With Willie Nelson’s induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame this year, 30 years after he was selected for the Country Music Hall of Fame, 16 artists or executives have been chosen to join both Halls.
Nelson, 90, is one of only three of these double (Rock and Country) inductees who is still living. The others are Brenda Lee, 78, and Dolly Parton, 77. Three double inductees – Johnny Cash, The Everly Brothers and Sam Phillips — lived to see both of their inductions, though they have since died.
Nelson, Parton and the late Jerry Lee Lewis have joined the list of double inductees in the past year.
The roster of double honorees includes 13 male artists or executives (the exec being Sun Records founder Phillips); two female artists (Lee and Parton); and one duo (the Everly Brothers).
Bob Wills was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame as a solo artist but was inducted into the Rock Hall as the leader of Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys.
Impressively, singer, songwriter and guitarist Jimmie Rodgers was in the inaugural class in both Halls. He was one of the first three people inaugurated into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1961 and one of the 16 initial inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986. Rodgers, nicknamed The Singing Brakeman, was just 35 when he died of a pulmonary hemorrhage brought on by tuberculosis in 1933. (He is unrelated to the recording and TV star also named Jimmie Rodgers who had a string of pop and country hits in the late ’50s.)
Floyd Cramer, a top session musician who recorded such crossover hits of his own as “Last Date” and “San Antonio Rose,” is the only person who was inducted into both the Country and Rock Halls of Fame in the same year (2003). Unfortunately, the pianist didn’t live to see this multi-genre appreciation; he died in 1997.
Like Cramer, Chet Atkins also had some hit recordings, but his main contributions were behind-the-scenes as a studio guitarist, producer and record executive (for RCA).
Here’s a list, in alphabetical order, of everyone who has been inducted into both of these Halls of Fame. We show the year each person was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame (CM HOF); the year each was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (R&R HOF); their highest-charting hit on what is now called Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart (which originated as Hot C&W Sides in October 1958); and, finally, the year of death for those who are no longer with us.
Note: Many of these acts had hits that pre-dated the introduction of Hot C&W Sides. The hit tallies shown here and the identification of the artists’ biggest hits are for the period starting in October 1958 only.