Jason Aldean Has Strong Feelings About the Eagles + the Country Music Hall of Fame
Jason Aldean weighed in on whether Dolly Parton belongs in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and then he shared his opinion on whether one of rock's most influential bands belongs in the Country Music Hall of Fame. Should the Eagles be inducted alongside legends like Johnny Cash, Garth Brooks and (most recently) Hank Williams Jr.?
Toward the end of his visit with Taste of Country Nights, Aldean was asked about Parton's inclusion in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. You may recall that she was nominated but asked voters to not vote for her, feeling she wasn't qualified. Watch his full response and look for the full interview at the bottom.
"I think Dolly Parton belongs in every Hall of Fame," Aldean — whose new Macon, Geogia, album is now available in full — tells ToC Nights host Evan Paul. "She's obviously one of the biggest icons of our format, written songs like 'I Will Always Love You' and those kind of things that went on to be huge hits. I absolutely think if they want her in there and think she's deserving, I absolutely think she is."
There's a history of country artists in the Rock Hall (Cash, Linda Ronstadt, Hank Williams), but the reverse isn't true. Elvis Presley is an exception, but he had considerable country radio success early in his career. Influential Southern rock bands like the Allman Brothers Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Eagles are never really mentioned in the debate.
"I wouldn't be against that," Aldean shares. "I feel like the Eagles were really influential for a lot of artists in our genre, me being one of them. My dad was a huge Eagles fan, growing up on songs like 'Lyin' Eyes' and some of those things. That's country. I don't give a damn what anybody says, that is country music."
"Lyin' Eyes" is the only Top 10 country radio hit for the band. Per Billboard, they have six charting songs on the Hot Country Songs chart, including "Seven Bridges Road." "How Long" is their most recent, from the 2007 album Long Road Out of Eden. That song benefited from a promotional partnership with Mercury Nashville.
Still, their influence is overwhelming. Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley and Toby Keith are just three future Country Music Hall of Famers who have tipped a hat to the band in the past. Hall of Famer Vince Gill literally became an Eagle after Glenn Frey died. Aldean stands with them.
"A lot of that (music) was really country," he says. "I just think at the time it was probably a little heavier than what country was at the time, but looking back on it now, at what country music is now, I look back on those songs and I'm like, 'Man, that's traditional country music.'"