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.”
"We admired Ralph Emery, the voice and face of country music for the last five decades. He was always a gentleman to us with great respect. We salute a true legend. We will miss you."
-ALABAMA / Jeff Cook, Teddy Gentry, Randy Owen
Photo: @countrymusichof pic.twitter.com/cJDpxsHstv
— ALABAMA (@TheAlabamaBand) January 16, 2022
Other artists shared messages on Twitter and Instagram.
Sad over the loss of Ralph Emery- the country music TV & Radio legend. He was an amazing conversationalist, brilliant broadcaster and one of the genre’s truly great ambassadors. RIP, Ralph. pic.twitter.com/QrjcnrfvGA
— Cody Alan (@CodyAlan) January 15, 2022
Our @DARRICKK found a cool photo … @RASterban @wlgolden and Ralph Emery … pic.twitter.com/KaOEsa00E2
— The Oak Ridge Boys (@oakridgeboys) January 16, 2022
Goodbye brother Ralph Emery … thank you for years of friendship and for all you did for Country Music!!!! Until the day … pic.twitter.com/ro9bWU2HXS
— Joe Bonsall (@joebonsall) January 16, 2022
Ralph Emery – Rest In Peace Sir. Thanks for all the years of friendship and wonderful memories we cherish and treasure.. forever pic.twitter.com/5q7gKAOgS0
— William Lee Golden (@wlgolden) January 16, 2022
One of the most hilarious (and badass) things I’ve ever seen was an old VHS of Roger Miller on Ralph Emery’s morning show (6am?) from 1965. They’d both been out drinking heavily then went straight to do the show. RIP Mr. Emery. One of the last of his breed. (PH).
— Drive-By Truckers (@drivebytruckers) January 16, 2022
God bless his family. #RalphEmery pic.twitter.com/VpA60rJrig
— Tayla Lynn (@taylalynnheller) January 16, 2022
We lost Ralph Emery earlier today. He sure did a lot for the music we love over the years. https://t.co/x8BQy9foPP #RIPRalphEmery pic.twitter.com/bohtUI7vdx
— David Ball (@davidballmusic) January 15, 2022
Very sad to hear of the passing of our friend Ralph Emery 💔 pic.twitter.com/Yw5k9ekasP
— Bellamy Brothers (@BellamyBrothers) January 15, 2022
Mom and I are saddened to hear about the passing of the legendary Ralph Emery, a fellow member of the @countrymusichof with dad. Mom and dad knew Ralph for many many years, and our prayers go out to his family and friends. – CD, Jr. pic.twitter.com/yLDbhzSeOP
— Charlie Daniels (@CharlieDaniels) January 16, 2022
Ralph Emery was my friend. I did his show many times and he was kind enough to send me a Christmas card every year. He had that special country music knowledge and that voice. Ralph was to country music what Mel Allen was to the Yankees. https://t.co/U91ZVZdt88
— Don McLean (@donmclean) January 16, 2022
I said once in an interview that I’m not in this business for the quick haul, I’m in this for the Ralph Emery haul. A true legend and hero for Country Music. So many great stories and interviews. RIP🙏 pic.twitter.com/aDF1XAbUUZ
— storme warren (@stormewarren) January 15, 2022