Ralph Emery, country music radio host, dies at 88

Ralph Emery, a beloved radio and television host who covered the country music industry, died on Saturday. He was 88 years old.

Known as the “Dean of County Music Broadcasters,” Emery has interviewed stars like Neil Young and Johnny Cash, as well as former President Bill Clinton, during his landmark career. His son Recount the Associated Press, he died of natural causes after a week-long hospitalization in Nashville.

Country Music Hall of Fame CEO Kyle Young released a statement on Saturday commemorating Emery, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007: “Ralph Emery has let fans know the people behind the songs. His conversations revealed the humor and humanity of countless country music stars. Above all, he believed in the music and the people who make it.

Fans and contemporaries in Nashville and beyond also paid tribute to him. Steve Cavendish, editor of the Nashville Banner, tweeted“For almost three decades, Ralph Emery hosted one of the most-watched local morning shows. He broke so many country acts (Lorrie Morgan, the Judds) and was in every house. His radio work is important, but this show was so huge.

Country music star Loretta Lynn wrote“It breaks my heart to learn of the passing of Ralph Emery. Ralph and I are going back. He was a Nashville original and you cannot underestimate the role he played in the growth and success of country music. He made you feel comfortable and interviewed everyone like an old friend.

Tanya Tucker also shared a statement, Tweeter“I am heartbroken to lose Mr. Country Music and my good friend Ralph Emery…He has been so good to me throughout my career and a big part of it…we lose so many warriors who have really held our music together… such a sad day. My thoughts, prayers, love go out to his family.

Emery hosted the syndicated show “Pop Goes the Country” from 1974 to 1980, then “Nashville Alive” from 1981 to 1983. From 1983 to 1993, he hosted “Nashville Now” on the Nashville Network channel. From 2007 to 2015, he hosted a weekly program on RFD-TV.

Jean Jacques Beineix

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