Famed Nashville Radio, TV Host Known as “Johnny Carson of Country Music,” Ralph Emery Dies, 88

Often called country music’s “Johnny Carson” and “Dick Clark”, Nashville television and radio host Ralph Emery died on January 14.

No cause of death was shared with the Country Music Hall of Fame recruiter, who died at Tristar Centennial Medical Center in Nashville.

In 2007, Emery was inducted into the Hall of Fame for his contribution to broadcasting country music throughout his nearly 60-year career, following an earlier honor in 1989 when he was made a member of the Country Music Disc Jockey Hall of Fame.

“Ralph Emery’s influence in expanding the country music audience is immeasurable,” Kyle Young, CEO of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, said in a statement. On radio and television, it allowed fans to learn about the people behind the songs. Ralph was more of a great speaker than a calculated communicator, and it was his conversations that revealed the humor and humanity of Tom T. Hall, Barbara Mandrell, Tex Ritter, Marty Robbins, and many others. Above all, he believed in music and in the people who make it.”

Born March 10, 1933 in McQueen, Tennessee, Emery had an unhappy childhood with an alcoholic father and mother who both had mental problems, according to his autobiography, and later found his escape on the radio, which he called his “surrogate family,” after attending broadcasting school. .

“I had a terrible, terrible time with my self-portrait,” Emery said in a 1991 interview, who began his career at age 24 as a late-night radio DJ on country music station WSM in 1957 until 1972, while transitioning to television in the 1960s. . “I really enjoyed the radio. And speaking into a microphone, I didn’t have to look at anyone.”

Emery is best known throughout his career for his music talk show Nashville now, which aired from 1983 until 1993 on cable television. Before that Nashville now, Which was the country’s premiere show at the time, Emery previously held several jobs on television, hosting Opry Almanac in 1963, Sixteenth Avenue from 1966 to 1969, The Ralph Emery Show, from 1972 to 1991, and Pop Goes the Country, from 1974 through 1980 and Nashville is alive, from 1981 to 1982.

Emery continued to do well into the mid-2010s, hosting Ralph Emery Live In 2007, which lasted until 2015, writing several memoirs. In 2021, Emery released the 46-disc, dual-DVD set Emery memories, A collection of interviews he has given over the years.

“Ralph Emery has often been better known than the stars he introduced to larger and larger audiences over the years as country music’s premier ambassador,” Sarah Rahn, executive director of the Country Music Association, said in a statement. “Our shape has never had a better voice over the years than Ralph, who has treated country music and its stars – many of whom have become his friends – with the kind of dignity and respect they deserve for decades.”

Trairn added, “As a country music celebrity, he will be remembered among the many artists he’s supported throughout his career. Personally, I’ve worked with Ralph for many years and have always looked forward to his energizing stories as we sat down to lunch. My thoughts are with his family today. “.

Emery is survived by his wife, Joe Emery, three children, five grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.

shoto: Country Music Hall of Fame

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