2017 Inductees to the British Country Music Hall Of Fame.


Ron Jones ~ inductee No 41 ~ View Certificate 0041
Ron Jones 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’.
You can hear Ron Jones performing Tougher Than Leather at https://www.you tube .com/watch?v=2nygAhMj_dw.
Ron Jones will be number 41 on the list of British Country Music Hall of Fame inductees.
   
Susan McCann ~ inductee No 42 ~ View Certificate 0042
Susan McCann
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.
Gordon Davies ~ inductee No 43 ~ View Certificate 0043
Gordon Davies
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.
Jim Duncan ~ inductee No 44 ~ View Certificate 0044
Jim Duncan
Because Jim Duncan is Curator of the British Country Music Hall of Fame it was kept secret from him until the recent BCMA Awards show when he was inducted into the British Country Music Hall of Fame.
Jim was a regular attendee at the early Wembley festivals which in turn planted a seed for him to organise the Wolvestock Festival which was held in Wolverhampton for 23 years. It began as a one day event held in a marquee in a field but with his ability and skill to spot up and coming new artists this festival grew to be one of the largest in the UK. At its peak it was attended by 20,000 people. More recently Jim has focused on the Wolvestock Music Festival.
His first musical encounter into the world of Country music was at six years old when his mother took him to see Big Bill Campbell. This started his passion in life for Country music.
Jim had also organised for Darius Rucker to play at the Wulfrun Hall in Wolverhampton which was a huge sell out success. He has also organised events which featured Ricky Skaggs, Steve Earle and Willie Nelson.
We now welcome one of the founders of the British Country Music Awards and induct Jim Duncan into the British Country Music Hall of Fame.