Monday, September 17, 2012

Three Inducted into British Country Music Hall of Fame

The British Country Music Hall of Fame has announced three new inductees:  the BBC broadcaster Bob Harris, the late band leader Jon Derek, and British music journalist and promoter Tony Byworth.

Here is the information from the BCMHF web site:

2012 Inductees to the British Country Music Hall Of Fame.

Jon Derek  (1941- 2011) 
Jon Derek
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.
Bob Harris 
Bob Harris
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.
Tony Byworth
Tony Byworth
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.

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1 comment:

Oscar said...

Congrats to the three inductees!