Two Richmond Hill men were inducted this week as members of the Country Music Association. Concert promoter, current CMA member and fellow Richmond Hill resident J.R. Gill recently nominated Mayor Richard Davis and city building inspector Sean McGee to join the CMA, and the organization approved both of them this week.
That means, starting next year, three Richmond Hill residents will be part of an exclusive panel that decides which country artists will walk away with CMA awards. Other membership duties include helping decide which legendary country artists will be added to the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Gill said he nominated the two men because, "they like country music about as much as I do."In 2004, Gill became a number after being nominated by country legend George Jones. Gill met Jones after getting involved with the George Jones University in Tennessee, which helps aspiring country artists get into the business. He said becoming a member is "as rare as seeing a herd of elephants stampeding through city hall. It’s not a club you can just join. It’s primarily for people that eat, breathe and drink country music."
The CMA currently has 6,000 members world wide. The organization started up in 1958 and is celebrating its 50th anniversary. McGee plans to be in Nashville for the 50th annual awards telecast next month.
"I’ve been a long time supporter of country music," Davis said. "Anything I can do to uphold the tradition of country music, I’m all for it. If you listen to the words, country music often tells a story. You can’t say that for a lot of the music that’s out there today."
McGee said he grew up playing country, bluegrass and gospel music, and it is a huge honor to get involved in the industry. He is a second generation musician. His parents were members of the country gospel group The McGees and recorded numerous albums. He was a member of the country band Nothing Fancy, which toured in the nineties.
Davis also sings and has performed and recorded several homespun CDs.