neillrae music

Ray Winkler Induction into
The Texas Country Music Hall of Fame
August 21, 2010

“Wow, what a wonderful 2010 Texas Country Music Hall of Fame Induction weekend. I know that my Dad, Ray Winkler, would be so thrilled and honored by being inducted with George Jones and Al Dexter…two great country music legends.

Ray Winkler, left, is inducted with George Jones and Al Dexter.

The weekend began by being interviewed by DJ Tom Perryman on The Ranch 104.1 in Tyler. August 20,2010 was Jim Reeves 87th birthday and Tom dedicated his entire show to Jim Reeves. I spoke about my Dad’s close friendship with Jim Reeves and about Jim recording “Welcome To My World.” Tom also interviewed our guest, Steve Morewood, from England about his great knowledge of Jim Reeves’ recordings.

bette interview  morewood interview
Bette Hodges and Steve Morewood are interviewed by KNUS 104.1

Friday night was the John Ritter Tribute Showcase talent contest with 30 great contestants and performances by 2007 Showcase Winner Shane Mathews and 2009 Showcase Winner Kimberly Green. The show was emceed by former Miss Texas, Jonna Fitzgerald. The winner of the 2010 Showcase was Lindsey Harding who sang “I Told You So.” Congratulations Lindsey!

Bette and Kimberly Green
Bette with 2009 Showcase Winner, Kimberly Green.

Saturday, August 21, 2010,  was an exciting day in anticipation of the induction show that evening. Our family & friends began arriving for the big event. There was a lot of festivity at the Tex Ritter Museum & Gift shop with people touring the displays in the museum, book signings and “Dusty Boots” band playing for the Colgate Country Showdown talent contest.

friends   friends 2

friends 3    friends 4
Friends and family gather for the day-long celebration.

Bette at display   David at display
Bette and husband, David, view the Ray Winkler display in Carthage, TX.


The cover of the Induction event program and the story of Ray Winkler inside. Plus the thank you ad run by Neillrae Music in the program.

View the video tribute to Ray shown at the induction ceremony.

Download a PDF of Ray's biography in the program.

Download a PDF of Bette Winkler Hodges remarks at the ceremony.

View the photo gallery of the 2010 Induction festivities.

Contact us via email.


The Saturday night induction show began with Ray Winkler’s induction and by hearing the original demo of “Welcome To My World” that was recorded by Dean Kelley and backed by the Blue Boys at KZIP Radio Station in Amarillo, TX. This was the demo that Jim Reeves took with him to consider recording. Presenter Dean Kelley spoke about working at the radio station with Ray Winkler. Then the presentation video was shown about Ray’s life in music. Dean presented my Dad’s induction and my husband David and I were given the plaque for my Dad. What a thrilling moment!

Dean Kelley, who introduced Ray in the ceremony, and Bette.

Bette speaks
Bette accepts award on behalf of her dad, Ray Winkler.

Tracy Pitcox introduced the Justin Trevino Band and Heart of Texas artists Georgette Jones, Darrell McCall, Mona McCall, Curtis Potter, Tony Booth, Amber Digby and Frankie Miller who performed. They also performed three of Al Dexter’s hits. Tom Perryman presented the induction of Al Dexter and Al’s sister graciously spoke and accepted the plaque.

Al Dexter honored
Al Dexter's sister accepts in his honor.

Next was the performance of George Jones & The Jones Boys. What a thrill to see this great country legend in person! Ralph Emery made the presentation for George’s induction and Tommie Ritter Smith presented George with the plaque.

George Jones
George Jones accepts award from Tommie Ritter Smith.

Last but definitely not least was Mel Tillis & The Statesiders. What a great singer and entertainer! Mel and his band put on a great show!

Mel TIllis
The great Mel Tillis entertained the crowd.

Our thanks to the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame, the Panola County Chamber of Commerce and all friends of Carthage for their support!


The Original Announcement

The Texas Country Music Hall of Fame announced the names of the 2010 inductees. They are:

Ray WINkler      Ray Winkler

Ray Winkler: Ray wrote the country music classic "Welcome To My World." To date, 135 artists have recorded their version of the song including Jim Reeves, Eddy Arnold, Nat Stuckey, and Ray Price. In 1972 BMI inducted "Welcome To My World" into their Million Airs club, denoting a million radio plays and it has currently received over two million radio plays around the world. Ray was present when Jim Reeves was inducted into the Texas Country Music Hall Of Fame, attending the event annually until his unexpected death in 1998. He was excited about the new Tex Ritter Museum and the tribute it would pay to an industry he dearly loved.

Gerorge Jones     George Jones

There is no doubt that George Jones helped set the standard for modern country music. It is impossible to overstate his impact as one of the architects of the country music sound.

Al Dexter       Al Dexter

Al Dexter - songwriter, singer, guitar player; writer of the 1942 hit song "Pistol Packin Mama." It sold three million singles in 22 months and after only seven months 200,000 copies of the sheet music were sold. Bing Crosby and The Andrews Sisters had a hit with it in 1943. Willie Nelson recently recorded it on his newest album.

Mel TIllis     Mel Tillis              

This year's special guest performer will be Mel Tillis and the Statesiders. Tickets go on sale Monday, May 3 and may be purchased by calling the Panola County Chamber Of Commerce at 903-693-6634. The show will be Saturday, August 21, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. at the Carthage Junior High School auditorium.


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