Country Music Hall of Fame member, and one time foremost all night radio disc jockey for WSM Radio in Nashville, Ralph Emery has been selected for induction into the National Radio Hall of Fame in a ceremony to be held in Chicago on November 6, 2010.
Born March 10, 1933 in McEwen, Tennessee Walter Ralph Emery first gained notoriety on WSM-AM radio’s late night program, a mecca for famous Country Music Stars to appear on, especially Tex Ritter who co-hosted the show for a brief period of time, Marty Robbins, NASCAR Driver Darrell Waltrip, and many new Acts Emery would interview, who’s careers received national exposure by appearing on the show, because of 650’s clear channel braodcasting range at night that covered almost all of the Central and Eastern portions of the United States.
Beginning his radio career on WTPR in Paris, Tennessee in 1951, followed by stops at WNAH in Nashville, and WAGG in Franklin, Emery landed his first major network-affiliated radio station job in 1953, and gained his first national exposure, at WSIX in Nashville, for the “America’s Town Meeting of the Air” radio special. Emery has also hosted the Opry Star Spotlight Radio Show, with an open invitation for all Country Music Stars to drop by any time they wanted to, and remained on WSM for twenty-plus years before his alcohol, drug addiction, and failed four year marraige to Singer Skeeter Davis led him to resign in 1964, then rejoin the program, until 1972.
Emery began his television career with the Opry Almanac, and Sixteenth Avenue North broadcasts that he quit in 1969, then started the most successful program of his career in 1972, known as The Ralph Emery Show, that remained on the air from the early 1970s until 1991, profiled guest Performers, and aired in five parts on Mondays through Fridays. Emery also hosted Pop! Goes The Country from 1974 to 1980, and the Nashville Alive interview show on the TBS Network, however, Emery received perhaps his biggest acclaim in 1982, when he began hosting Nashville Now, interviewing guests for a national phenomenon television program, and by his long running, from the mid-1960’s to the early 1990s, morning program on WSM television that introduced such notable Newcomers as Lorrie Morgan, became the highest rated local morning television program in the US during the 1970s and 1980s, and helped make Emery the dominent Disc Jockey of the late twentieth century.
National Radio Hall of Fame:
The National Radio Hall of Fame is dedicated to recognizing those people and programs that significantly contributed to radio medium development throughout the history of the United States as selected by a ballot listing the nominees from April to July of each year. Some famous members of the National Radio Hall of Fame include such personalities as Abbot & Costello, Bob Hope, Don Ameche, Gene Autry, Jack Benny, Jack Buck, Harry Carey, Dick Clark, Bing Crosby, Tommy Dorsey, Kate Smith, Arthur Godfrey, Benny Goodman, Wolfman Jack, Walter Winchell, Orsen Welles, Bob Uecker, Charlie Tuna, Red Skelton, Jean Shepherd, Vin Scully, Charles Osgood, Edward Murrow, Groucho Marx, Larry Lujack, Rush Limbaugh, Larry King, Garrison Keiller, Casey Kasem, Don Imus, Gordon Hinkley, Paul Harvey, and Guglielmo Marconi who invented the radio telegraph system.
Rumored to have been found by Steve Hall in a Minnesota hobby shop in 1980, and best known as Ralph Emery’s co-host on Nashville Now from 1983 to 1993, after crashing Emery’s morning radio show, and being invited to join the program, Shotgun Red became one of the most beloved puppets of all time with his oversized gray mustache and straw cowboy hat. Voiced by Hall Shotgun Red also appeared for ten years on Hee-Haw, hosted Country Clips, The Nashville Network’s video music show for six years, and can be seen with some regularity performing for Diana Murrell at the Nashville Nightlife Dinner Theater on Music Valley Drive behind the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville.
Emery, along with Tom Carter, is the best selling Author of two extremely popular, highly successful books about famous Performers he interviewed throughout his career known as Memories: The Autobiography of Ralph Emery and More Memories, and the Patsi Bale Cox co-written best seller The View From Nashville that chronicled several events involving many of his Music City friends.
Named the six-time Country Disc Jockey of the Year, Emery has previously been inducted into the Country Disc Jockeys Hall of Fame, and into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
This Article was compiled from several websites that provide much more information about Ralph Emery including: