2018 Inductees to the British Country Music Hall Of Fame.

Lonnie Donegan ~ inductee No 45 ~ View Certificate 0045
Ron Jones
Born April 29th, 1931 in Glasgow as Anthony James Donegan, the name Lonnie came when a compere announced Lonnie Johnson, an American blues singer, as Tony Johnson and then went on to announce Tony Donegan as Lonnie Donegan and the new name stuck. The family moved to the East End of London in 1933.
Lonnie's father was a classical violin player in the Scottish National Orchestra and encouraged his son to play. Lonnie learnt the guitar by the age of nine but it was 1942 before he bought his first instrument.

His first taste for Country came when listening to music by Frank Crumit and Josh White (the blues singer). Among those first songs were Frankie And Johnny and The House Of The Rising Sun.
He was on a train when Chris Barber approached him to join his band as a banjo player that he got his first band break.
In 1949 Lonnie was conscripted for his National Service and was posted to Vienna where he mixed with the American troops and listened to AFN radio, further deepening his love of Country music. Hank Williams was touring the US bases at this time and this inspired him.
In 1952 he formed his own band, the Tony Donegan Jazz Band which brought about the name-changing tour with Lonnie Johnson.

He rejoined Chris Barber who had amalgamated with Ken Colyer for a supergroup and then Lonnie started to fill the intervals as a trio, playing Country/skiffle, as it became known, he had Chris Barber on upright bass and Beryl Brydon on washboard percussion.
It was during a recording session for a major label that some of Lonnie's skiffle was laid down and released as singles. The sales of these rocketed, appealing to a teenage audience who made Lonnie a star.
He then went to America and had great success touring with many artists, including Chuck Berry. A new genre of music was born teaming Country with jazz and blues.

Lonnie went independent of Chris Barber, although he continued to play bass on his records.
On one of his albums, recorded in 1978, called Putting On The Style, he had some notable sidesmen - Sir Ringo Starr, Sir Elton John, Brian May and Peter Black. A follow-up album featured Hall of Fame member Albert Lee.
During the 1960s Lonnie recorded in Nashville with Charlie McCoy, Floyd Cramer and the Jordanaires. He also worked as producer for Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues. Lonnie Donegan inspired a whole generation of singers to become performers; Hall of Fame member Tony Best started as a skiffle singer, as did Sir Cliff Richard, Tommy Steele and most of the Beatles.
He was one of the most prolific recording hitmakers in the UK. In his later days he was playing just Country, mainly in Spain and Florida. He was about to break into the UK festival market when he died in November 2002.
Aubrey Lovejoy ~ inductee No 46 ~ View Certificate 0046
Susan McCann
Born in India to British parents, Aubrey Lovejoy started singing before he was 10 years old, his first loves were Bill Haley, Jerry Lee Lewis and his hero and vocal mentor, Elvis Presley.
The family moved to the UK in 1961, where his love for Country music came during a long spell in hospital after a motorcycle accident. His first trip to see the Country stars was at the inaugural Wembley Festival.
He attended the London School of Singing for two years and with a lot of support and financial backing from his parents he embarked on a solo career. He soon became an established performer on the growing club circuit where he was acclaimed as Britain's answer to Charley Pride, despite his main influences being Merle Haggard and Conway Twitty.

In 1975 he formed his band, Tennessee Rain. This success lead to him being support for many visiting American stars, including Tammy Wynette, Hoyt Axton, George Hamilton IV and Marvin Rainwater.. He even eventually got to meet Charley Pride who called him his protégé.
He recorded in Nashville with Mark Moseley and sang with Connie Smith (Marty Stuart's wife).
Aubrey was the first British artist to chart in America.

His latest album, Silence In The Wind was recorded in Music City with Mark Moseley as producer.
Aubrey Lovejoy is the 47th member of the British Country Music Hall of Fame.
Alan Cackett ~ inductee No 47 ~ View Certificate 0047
Gordon Davies
Alan Cackett has always been at the forefront in association with most of the major Country artists from around the world when they visit the UK. Both advising them and arranging publicity about their tours.
The veteran journalist, broadcaster and promoter joined the original committee of the British Country Music Association back in the 1960s. His contribution was the compilation and publication of the famed Year Book which listed most of the performing artists of the time, categorising them as solo, duo, trio and bands, together with contact details and the style of Country music performed. Also listed were all the details of every radio station with a Country show and in addition all the promoters and agents.
The ‘Wikipedia’ of its time, it also included record label details, the CMCs and their contacts by location plus the festivals and concert venues.
These books, which were supplied free to all members, are now a collector's item. They also included articles and reports as well as advertisements.

Alan Cackett was the founding editor of Maverick magazine after spells as a journalist at most of the other publications.
A regular broadcaster on Country music on both BBC and independent stations, he has organised and promoted some very good singer/songwriter festivals over the years.
Latterly he has been working for a major label producing some excellent compilations of Nashville stars.
He has recently returned from Music City after a working visit gathering information on Country music acts.

He joins the British Country Music Hall of Fame alongside his other early committee members, Mike Storey and Tony Byworth