Blue Ridge Music Hall of Fame

 2008 Inductees



Doc Watson

 Inducted 2008

 Nationally Known Artist   These are inductees who achieved notoriety as performers.

Doc Watson born Arthel L. Watson in Deep Gap, NC is a legendary performer who blends his traditional Appalachian musical roots with bluegrass, country, gospel and blues to create a unique style and expansive repertoire.  He is a powerful singer and tremendously influential picker who virtually invented the art of playing mountain fiddle tunes on the flattop guitar.



Earl Scruggs

Inducted 2008

 Nationally Known Artist   These are inductees who achieved notoriety as performers.

Earl Eugene Scruggs, born in Shelby North Carolina, is a legendary musician noted for perfecting and popularizing a 3-finger banjo style that has become a defining characteristic of bluegrass music.  The creative contribution and musical integrity he has made with his unique Scruggs-Style banjo has carved him a place in history.



The Carter Family

Inducted 2008

Pioneer Artists   Artists who recorded or performed before 1950.

The original Carter Family, consisting of A. P. Carter, Sara Doughtery, and A. P.’s sister-in-law, Mother Maybelle Addington Carter from Virginia, was one of the most influential groups in mountain music, switching emphasis from hillbilly instrumentals to vocals. They made their songs part of the standard country music repertoire and developed a particular guitar style that is used as a building block, taken to a higher technical level by musicians even today.



Tommy Jarrell

Inducted 2008

Master Musician & Tradition Bearer   Semiprofessional and amateur musicians who taught younger generations how to play the traditional music of the region.

Thomas Jefferson Jarrell was born in Surry County, North Carolina. He is considered one of the most influential fiddle players of his time, sharing his talents and teaching style with interested musicians.  Jarrell's style was notable for its expressiveness and he was adept at singing while playing His formidable technique and voice continue to influence modern enthusiasts of the Appalachian old-time music through recordings today.



Dolly Parton

Inducted 2008

Songwriters  Artists who are composers.

Dolly Rebecca Parton was born in Sevier County, Tennessee.  She is known world-wide as a country music singer, songwriter, author, actress and philanthropist Her songwriting is of such high quality and impact that it upholds the gold standard set by the legendary Johnny Mercer Award.  Always dreaming and always looking forward, Dolly continues to flourish, remaining a superstar.



David Johnson

Inducted 2008 

Regional Musicians. These are musicians best known in and around the Blue Ridge Mountain region.

David Johnson was born in Wilkes County, North Carolina. He began his career playing banjo with his father and grandfather in Purlear, North Carolina.  David’s talent for playing numerous instruments makes him one of the busiest session artists in North Carolina and allows him to travel nationwide.   David Johnson is considered by all to be a gifted artist and local treasure.



Ralph Rinzler

Inducted 2008 

Promoters and Organizers. This group includes those who create, organize or work for musical events, venues, or organizations

Ralph Rinzler grew up in Passaic, New Jersey.  He was a performer, festival administrator, scholar, writer and tireless advocate for grass roots music.  Through his work at the Newport Folk Foundation and at the Smithsonian he spent many hours preserving, documenting, and presenting traditional arts.  The Smithsonian named its Folkway Collection, The Ralph Rinzler Folk Life Archives and Collection.  Each year a memorial concert is held in his honor at the Festival of American Folk Life performed on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. 



Ralph Epperson

Inducted 2008 

Media and Scholars  This group includes journalists, broadcasters, writers, scholars, publishers and educators.

Ralph Epperson was born in Ararat, Virginia.  He translated his love of mountain music into a focal point for community life: a radio station.  WPAQ was his brainchild and later he acquired WBRF.  Paul Brown said it best, “Where Ralph was concerned, the more layers one pulled back, the more one would find.  He was a … radio engineer, a deep thinker, an explainer, and an enthusiast.”  He tirelessly encouraged musicians young and old.



Wayne Henderson

Inducted 2008 

Recordings and Luthiers Recordings include recording engineers, producers, and recording company personnel. Luthiers are those who make or repair stringed musical instruments.

Wayne Henderson was born in Rugby, Virginia.  He is well known for his handmade, legendary acoustic guitars, his fine musicianship, and musical festival named in his honor to support musical scholarships for local youths.  Renowned guitarist, Eric Clapton waited for ten years for a Henderson Guitar.  His guitar inspired a book by Allen St. John entitled “Clapton’s Guitar:  Watching Wayne Henderson Build the Perfect Instrument”.  Today, Henderson Guitars are in high demand and respected for their volume, tone and resonance. 



Sam Love Queen Sr.

Inducted 2008 

Traditional Dance These are dancers, callers, and dance teams.

Sam Love Queen Sr. was born in Haywood County, North Carolina.  The Soco Dance Team, organized and led by Sam Love Queen, Sr. changed the style of square dancing and became the winner of more competitions than any other.  Queen is also credited with taking Buck Dancing to a new level, helping to start what we call “clogging” today.  Albert Burnett describes square dancing as “body language and body expression”.  Without doubt, Sam Love Queen, Sr. was a great communicator and known as the “Square Dance King”.