Oak Ridge Boys, Browns, Grady Martin named country music inductees

Wed Mar 25, 2015 3:21pm EDT
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By Vernell Hackett

NASHVILLE (Reuters) - The Oak Ridge Boys, Jim Ed Brown and the Browns, and the late guitarist Grady Martin were named on Wednesday as the 2015 inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Singer Brenda Lee announced the artists who will be welcomed into the elite group at a special ceremony in Nashville later this year.

The Oak Ridge Boys, a country and gospel quartet whose hits include "Elvira" and "Bobbie Sue," sang backup on Paul Simon's hit "Slip Slidin' Away" and toured with singer Johnny Cash in their early days in country music.

The group credited Cash with helping them make the transition from gospel to country music.

"He took us on the road with him and paid us more than we asked and tipped us 10 percent above that," Duane Allen said at the ceremony.

Jim Ed Brown formed the Browns trio with his sisters, Maxine and Bonnie. The trio's smooth harmonies brought a sophisticated sound to country music in the 1950s and 1960s. They influenced the Beatles and the Osborne Brothers, as well as current hit makers Lady Antebellum and Little Big Town.

With hits such as "The Three Bells" and "Scarlet Ribbons," the Browns crossed genres, from country to pop and R&B.

Brown said when he was told about the honor, he lost it for two or three minutes.   Continued...

The Oak Ridge Boys sing the song "Amazing Grace" during the second day of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida August 28, 2012   REUTERS/Jason Reed