Inductees announced--Bandy, Gilley to receive honors
New inductees for the 14th Annual Texas Country Music Hall of Fame have been selected. Texas musicians Moe Bandy and Mickey Gilley will be the next artists to receive the honor.
Bandy was one of the most popular country singers in the 1970s. His music consisted of songs about drinking, divorce, cheating, love and passion….all things that were most common in country music during that era. He was raised in San Antonio, Texas, and spent most of his teenage years on the rodeo circuit riding bulls and broncs. Once he left school, he became a sheet metal worker, singing in clubs and honky tonks at night.
He made the Top Ten charts with hits “It Was So Easy to Find an Unhappy Woman” and “Bandy the Rodeo Clown.” Once he signed with Columbia Records in 1975, he made the single “Hank Williams You Changed My Life,” and it became an instant number three hit. He teamed up with Janie Fricke with “It’s a Cheatin’ Situation,” and it won Song of the Year from the Academy of Country Music. Another duet, this time with Joe Stampley, “Just Good Ol’ Boys” became one of the most popular albums of 1980 and won Country Music Associations’ Duet of the Year. In 1989, Bandy’s song “Americana” was used as George Bush’s campaign theme song. Not long after this, Bandy opened the Moe Bandy Americana Theatre in Branson, Missouri, where he performs year-round.
Mickey Gilley has been ranked among the top 50 country music hit makers of all time. As a youngster, he learned to play the piano with cousins Jerry Lee Lewis and Jimmy Swaggart, and together they sang boogie woogie and gospel music. At 17, Gilley moved to Houston, working construction during the day and singing clubs at night. In 1971, he opened Gilley’s in Pasadena, Texas, the world’s largest honky tonk. It was deemed “the sensation of the era,” becoming a launching pad for some of country music’s biggest stars. With hits like “City Lights,” “I Overlooked an Orchard,” and “Don’t the Girls All Get Prettier at Closing Time,” people started to take notice of Gilley’s and the urban cowboy craze began to develop. Paramount studios decided to make a movie about the craze, with John Travolta and Debra Winger playing the starring roles. The movie, Urban Cowboy, was a success and Gilley’s flourished. The soundtrack that featured many popular artists, including “Stand By Me,” went platinum and Mickey Gilley became a household name. His career has seen thirty-nine Top Ten country hits, with seventeen of those songs reaching the number one spot on the country charts. He has won Entertainer of the Year, Top Male Vocalist, Song of the Year, Single of the Year and Album of the Year. He now performs regularly at his theater in Branson, Missouri
An additional highlight of the evening will be former TCMHOF Inductee Johnny Lee. He will entertain the crowd with his 30th Anniversary Tribute to Urban Cowboy. Tickets will go on sale May 1, at the Panola County Chamber of Commerce. The induction ceremony is set for August 20, 2011, at the TCMHOF Theater on Holly Street.