Emery “passed away peacefully” Saturday morning surrounded by his family at Tristar Centennial Medical Center in Nashville, the Tennessean reported, citing a family statement.
Emery was born on March 10, 1933, in McEwen, Tennessee. He began his career in the early 1950s on small radio stations in the state before becoming one of the most famous radio and television personalities in country music, even announcing at the Grand Ole Opry from 1961 to 1964. , according to Country Music. Hall of Fame.
“Ralph Emery’s impact on expanding the country music audience is incalculable. On radio and television, he allowed fans to meet the people behind the songs. Ralph was more of a big talker than a calculated interviewer. … Most of all, he believed in music and the people who make it,” Kyle Young, CEO of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, said in a tribute on his website.
Emery was inducted into the Country Music Disc Jockey Hall of Fame in 1989 and the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2007.
“Ralph Emery was often better known than the stars he introduced to ever-larger audiences over the years as country music’s premier ambassador,” said Sarah Trahern, executive director of the Country Music Association, in a statement. release. “Our format had no better voice over the years than Ralph, who treated country music and its stars, many of whom became his friends, with the kind of dignity and respect they deserved for decades. As Country Music Hall of Famer, he will be remembered among so many of the artists he supported throughout his career.”
Loretta Lynn, country music legend and “dear friend” of Emery, tweeted
, “It breaks my heart to learn of the passing of Ralph Emery. Ralph and I have known each other for a long time. He was originally from Nashville and you can’t underestimate the role he played in the growth and success of country music. It made you feel at ease and interviewed you all like an old friend.
In a tweet
, the city of Nashville also mourned Emery.
“Your legacy will live on forever, Ralph. Thank you for all you have done.”