NASHVILLE, TN (CelebrityAccess) — The Country Music Association revealed that Joe Galante, Jerry Lee Lewis and Keith Whitley will be the 2022 inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Galante, a noted label executive, who while at RCA Nashville, played a key role in the careers of bands such as Alabama, Waylon Jennings, Ronnie Milsap, and Dollie Parton among others. Galante will be inducted in the Country Hall of Fame’s “Non-Performer” which is awarded every three years in rotation with the “Recording and/or Touring Musician” and “Songwriter” categories.
“When I heard the news I was being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, it was the first time in my entire career I was speechless,” says Galante. “I’m humbled, beyond honored and honestly, I’m still trying to wrap my head around this.”
Jerry Lee Lewis, a towering figure in early rock and rockabilly, known for hits such as “Great Balls of Fire,” “Whole Lot of Shakin’ Going On,” and “You Win Again,” before he sparked a controversy in 1958 by marrying his 13-year-old first cousin once removed that derailed his career.
He later managed a revival, returning as a country artist and between 1968 and 1977, had seventeen top 10 hits on the Billboard country charts.
“To be recognized by Country Music with their highest honor is a humbling experience,” says Lewis. “The little boy from Ferriday, LA listening to Jimmie Rodgers and Hank Williams never thought he’d be in a Hall amongst them. I am appreciative of all those who have recognized that Jerry Lee Lewis music is Country Music and to our almighty God for his never-ending redeeming grace.”
Keith Whitley will be inducted in the modern artist era category. A veteran of the bluegrass scene, Whitley scored an impressive string of country hits in the 1980s, including “Don’t Close Your Eyes,” “When You Say Nothing at All,” and “It Ain’t Nothin'” before his untimely death to alcohol poisoning in 1989.
“In my heart, this feels like an absolutely appropriate honor, but at the same time, I know that Keith would be painfully humbled, and even shy about accepting an induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame,” says Grand Ole Opry star, Lorrie Morgan, who was married to Whitley until his untimely passing. “Music was all about emotion to Keith. It was personal. There were so many great artists he admired, even worshipped. To stand in their company in the Hall of Fame would’ve been overwhelmingly emotional for him. I am thrilled to see him honored this way, and for what it means to my children, Morgan and Jesse Keith; to Keith’s grandchildren; the Whitley family; and to the many, many fans who continue to point to Keith as one of the all-time greats.”
A formal induction ceremony for Galante, Lewis and Whitley will take place at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in the CMA Theater this fall.
“Our new inductees come from three very different places, but in October they will be enshrined in the very same place,” says Kyle Young, Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum Chief Executive Officer. “Jerry Lee Lewis is a God-fearing rabble-rouser from a Mississippi River town, way down South. Keith Whitley was a Lefty Frizzell-loving Country boy from rural Kentucky. And Joe Galante is a game-changing executive from the urban northeast. They all filled our worlds with music. They are all deserving of our respect and adulation, and their elections into the Country Music Hall of Fame ensure that respect and adulation will endure through the ages.”