(Excerpt from the article mentioned above)
Country Music Hall of Fame selects legends for induction
By Peter Cooper
''Well, you're gonna have me crying,'' said Mary Cramer yesterday morning.
''I don't know what to say. I wish he could be here to enjoy this, but somehow he'll know.''
In 1955, Mrs. Cramer and her husband, Floyd, loaded their belongings into a trailer and left Louisiana for Nashville, hoping Floyd could manage the then-rare trick of making a living playing piano on country music sessions.
Yesterday, Country Music Association Executive Director Ed Benson was telling her that a board of 300 electors had deemed the late Floyd Cramer, along with 1950s honky-tonk kingpin Carl Smith, worthy of country music's greatest honor: induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
For Hall of Fame hopefuls, the wheels of reward creak along like spokes on a horse-drawn carriage wheel.
Though it only began inducting members in 1986, Cleveland's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame membership roll will soon swell to more than 200. The country world has been inducting members since 1961, and this year's elections of Cramer and Smith will bring the Country Hall's total to a comparatively small 90.
''That took awhile, didn't it?'' said country star Hank Williams Jr., when told of Smith's honor yesterday. ''Waylon (Jennings) used to be adamant about that. He'd say, 'How is Carl Smith not in the Hall of Fame?' Well, something went right today.''
From 1951-55, Smith reeled off a string of 21 top 10 country radio hits, and he didn't have a song fail to make the top 20 until his 37th chart release, in December 1958.
When Benson phoned the Smith home to pass along the good news, the singer of Let Old Mother Nature Have Her Way, Hey, Joe! and Loose Talk was out on a walk. His wife (and fellow country hit-maker of the 1950s), Goldie Hill, answered the phone and assured Benson that her husband would soon return the call. While Waylon Jennings, Gail Davies and others often grew belligerent when talking about Smith's exclusion from the Hall of Fame, Smith was gentlemanly and humble when he called Benson back. ''Well, that's fantastic,'' said Smith, who with Mary Cramer will formally accept the honor during the CMA Awards on Nov. 5. ''I appreciate it very much. I was afraid I was going to have to die before this happened.''
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