Emery’s passing was first reported on Saturday (November 15) by Tennessee, with a statement from his family saying he “passed away peacefully” that morning at Tristar Centennial Medical Center in Nashville. The cause of his death has not yet been revealed.
Emery, born in 1933 in McEwen, Tennessee, enjoyed a successful career in the country music industry for more than 50 years, working in radio before switching to television. Known as the principal of country music broadcasters, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2007 and the Jockey Country Music Hall of Fame in 1989.
He specifically interviews a number of country music stars as the host of the Nashville Network talk show Nashville now over the course of a decade, from 1983 to 1993.
Throughout the years, Emery also hosted the syndicated television series Pop goes to the country (1974 to 1980) and the live show Nashville Alive on WTBS (1981 to 1983). From 2007 to 2015, he hosted the weekly show Ralph Emery Live on satellite and cable TV channels RFD-TV.
In 1961, he topped the charts with a song he recorded. “Hello Fool” reached 4th place on BillboardsHot country songs chart.
On Saturday, Country Music Hall and Museum CEO Kyle Young said, “Ralph Emery’s impact in expanding the audience of country music was unpredictable. On radio and television, he allows fans to learn about the people behind the songs. Ralph is more of a conversationalist than a calculated interviewer, and it is his conversations that reveal the humor and humanity of Tom T. Hall, Barbara Mandrell, Tex Ritter, Marty Robbins and others. Above all, he believes in music and in the people who make it.”
“Ralph Emery is generally better known than the stars he has introduced to a growing audience over the years as country music’s most important ambassadors,” said Music Association CEO. Country Sarah Trahern said in a statement. “Over the years, our format has had no better voice than Ralph, who treated country music and its stars – many of whom became his friends – with quality music. the value and respect they deserved for decades. As Country Music Club Celebrity, he will be remembered among the many artists he supported throughout his career. On a personal note, I have worked with Ralph for many years and I always look forward to his lively stories when we sit down to lunch. My thoughts are with his family today.”
Country musicians also paid tribute to Emery of the day, expressing sadness over his death and sharing memories and photos.
“So sad to hear that Ralph Emery has passed away,” Loretta Lynn say on Twitter. “Ralph and I are back. He is a native of Nashville and you cannot underestimate his role in the growth and success of country music. He makes you feel comfortable and interviews everyone like an old friend. From WSM to Nashville Now he’s one of the best. He has been a close friend to me and Doo over the years and I will miss him. I wish we could sit down and talk one more time. I am sending all my love to Joy and his family.”
“Ralph Emery just crossed the Jordan River. If it weren’t for his generosity, I wouldn’t have had my career. He’s had me on his hugely popular show, ‘Nashville Now,’ 56 times. The importance of being in contact with millions of country music fans cannot be overstated,” said T. Graham Brown noted.
“Legendary @countrymusicof Dear broadcaster, personality and longtime friend RALPH EMERY have left us… rest assured Ralph, ”Oak Ridge Boys tweeted.
“Very sad to hear of our friend Ralph Emery,” Written Bellamy Brothers, seen posing for a snap with Emery.
It broke my heart to hear the news of Ralph Emery’s passing. Ralph and I turned around. He is a native of Nashville and you cannot underestimate his role in the growth and success of country music. He makes you feel comfortable and interviews everyone like an old friend.
– Loretta Lynn (@LorettaLynn) January 15, 2022
Ralph Emery just crossed the Jordan River. If it weren’t for his generosity, I wouldn’t have had my career. He’s had me on his hugely popular show, “Nashville Now,” 56 times. The importance of being in contact with millions of country music fans cannot be overstated. pic.twitter.com/H378VslC86
– T. Graham Brown (@TGrahamBrown) January 15, 2022
– The Oak Ridge Boys (@oakridgeboys) January 15, 2022
Very sad to hear of the passing of our friend Ralph Emery pic.twitter.com/Yw5k9ekasP
– The Bellamy Brothers (@BellamyBrothers) January 15, 2022
https://www.billboard.com/music/music-news/ralph-emery-dead-1235019624/ Country Music Hall of Fame member dies at number 88 – Billboard