Maine Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum

A story by Ken Brooks from 1978-2024

The Maine Country Music Hall of Fame (MCMHOF) was founded in 1978 by Slim Andrews, Gini Huntington and Barry Deane and funded by the Maine Country Music Association, the first such association in the state of Maine. The MCMHOF was established for the purpose of recognizing and celebrating musicians and entertainers from Maine who had a major impact on the musical culture of Maine, the nation, and the world.

Following a carefully screened nomination process, a potential inductee to the Hall of Fame must be voted on by Hall of Fame members. Typically two people are inducted each year. In 1978, the first induction ceremony was held in Portland to induct Dick Curless, Ken MacKenzie and Hal Lone Pine. Curless was an internationally popular performer and recording artist with major hit recordings such as “Tombstone Every Mile.” Hal Lone Pine hosted a radio show on WABI in Bangor, which in 1938 was the first ever coast-to-coast broadcast of country music in the United States. This was on the ABC network and preceded WSM Radio’s Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee.

Ken MacKenzie had his own radio, and then television show in Portland during those early days of live music broadcasting. MacKenzie’s show, Hal Lone Pine’s show, and others including Rusty Rogers’ nationally-broadcast show and Curley O’Brien’s show out of Bangor helped many performers get started in the business.

Betty Cody, married to Hal Lone Pine (Breau), recorded on the RCA label. Two of their sons, Lenny and Denny, both pursued music careers as amazing guitarists, and both also were inducted into the Maine Country Music Hall of Fame.

Country music was derived from story-songs about life, originating in southern Appalachia, with a blend of musical influence brought mostly from the British Isles.

Paul Roberts of Skowhegan, Maine wrote “There’s a Star-Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere” which became the most popular patriotic song of WWII with a recording of the song by Elton Britt selling over 6 million copies.
In 2008, the MCMHOF established a 3000 square-foot museum in the lower level of the Silver Spur Club in Mechanic Falls, making Maine the only state northeast of Nashville to have its own country music hall of fame museum!

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