McLain Family Band and Charlie Sizemore to the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame

Also going into the Hall of Fame this October are The McLain Family Band and Charlie Sizemore, who are set to be inducted into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame on October 26 of this year. Both have dedicated most of their lives to bluegrass, and are indeed worthy of such recognition.

The Hall of Fame has been in existence since 2002, with a mission to recognize Kentuckians who have made a mark on American music during their careers. A new class in inducted every two years, though COVID restrictions played havoc with that schedule in the past few years. This being Kentucky, a good many of the inductees are bluegrass artists.

The McLains are currently in their 56th year as a family bluegrass band. They came to recognition through the medium of television, starting on WKYH-TV in Hazard, KY (now WYMT) in 1968. From 1977 to 1988 they hosted the The McLain Family Band Festival, which produced another TV show produced for nationwide distribution by Kentucky Educational Television. Other notable broadcast appearances include performances on NBC’s Today Show, The CBS Morning News,  ABC’s Good Morning America, The Pearl Bailey ETV Special, The BBC, TNN’s Nashville Now, and the Johnny Cash Christmas Special.

Stared by patriarch Raymond K. McLain, featuring his children Raymond W., Alice, and Ruth, and eventually their younger siblings, Nancy Ann and Michael, the McLains presented a squeaky clean image along with quality bluegrass family entertainment.

Currently, The McLain Family Band includes Raymond W. McLain, Ruth McLain, Alice McLain and her husband, Al White, and Daxson Lewis.

Their induction was announced last week immediately following the band’s performance at the SPBGMA National Convention in Nashville by KMHOF Executive Director Jessica Blankenship.

Charlie Sizemore gained his first exposure as a bluegrass artist when he stepped in to The Clinch Mountain Boys following Keith Whitley’s departure. Like Keith, Charlie was still a teenager when he went out on the road with Ralph Stanley. There he remained for nearly ten years.

While working with Ralph, Charlie completed an undergraduate degree at the University of Kentucky, and then attended law school in Nashville where he passed the bar. For many years Sizemore also toured as a solo artist with his own band, recording a number of influential albums during that time.

The Hall of Fame recognizes him not only for his musical contributions, but for his charitable work as well. While both touring and running a law firm in Kentucky, Charlie raised considerable amounts money to fund scholarships for deserving students in his native eastern Kentucky to attend Big Sandy Community and Technical College in Prestonsburg, where he began his college studies.

Congratulations to Charlie Sizemore and The McLain Family Band for their inductions!

Contact the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame & Museum online for information about tickets for the 202 induction ceremony on October 26.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.