Brooks & Dunn, Loretta Lynn, & More Remember Country Music Hall Of Famer Ralph Emery

The country music community is mourning the loss of Country Music Hall of Fame member, Ralph Emery, who passed away on Saturday (Jan. 15) at the age of 88-years-old.

According to a statement from the Emery Family, Emery died peacefully on Saturday morning (Jan. 15) at TriStar Centennial Medical Center in Nashville, surrounded by his relatives. He leaves behind his wife, Joy, three sons, five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

“Ralph had a deep love for his family, his friends and his fans,” Emery’s family said.

Known as “the dean of country music broadcasters,” Emery launched his career at small-market radio stations throughout Tennessee and eventually became the biggest TV and radio personality in country music. He later launched his highly successful Ralph Emery Show in 1972.

“Ralph Emery’s impact in expanding country music’s audience is incalculable,” a statement from the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum said. “On radio and on television, he allowed fans to get to know the people behind the songs. Ralph was more a grand conversationalist than a calculated interviewer, and it was his conversations that revealed the humor and humanity of Tom T. Hall, Barbara Mandrell, Tex Ritter, Marty Robbins and many more. Above all, he believed in music and in the people who make it.”

As the news of the legendary Nashville broadcasting personality’s death spread, artists such as Loretta Lynn, Brooks & Dunn, Tanya Tucker, Jamie O’Neal, Alabama, Shenandoah, Ronnie Milsap, and more took to social media to share their memories and sentiments for the late music broadcaster.

“…no words for what this man did for country music, no words. RD,” Brooks & Dunn said.

“It breaks my heart to learn of Ralph Emery’s passing. Ralph and I go way back. He was a Nashville original, and you cannot underestimate the role he played in the growth and success of country music,” Lynn wrote on Instagram. “He made you feel at ease and interviewed everyone just like an old friend. From WSM to Nashville Now, he was one of the best. He became a dear friend to me and Doo through the years, and I’m gonna miss him. I wish we could sit down together for a talk just one more time. I’m sending all my love to Joy and his family. #legend”

“I was so sad to hear about Ralph Emery passing. When I was a little girl he had my family band The Murphy’s play on his show Pop! Goes the Country a few times, and he was so supportive and just so kind. His passion for music was palpable and it always meant a lot to me that he believed in us as he did the music ❤️ my love goes out to his sweet family,” Jamie O’Neal wrote.

“Ralph Emery understood artists as human beings, and if Ralph liked you, chances are you were gonna make it in Nashville. I loved him on WSM, and every TV show he ever had on the air,” Milsap added.

“When my dad died, he took me under his wing,” Lorrie Morgan said after sharing that Emery was “like a father” to her. “He was hard on me when he needed to be and very praising when he thought I deserved it. He was a great friend and a real lover of artistry in any genre of music.”

“We admired Ralph Emery, the voice and face of country music for the last five decades,” Jeff Cook, Teddy Gentry, Randy Owen of Alabama shared. “He was always a gentleman to us with great respect. We salute a true legend. We will miss you.”

Other artists shared messages on Twitter and Instagram.

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