NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Ronnie Milsap, Mac Wiseman and the late Hank Cochran are the newest members of the Country Music Hall of Fame.
The 2014 induction class was introduced by Kix Brooks during a news conference Tuesday at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. The trio will be inducted later this year.
"I anticipated and hoped for it a long time," Wiseman said of his selection in the veterans era category. "This is the biggest thing that's ever happened to me in my 70-odd years. Being in the same categories with all the greats over the years, I'm just really flattered."
Wiseman got his start in music after contracting polio as a child, which kept him out of the fields in his native Virginia. He was an original member of Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs' Foggy Mountain Boys, made his Grand Ole Opry debut with Bill Monroe, was an executive with the influential Nashville independent label Dot Records and a founding board member of the Country Music Association.
Milsap, inducted in the modern era category, was an established talent by the time he arrived in Nashville in the 1970s. He'd played in J.J. Cale's band in the early 1960s and moved to Memphis to work with Chips Moman at the hit-making American Studios, where he worked with Elvis Presley, among others, before accepting an invitation to go to Nashville to record for RCA Records.
Cochran, who is being inducted posthumously in the songwriter category, probably secured his place in country music history when he got Willie Nelson a songwriting job at Pamper Music by forgoing his own raise.
He wrote the Ray Price standard "Make the World Go Away" and Patsy Cline's second most-memorable song, "I Fall to Pieces" (following Nelson's own "Crazy"), among many others.