Legends loomed large during a reception to celebrate the recent inductions of Music Row royalty Brenda Lee and the late Chet Atkins to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Hosted by the Recording Academy and BMI, the party was held in the lobby of BMI's Nashville offices on April 22 to a full-house of family, friends and fellow music makers.
BMI's Paul Corbin, Merle Atkins Russell, the Recording Academy's Nancy Shapiro, Brenda Lee & Ronnie Shacklett
Among the guests were Ralph Emery, Delbert McClinton, producers Tony Brown and Ron Chancey, musicians Harold Bradley, Ray Edenton, John Johns and Eddie Bayers, Mark James, Bud & Janice Wendell, Katherine Bradley, and former chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts Bill Ivey.
to Brenda Lee and the Atkins Family
Several of Atkins' relatives were on hand, including daughter Merle Russell, grandchildren Mandy and Jonathan Russell, sister Billie Rose Shockley and niece Megan Taylor. Lee was accompanied by her husband, Ronnie Shacklett (celebrating their 39th anniversary this month), as well as daughters Jolie Shacklett and Julie Clay.
Congratulations were read from Recording Academy President & CEO Michael Greene and from BMI President & CEO Frances Preston before Academy Vice President Nancy Shapiro and BMI Vice President Paul Corbin presented gifts to the Atkins Family and to Lee.
Lee's autobiography, Little Miss Dynamite: The Life and Times of Brenda Lee (co-authored with Robert K. Oermann and Julie Clay) was recently published by Hyperion Books.
Lee and Atkins are also members of the Country Music Hall of Fame; Lee is the only woman enshrined in the two Halls of Fame.
photos by Kay Williams