'The Actual McCoy' to be inducted into W.Va. Nation Music Corridor of Fame – Occasions-West Virginian
FAIRMONT — Charlie McCoy will always remember the day he answered an advert in a comic book guide.
It was 1949 and, on the age of 8, he was intrigued by the advert’s problem, “You’ll be able to play the harmonica in seven days or your a reimbursement. Simply fifty cents and a field high.”
Now 81, McCoy will likely be honored Saturday night time for his nearly six many years of being one of the crucial sought-after studio musicians in Nashville. A local of Oak Hill, West Virginia, McCoy will likely be inducted into the West Virginia Nation Music Corridor of Fame on the Sagebrush Spherical-Up.
“He has performed on so many data over time in all types of music,” W.Va. Nation Music Corridor of Fame & Museum Inc. Treasurer Invoice Janoske stated. “If anybody wanted a harmonica participant, there was just one — Charlie McCoy. If anybody belongs within the WV County Music Corridor of Fame, it’s Charlie McCoy.”
McCoy has labored with such family names as Elvis Presley, Johnny Money, Dolly Parton, Simon and Garfunkel, George Jones and Bob Dylan, to call a couple of.
He has fond reminiscences of taking part in on Roy Orbison’s hit music, “The Sweet Man.” That’s when he started getting requests to be a session musician.
Throughout a 15-year stretch, he did greater than 400 classes a yr. A grand complete would quantity greater than 12,000. Final yr, on the age of 80, he carried out in 73 studio classes.
McCoy’s musical profession first started to take form whereas he was in highschool within the mid-Nineteen Fifties. He and a few pals shaped a band whereas he was dwelling in Miami, Florida having moved from Oak Hill when he was within the first grade.
“Within the center 50s, rock and roll hit the radio, Invoice Haley and The Comets, Carl Perkins, however the one I locked onto was Chuck Berry,” McCoy stated. “So, me and a few pals shaped a small band making an attempt to play songs we heard on the radio.”
Earlier than he knew it, the band was getting some notoriety. After which, one night time, he heard somebody play what’s often called Delta Blues music on the harmonica.
“I stated, oh my gosh, that’s a harmonica? I’ve bought to discover ways to do this,” McCoy stated.
At nights in Miami, he would take heed to an AM radio station from Nashville, Tennessee that performed nation music. He knew then he needed to excellent his craft on the harmonica. However, he additionally branched out to play the guitar, bass, mallet percussion, the dobro, keyboards, and varied wind devices.
“However then a good friend of mine took me to a rustic music dance. I used to be standing there watching individuals dance the two-step … I used to be sort of amazed by all of that. The emcee known as my title to come back on stage and I performed Johnny B. Good,” McCoy stated.
From that time, McCoy was capable of get common gigs taking part in golf equipment in Miami. His notoriety grew once more.
“After a present one night time, I met Mel Tillis,” McCoy stated. “He heard me doing Chuck Berry and he stated, ‘If you happen to come to Nashville, I’ll get you on data tomorrow.’”
A skeptical McCoy requested the membership proprietor who Tillis was and if he really had the clout he talked about.
“So, the day after highschool, I went as much as Nashville and auditioned for Owen Bradley and Chet Atkins,” McCoy stated. “I noticed 13-year-old Brenda Lee report ‘Candy Nothings’ and I used to be hooked.”
As a result of he knew find out how to play so many various devices, McCoy earned a fame in Nashville as a “utility man.”
“I’d get a name to do a session they usually’d inform me, ‘We don’t know what you’re going to play, simply carry your stuff,’” McCoy stated.
He stated he’s even been requested if he solely performs with well-known artists. He stated he’s typically requested why he stayed in Nashville for the reason that metropolis has a fame for being only for nation music.
McCoy stated he noticed Nashville explode within the Sixties to the purpose that rising people artists of the day had been flocking to town. Acts like Peter, Paul & Mary, Bob Dylan, Perry Como, Patty Web page, Marie Osmond and Gordon Lightfoot went there to report.
“It was an explosion, studios had been going up, an increasing number of musicians had been getting work, it was actually thrilling,” McCoy stated.
Alongside along with his profitable studio session profession, McCoy served as musical director for the wildly fashionable syndicated tv present “Hee Haw.”
Already a member of the West Virginia Music Corridor of Fame, nationwide Nation Music Corridor of Fame, McCoy received a Grammy in 1972 for his album, “The Actual McCoy.” He has additionally been named “Instrumentalist of the Yr, specialty instrument,” eight occasions by the Nation Music Affiliation. Nevertheless, the accolade he cherishes most is having been welcomed into membership on the Grand Ole Opry.
“I really feel actually blessed about it,” McCoy stated of his profession. “To enter that room with so many proficient musicians, it’s like magic and I’m nonetheless 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 stated he was requested to shut out the present taking part in “Orange Blossom Particular” on harmonica.