By Rob Dumke
He was known as “the dean of country music broadcasters.”
Ralph Emery, one of the biggest voices ever to be associated with Music City USA and Country music in the U.S., has died. The former WSM-AM 650 in Nashville morning show host was 88.
He was far more than just a morning host. Inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2007, the legendary broadcaster started his career at small radio stations and eventually moved into television. For cable TV views, Emery was a main face of The Nashville Network (TNN), and spent a decade hosting “Nashville Now” on the channel. His tenure was from 1983-1993.
Emery’s time in Nashville, and at the foremost C&W station in the world, came in 1957. He landed the overnight shift at WSM in 1957. Given the station’s huge nighttime signal, and truck drivers tuned to WSM, Emery became well-known and a favorite. In fact, he kept the graveyard shift on the 50kw Country giant until 1972.
His career would only grow from there, and saw Emery interview the biggest names in country music in his trademark laid-back conversational style. His popularity gained him a weekday morning show. Then, syndication came for Emery.
Emery’s legacy included and number of television programs. He hosted a weekly program on RFD-TV in recent years.
Furthermore, Emery was inducted into the Country Music Disc Jockey Hall of Fame in 1989. He added Country Music Hall of Fame honors in 2007.
A tribute to Emery can be found on The Country Music Hall of Fame Website.