Tracy Byrd inducted into Texas Country Music Hall of Fame

Logan, Jared, Evee, Tracy and Michelle Byrd
Tommie Ritter Smith, Michael Berry and Neal McCoy

Country Music sensation and Southeast Texan Tracy Byrd was inducted into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame on Saturday, Aug. 8 at the Carthage Civic Center. Many friends, family, and fans of Byrd took to Highway 96 making the near three-hour drive to support the artist, who has four gold certifications and one double-platinum certification and has charted more than thirty hit singles in his career, including eleven additional Top 10 hits. 

“It was sort of a surreal night,” Byrd told the Examiner in an exclusive interview. “Michelle and the kids were there with me as well as some friends and a few thousand others. The show sold out, which doesn’t happen very often from what they told me, so that was great. It was the strangest feeling on stage because for the first time in my career it seemed like everyone was there for me and not the other way around, if that makes sense. But I brought my family onstage and I lost it and got choked up.”

Byrd’s close friend, nationally syndicated radio talk show host and Orange native Michael Berry introduced Byrd’s induction in Carthage.

“Michael asked me if he could do my introduction and I was flattered,” Byrd said. “We have become good friends and he is a good man. … Michael is a great speaker and great friend and I love him and his entire family and my friends from his Redneck Country Club who also made the trip with him.”

When the announcement was made that Byrd would be inducted on March 21 in Orange, Byrd admitted he was a little envious of his predecessors.  

“I’ve watched other people go into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame and been envious of them,” he said. “You wonder if the day will ever come; you wonder if you are worthy of the recognition, but when it finally happens you just cherish the moment and soak it all in and the greatest thing is you realize it is permanent and forever. I will always be in the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame. It’s a great feeling.”

Byrd was presented with a special Hall of Fame Blue Jean Jacket by Tommy Ritter Smith, CEO of The Texas Country Music Hall of Fame/Tex Ritter Museum and Randy Holland, owner of Real Country Booking. Smith is the cousin of Legendary “Tex” Ritter, one of the first inductees back in 1998.

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.

Southeast Texas is known for its great crop of country music stars including George Jones, Clay Walker, and Mark Chesnutt. Byrd said he is proud to be a native of the area and make Southeast Texans proud.

“Well this community has loved and supported me from the start and I feel I belong in the list of talent that has come from our area, which is really unheard of,” Byrd said. “I hope to be remembered as a good man who loved his family, God and community and got most of it right in the long run. I am still a work in progress.”