Dottie West

Dottie West

George Wilkes/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Over the past year, The 615 has offered opinions concerning who the next members of the Country Music Hall of Fame should be.

In July, we made our case for Don Rich, the longtime sideman for Buck Owens, in the Instrumentalist category. Just a few weeks ago, we told of the great accomplishments of William Lee Golden, Duane Allen, Richard Sterban, and Joe Bonsall as the Oak Ridge Boys and why they belong in the “Modern Category.”

But the Hall will induct three in 2015, so who should the Veteran’s Category reflect? As is the case every year, there is a lot of discussion here, with names like Jim Ed Brown and the Wilburn Brothers both mentioned each year. Then you have the multifaceted success of an artist like Jerry Reed, who excelled as a singer, a writer and an actor -- and stands as one of the greatest instrumentalists to ever hang his hat in Music City.

Do these men deserve that slot? No doubt. But it’s time that the Country Music Hall of Fame needs to take a look at a native Tennesseean who made history several times over -- as a writer first, and then as a performer. She won award after award; charted duets with some of the biggest stars of all time; performed some of the biggest commercial jingles of the 1970s, which you’ll read about in just a few seconds; and along with Kenny Rogers and the Oak Ridge Boys, was part of one of country music’s first arena tours.

Along the way, she helped such fledging artists as Larry Gatlin strike a claim in Nashville. Another artist for which Dorothy Marie Marsh made a huge impact offers his thoughts on what an induction would mean in the career and to the family of... Dottie West. Joining us in the guest editorial slot in the 615 is the impeccably talented Steve Wariner.

“You can't imagine the doors Dottie West knocked down so scores of young female singer/songwriters could walk through behind her. She did it in a "good ole boy" era that wasn't readily going to let the girls in, but Dottie would have none of it!

You can ask Hall of Famer and legendary artist Kenny Rogers. He'll tell you Dottie West should be in the Hall of Fame. After all, she is the first female country artist to win a Grammy Award -- and she wrote the song! ‘Here Comes My Baby.’

She won tons of awards including BMI songwriter awards, No. 1 female artist of Britain, two CMA Vocal Duo of the Year Awards with Kenny Rogers, and a CLIO award for her major Coca-Cola commercial song (which she wrote and performed).

She was a brilliant songwriter, gifted singer and entertainer with a sharp, keen eye for young, upcoming talent. Among other things, she is credited as discovering several young artists who went on to be stars in their own right.

She was without a doubt, great for Country Music and should be included in the Country Music Hall of Fame. And as Chet Atkins used to say, ‘That's my opinion and it ought to be yours.’"