Rain preempted a planned announcement at the Tracy Byrd Concert, Saturday. Tommie Ritter Smith, CEO of the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame and Randy Holland, owner of Real Texas Booking, LLC were going to present Byrd with a Hall of Fame jacket and announce his induction into the hall of honor, Aug. 8, 2015 in Carthage, Texas.

The surprise announcement was to be made at the start of the performance. With the impending cancellation of the concert, the presentation was moved indoors at the Orange Police Department, where publicity shots were taken.

Tommie Ritter Smith, Tracy Byrd and Randy Holland

Tommie Ritter Smith and Randy Holland are pictured with Tracy Byrd.

Byrd graciously signed autographs and took pictures with some of the officers on duty.

Smith is the cousin of legendary country artist and actor, “Tex” Ritter.

Ritter was one of the first inductees back in 1998, when the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame began.

Byrd joins other notable members such as Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, The Gatlin Brothers, Mickey Gilley, Tanya Tucker, Jimmy Dean, Ernest Tubb, Neal McCoy, Buck Owen, Gene Autry and more.

With more than 30 hit singles in his career, Byrd has 13 reaching the top 10. “Holdin’ Heaven,” charted at Number One on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks charts in 1993. Some of his other chart toppers include “Ten Rounds with Jose Cuervo,” “Lifestyles of the Not So Rich and Famous,” “Watermelon Crawl” and “The First Step.”

The Keeper of the Stars” won Song of the Year at the Country Music Association in 1995. He has four gold certifications and one double-platinum.

Texas Country Music Hall of Fame was started to celebrate the contributions of Texans to the country music profession. The project highlights those individuals, living or dead, who are recognized nationally as outstanding in their field.

“Our criteria are that you are born in Texas and you have been contributing to Texas country music for a number of years,” said Smith.

“We’ve identified over 300 people who fit that category and we’re just so happy honor Tracy for all he’s done for Texas country music, for what he stands for and we’re excited to make this finally happen,” she said.

“It’s a wonderful honor,” said Byrd. “I’ve watched other people go into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame and been envious of them. I’m glad to finally get the call,” he said.

“You work for so long, so hard in a career and you hope that people are taking notice to the music and what you stand for,” said Byrd. “These kinds of awards prove to me that I’ve been staying on the right track.”

“I want to invite everybody to come on Aug. 8. Check our website for tickets and everything and come out and help us honor Tracy,” said Smith. “There will be some other announcements real soon.”

The induction ceremony and Texas Country Music Hall of Fame Show will be held at 7 p.m., at the Carthage Civic Center, 1702 S. Adams. Tickets go on Sale May 1. For Tickets or more information call 903-693-6634. Click here to visit the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame website.

About Penny LeLeux

Penny has worked at The Record Newspapers since 2006. A member of the editorial staff, she has "done everything but print it." Most frequently she writes entertainment reviews and human interest stories, with a little paranormal thrown in from time to time.She has been a lifelong member of the Orangefield community.