By DONNA BALANCIA
Music queen Jeannie Seely, was named an “Honorary Texan” after her performance during the 23rd Annual Texas Country Music Hall of Fame event in Carthage, Texas, on Saturday, August 14.
The presentation was given by Texas Country Music Hall of Fame President Tommie Ritter Smith for all of Ms. Seely’s contributions to the Texas music community.
Seely is a multifaceted entertainer. She has a beautiful display in the museum, she has an affiliation with Willie Nelson through her radio show on SiriusXM “Willie’s Roadhouse,” and has won over crowds with her performances in Texas and with the Texas Hall of Fame band, and she has many other affiliations with the music industry in Texas.
The proclamation was made on Aug. 14.
“Some of my biggest heroes have been Texans,” Seely said. “Ernest Tubb, Bob Wills, Cindy Walker and Willie Nelson to name a few, and Texans have always seemed to be so positive, fun-loving and full of pride. Now I can share that pride. “This is truly an honor, thank you Gov. Abbott, Tommie Ritter Smith and all of Texas for accepting me. I appreciate you.”
Seely, the distinctive-voiced lady referred to as “Miss Country Soul” became the first — and to date, the only — Pennsylvania native to become an Opry member. She won a GRAMMY for Best Female Country and Western Vocal Performance in 1966 for “Don’t Touch Me.”
“Jeannie Seely has been a great friend to the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame since the beginning,” said Texas Country Music Hall of Fame President Ritter-Smith. “She has graciously performed several times on our show and was the host for our event. To have this special lady be recognized as an honorary Texan by our governor is a very special honor.”
“Honorary Texan” recognition is bestowed by Texas governors and is a process known to have begun in the 1930s. “Honorary Texan” is given to out of staters and the recipient is entitled to the biggest thing that Texas owns: Its enormous sense of belonging and identity.