Charlie Daniels, Randy Travis and Fred Foster were inducted in The Country Music Hall of Fame in 2016. Daniels was inducted in the Veteran’s Era category, with Randy Travis being placed in the Modern Era category. Foster was the 2016 inductee in the Non-Performer category.
Charles Daniels started as a songwriter and first found success co-writing an Elvis Presley hit, “It Hurts Me,” in 1964.
Based out of Nashville, he was a session musician for such artists as Ringo Starr, Bob Dylan, Marty Robbins, Claude King, Pete Seeger, Flatt & Scruggs and others. His biggest hit was “The Devil Went Down To Georgia,” which went #1 country and #3 pop in 1979.
“According to the RIAA, Daniels’s lifetime record sales have exceeded 13.5 million units,” the CMA reports. “This puts him on a par with Paul Simon, John Lennon, Natalie Cole, Yes, the Temptations, and Jefferson Airplane/Starship.
When Daniels was signed for $3 million by Epic Records in New York in 1976, the contract set a record for a Nashville act. Daniels has nine Gold, Platinum, or Multi-Platinum albums.”
He passed away July 6, 2020 at 83.
Randy Travis “was the first country artist to go platinum with his disc debut and the first debut country artist to go multi-platinum. Travis was also a forerunner of country’s ‘hot hunk’ era of the 1990s, in which dozens of handsome young male stars came to the fore. He paved the way for Alan Jackson, Clint Black, Garth Brooks, and Tim McGraw, among others.”
He won the CMA Horizon Award in 1986, followed by Male Vocalist in 1987 and 1988. “Forever And Ever, Amen” won Single of the Year and Always And Forever was named Album of the Year, both in 1987. Three of his performances have resulted in Song of the Year honors: “On The Other Hand” (1986), “Forever And Ever, Amen” (1987), and “Three Wooden Crosses” (2003).
Fred Foster was the founder of Monument Records which helped Roy Orbison, Dolly Parton, and Kris Kristofferson with their early careers.
As publisher of Combine Music, he co-wrote “Me and Bobby McGee” with Kristofferson.
Other hits he produced include Orbison’s “Dream Baby (How Long Must I Dream”); “Dueling Banjos,” popularized in the film Deliverance (1972); “Polk Salad Annie,” a Top Ten 1968 pop hit written and recorded by Tony Joe White; and “Rainy Night In Georgia,” a #4 pop hit for soul singer Brook Benton in 1970.
Foster died on February 20, 2019 at 87.