Ralph Emery: The Godfather of Country Music

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Ralph Emery is a giant in the world of country music. He’s been a radio and TV personality, a producer, and an artist promoter. He’s also the author of two books.

Life and Career

Ralph Emery is a popular country music DJ and television personality. He is known as the “Godfather of Country Music” because of his influence on the genre. Emery was born in 1926 in Tennessee and began his career as a DJ in the 1950s. He has worked for several radio stations and has hosted his own show, The Ralph Emery Show, for many years.

Early life and radio career

Ralph Emery was born in rural Indiana and raised in Nashville, Tennessee. He worked in various radio jobs in Nashville before landing his own show on WSM-AM in 1961. Emery became one of the most popular radio personalities in Nashville and helped to launch the careers of many country music stars. He also hosted a TV show called “Nashville Now” from 1983 to 1993. In addition to his radio and TV work, Emery was also a successful recording artist, releasing several country albums. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2014.

Move to television

In 1957, Emery began his long association with WSM-AM radio in Nashville, Tennessee. He would eventually be named as the host of Nashville Now, a prime time country music talk and variety show that aired on WSM and The Nashville Network from 1983 to 1993.

Later years

In his later years, Emery continued to work in radio and television, most notably as the host of the Nashville Network show Ralph Emery Live from the Opryland Hotel. He also became a prolific author, writing several books about country music, his own life and career, and hosting an annual golf tournament to benefit charities for children with disabilities. He was inducted into the Country Radio Hall of Fame in 1999. Ralph Emery died on May 2, 2014 at the age of 78.


Ralph Emery was a man who loved music and loved to entertain. He was a radio and television personality who was instrumental in the development of country music. He was known as the “Godfather of Country Music” and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1974. Ralph Emery’s legacy is one of a man who loved music and helped to shape the sound of country music.

Influence on country music

Ralph Emery is a legendary country music DJ and television host who has had a profound influence on the genre. For more than 50 years, Emery has been a key figure in popularizing country music and bringing it to a wider audience. He is often referred to as the “godfather of country music” for his significant contributions to the genre.

Emery began his career as a DJ in the early 1950s, when country music was still largely overshadowed by other genres such as rock ‘n’ roll and pop. He helped to change that by playing country music on his radio show, “The Ralph Emery Show,” which was syndicated across the United States. In addition to helping promote country music, Emery also played an important role in shaping its sound. He is credited with helping to create the “Nashville sound,” which brought a more polished and professional sound to country music.

Emery’s influence on country music extends beyond his work as a DJ and radio host. He is also responsible for launching the careers of many of today’s biggest stars. In the 1970s, he created and hosted the TV show “Nashville Now,” which featured up-and-coming country artists. The show helped to launch the careers of artists like Garth Brooks, who went on to become one of the biggest stars in the genre.

Today, Ralph Emery remains an important figure in country music. His influence can be seen in the success of today’s biggest stars, and he continues to play a significant role in shaping the sound of the genre.

Honors and awards

In recognition of his 50 years in broadcasting, in 2001, the Country Music Association awarded Emery its highest honor, the Dewey Weaver Lifetime Achievement Award.

In 2005, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame for his radio show and contributions to country music. The same year, he was honored with a star on the Music City Walk of Fame in Nashville’s historic music row.

In 2006, Emery was presented with the National RadioHall of Fame’s Marconi Award for Broadcasting Lifetime Achievement.

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