill were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame on Sunday, CMA Chairman Steve Moore called Hall membership “the highest honor in country music.” But the rewards don’t stop coming just because you’ve reached the pinnacle.

In fact, several members of the Hall of Fame — including Hank Williams, Willie Nelson and Chet Atkins — continue to be remembered for their impact on American culture.

Among the the latest developments for the esteemed inductees:

• Chet Atkins is ranked No. 8 among the Top 50 Guitarists of All-Time in a poll by Gibson Guitars. Often referred to as “Mr. Guitar,” he’s hailed in part for his work as a session player on numerous recordings by other Hall of Famers, including Elvis Presley, Hank Williams and the Everly Brothers.

• Willie, who made tons of headlines this week for cutting his hair, will receive more permanent recognition in the area where he lives. According to The Austin American-Statesman, the city council passed a resolution designating a portion of Second Street as Willie Nelson Boulevard. A non-profit agency is also working to erect a statue of Willie on that roadway.

Jimmie Rodgers, who was one of the first three people inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1961, will also be the first artist commemorated in the Mississippi Country Music Trail. On Tuesday, he’ll be celebrated with a marker at the Oak Grove Baptist Church Cemetery in Meridian, The Hattiesburg American reported. Among at least 30 others who will be honored as the trail unfolds: Marty Stuart, Charley Pride, Faith Hill and Conway Twitty.

• Jett Williams went to Columbia University in New York on Monday to to accept a Pulitzer Prize citation recognizing her father, Hank Williams. In his honor, the last music played at the end of the event was his classic “Hey, Good Lookin’.”

• Hall of Fame member Webb Pierce got recognized in The Tallahassee Democrat, but not necessarily in a good way. Webb was one of country’s biggest stars in the 1950s, but it wasn’t until 2001 — 10 years after his death — that he finally received a bronze plaque at the Hall. Mel Tillis, who was added to the Hall in 2007, told the paper Webb was shut out for years because he was a jerk. “Webb Pierce drank,” Mel said. “He was a nice drunk. He was mean when he was sober. That was the problem.”


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