‘The Real McCoy’ to be inducted into W.Va. Country Music Hall of Fame | Life

By | September 22, 2022

FAIRMONT — Charlie McCoy will always remember the day he answered an advert in a comic book e book.

It was 1949, and on the age of 8 he was intrigued by the problem of promoting: “You’ll be able to play the harmonica in seven days or get your a reimbursement.” Simply fifty cents and a field prime.

Now 81, McCoy might be honored on Saturday evening for his almost six many years of being one in all Nashville’s most sought-after session musicians. A local of Oak Hill, West Virginia, McCoy might be inducted into the West Virginia Nation Music Corridor of Fame throughout the Sagebrush Spherical-Up.

“He is performed on so many data over time in each style of music,” mentioned W.Va. Nation Music Corridor of Fame & Museum Inc. Treasurer Invoice Janoske. “If anybody wanted a harmonica participant, there was just one – Charlie McCoy. If anybody belongs within the WV County Music Corridor of Fame, it is Charlie McCoy.

McCoy has labored with family names like Elvis Presley, Johnny Money, Dolly Parton, Simon and Garfunkel, George Jones and Bob Dylan, to call a couple of.

He has fond reminiscences of acting on Roy Orbison’s hit music, “The Sweet Man.” That is when he began getting requests to turn out to be a session musician.

Throughout a interval of 15 years, he did greater than 400 periods a 12 months. A grand complete can be over 12,000. Final 12 months, on the age of 80, he took half in 73 studio periods.

McCoy’s musical profession started to take form whereas he was in highschool within the mid-Fifties. He and some mates fashioned a band whereas dwelling in Miami, Florida after leaving Oak Hill whereas he was in first grade.

“Within the mid-’50s rock and roll bought on the radio, Invoice Haley and The Comets, Carl Perkins, however the one I locked onto was Chuck Berry,” McCoy mentioned. “So me and a few mates fashioned slightly band making an attempt to play some songs we heard on the radio.”

Earlier than he knew it, the group was gaining notoriety. After which one evening he heard somebody taking part in what they name Delta Blues music on the harmonica.

“I mentioned, oh my God, is {that a} harmonica? I’ve to discover ways to do that,” McCoy mentioned.

On nights in Miami, he would take heed to an AM radio station from Nashville, Tennessee, which performed nation music. He knew then that he needed to good his artwork on the harmonica. However, he additionally branched out to play guitar, bass, mallet percussion, dobro, keyboards, and numerous wind devices.

“However then a buddy of mine took me to a rustic music dance. I used to be there watching individuals dance the two-step… I used to be sort of amazed by the entire thing. The emcee mentioned known as my identify to get on stage and I performed Johnny B. Good,” McCoy mentioned.

From then on, McCoy was capable of get common gigs at Miami golf equipment. His notoriety grew once more.

“After a present one evening, I bumped into Mel Tillis,” McCoy mentioned. “He heard me doing Chuck Berry and he mentioned, ‘In the event you come to Nashville, I am going to have you ever on data tomorrow. “”

A skeptical McCoy requested the membership proprietor who Tillis was and if he truly had the affect he was speaking about.

“So the day after highschool I went to Nashville and auditioned for Owen Bradley and Chet Atkins,” McCoy mentioned. “I noticed 13-year-old Brenda Lee report ‘Candy Nothings’ and I used to be hooked.”

As a result of he might play so many various devices, McCoy earned a repute in Nashville as a “service man”.

“I’d get a name to do a session and they might be like, ‘We do not know what you are going to play, simply deliver your stuff,'” McCoy mentioned.

He mentioned he was even requested if he solely carried out with well-known artists. He mentioned he was typically requested why he stayed in Nashville because the metropolis has a repute for being nation music solely.

McCoy mentioned he noticed Nashville explode within the Sixties to the purpose that rising people artists of the time flocked to town. Artists like Peter, Paul & Mary, Bob Dylan, Perry Como, Patty Web page, Marie Osmond and Gordon Lightfoot have gone there to report.

“It was an explosion, the studios have been going up, an increasing number of musicians have been discovering work, it was actually thrilling,” McCoy mentioned.

Alongside his profitable studio profession, McCoy served as musical director for the wildly in style TV present “Hee Haw.”

Already a member of the West Virginia Music Corridor of Fame, Nationwide Nation Music Corridor of Fame, McCoy gained a Grammy in 1972 for his album “The Actual McCoy.” He was additionally named “Instrumentalist of the Yr, Specialty Instrument” eight instances by the Nation Music Affiliation. Nonetheless, the respect he cherishes most is being welcomed as a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

“I really feel actually blessed about it,” McCoy mentioned of his profession. “To stroll into this room with so many proficient musicians is like magic and I am all the time enthusiastic about it.”

The induction ceremony will start round 6 p.m. Saturday on the Sagebrush Spherical-Up on Bunner Ridge Highway. McCoy will carry out with the Spherical-Up Band. He mentioned he was requested to shut the present by taking part in “Orange Blossom Particular” on harmonica.