Blue Highway’s highly respected bass player, songwriter, and vocalist Wayne Taylor will be honored as the 2016 Inductee into the Virginia Country Music Hall of Fame in a ceremony to be held at the Chesterfield County Fairgrounds at 10300 Courthouse Road in Chesterfield, VA
Ceremonies will take place on Saturday, October 8, at 7:00 pm.
One artist or band who has significantly contributed to country or bluegrass music is chosen annually by a board sanctioned by the Governor of Virginia, with past inductees including legends such as Patsy Cline, the Statler Brothers, Dr. Ralph Stanley, Jimmy Dean, Mother Maybelle Carter, and Roy Clark.
The Executive Board of the Virginia Folk Music Association (VFMA) selected Wayne Taylor as the 2016 Virginia Country Music Hall of Fame Inductee, and Governor Terry McAuliffe will sign a congratulatory letter to accompany the induction proclamation, according to board member Yvon Jackson.
The VFMA was founded in 1947, with the Virginia Country Music Hall of Fame being created in 1972, and the Virginia Country Music Hall of Fame Museum being dedicated in 2011.
Wayne Allan Taylor, the Virginia native honored with the 2016 Hall of Fame Induction, epitomizes the pure American dream.
A child of humble parents, Wayne overcame four early years spent on crutches and in a wheelchair to become a coal truck driver in the mountains of southwest Virginia for 18 long years before a golden door opened for him to become a founding member of one the most influential and respected bluegrass bands in modern history, Blue Highway.
Wayne’s musical path started when his cousin taught him two chords on a guitar as a teenager. As an adult, Taylor played in garage bands at night, in a gospel group called The Christian Heirs, and in several regional bluegrass bands, which led to his friendship with Tim Stafford. Tim and Wayne, along with Shawn Lane, Jason Burleson, and Rob Ickes, formed Blue Highway in 1994.
The 22-year strong, internationally heralded Blue Highway has earned 25 IBMA Awards, 6 SPBGMA Awards, one Dove Award, and two prestigious Grammy Nominations as a band.
The gifted songwriting and pure vocals of Taylor, Stafford,a nd Lane have been like rocket fuel for Blue Highway, helping skyrocket each of their 10 studio albums to #1, with their last album 'The Game' reigning at #1 for 7 consecutive months on the Bluegrass Unlimited Album Chart. With powerful songs from 'The Game,' Blue Highway charted the Most Radio Airplay of Any Bluegrass Artist in 2014.
Blue Highway was also recently voted the Favorite Bluegrass Artist of All Time in April 2016 by the readers of Bluegrass Today.
“I want to thank the Virginia Folk Music Association for this honor,” Taylor said. “This took me completely by surprise. I never imagined I’d be named in that group, with people like Patsy Cline – that’s the greatest honor in the world.”
Taylor’s formal induction will be on October 8 during the 18th Annual Jumping Bluegrass Festival, an October event created by the VFMA in 1998 to host each year’s Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and help preserve the heritage of country, bluegrass and gospel music. Wayne will be inducted into the Virginia Country Music Hall of Fame at 7:00 pm, followed by a performance by Taylor and his band Blue Highway.
Tickets for the four-day Jumping Bluegrass Festival are $40 prior to October 1, with single-day tickets ranging from $10-$20. Single-day tickets for Saturday, October 8, the day of Taylor’s induction, are $20 each. For more ticket info, please go to www.VAFolkMusic.org, or call 804-832-0950.