John lair

John Lee Lair - 2002 Inductee

Radio Pioneer, Folklorist, Writer, Entrepreneur and Founder Renfro Valley Barn Dance. John Lair was instrumental in discovering and developing the talents of many country music performers such as Lulubelle, Karl & Harty, “Red” Foley, Doc Hopkins, Linda Parker, “Whitney” Ford, Lily Mae & the Coon Creek Girls, Merle Travis, Homer & Jethro, “Slim” Miller, and Old Joe Clark, among others. His Cumberland Ridge Runners (the first string-band on radio to feature Kentucky mountain music) were a mainstay on the WLS National Barn Dance in the 1930’s. Seeking to establish a base closer to home for the radio shows he was producing, Lair and many of his entertainers moved to station WLW in Cincinnati, Ohio. He felt that radio needed a little more realism, a little less showmanship, and a lot more heart-felt sincerity. So there, at the Cincinnati Music Hall, the Renfro Valley Barn Dance was born in 1937. In just two years, with the help of “Red” Foley and his brother, Cotton, and “Whitney” Ford, preparations were completed for moving the entire show to its intended destination, Renfro Valley Kentucky. On opening night, November 4, 1939 when John Lee Lair stepped to the microphone on the stage of the big barn and said: “This is the Renfro Valley Barn Dance, coming to you direct from a real barn in Renfro Valley, Kentucky-the first and only barn dance on the air presented by the actual residents of an actual community…” A Kentucky tradition was born; a tradition that lives on today in Renfro Valley.

Kentucky Music Hall of Fame and Museum
  1. Dale Ann Bradley - 2018 Inductee
  2. Billy Ray Cyrus - 2018 Inductee
  3. Jason Crabb - 2018 Inductee
  4. Jackie DeShannon - 2018 Inductee
  5. David "Stringbean" Akeman - 2018 Inductee
  6. Bobby Lewis - 2018 Inductee
  7. Exile - 2011 Inductees
  8. The Kentucky Headhunters - 2013 Inductees
  9. Jerry Chestnut - 2004 Inductee
  10. John Lee Lair - 2002 Inductee
  11. Red Foley - 2002 Inductee
  12. Coon Creek Girls - 2004 Inductees
  13. Ulys R "Red" Turner - Renfro Valley Performer
  14. Old Joe Clark - 2013 Inductee
  15. Merle Travis - 2002 Inductee
  16. Loretta Lynn - 2002 Inductee
  17. JD Crowe - 2004 Inductee
  18. Bradley Kincaid - 2002 Inductee
  19. Jean Ritchie - 2002 Inductee
  20. Tom T Hall - 2002 Inductee
  21. Pete Stamper - 2015 Inductee
  22. Steve Wariner - 2011 Inductee
  23. Bradley Kincaid - 2002 Inductee
  24. Bill Monroe - 2002 Inductee
  25. Dwight Yoakam - 2008 Inductee
  26. John Conlee - 2006 Inductee
  27. Louis Marshall "Grandpa Jones" - 2002 Inductee
  28. Keith Whitley - 2011 Inductee
  29. Ricky Skaggs - 2004 Inductee
  30. Brian Littrell & Kevin Richardson of The Backstreet Boys - 2015 Inductees
  31. Patty Loveless - 2011 Inductee
  32. Montgomery Genrty - 2015 Inductees
  33. John Michael Montgomery - 2011 Inductee
  34. The Judds - 2006 Inductees
  35. The Everly Brothers - 2002 Inductees
  36. Boots Randolph - 2004 Inductee
  37. Sam Bush - 2006 Inductee