Greene County News Report
XENIA — Veteran radio broadcaster, Ray “Chubby” Howard, was inducted into the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame during the 2015 International Steel Guitar Convention in St. Louis.
Howard has been entertaining Classic Country Radio listeners each weekend with his unique mix of encyclopedic country music knowledge and down-home humor since 1998. A US Navy veteran and professional steel guitar player, Howard has worked with some of the brightest stars in the country music business including Buck Owens, Connie Smith, and Boxcar Willie.
“It was the greatest day of my life,” Howard said. “I will never have another one like it. Of course I’m on the wall with Buddy Emmons, John Hughey, and Pete Drake. Over the weekend they did a tribute to Buddy Emmons, and it was unbelievable. When I was picking, there was a guy that jumped on the stage from Texas by the name of Johnny Bush. He said ‘I’ve got to sing a song with my friend Chubby.’ We’ve known each other since the ’60s, and he came up and sang ‘Crazy Arms.’ One of the highlights of the day was a surprise call from my friend and bluegrass music superstar, Rhonda Vincent, congratulating me. It was a fabulous weekend with so many musicians and friends.”
Howard has participated in seven USO tours, formed the first Steel Guitar Club, graced the stage of the Grand Ole Opry, and was a regular cast member of the Renfro Valley Barn Dance.
“Traditional country music featuring the steel guitar has been Chubby’s passion for decades,” Classic Country Radio General Manager Joe Mullins said. “He is the world’s greatest cheerleader for the instrument and those who play it and every fan and picker loves Chubby. How wonderful to see his lifetime of dedication, perseverance, and thousands of performances rewarded.”
The affable Howard maintains close friendships with everybody from radio listeners to local musicians and nationally recognized country music artists. It is not uncommon to hear Howard on the radio mentioning the steel guitar player on a particular song he features.
Tune in to the Chubby Howard Show 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each Saturday, and 1-5 p.m. Sundays on the Classic Country Radio network, one of the strongest network of classic country radio stations in the Midwest — WBZI AM 1500 and FM 100.3 (Xenia), WKFI AM 1090 (Wilmington), and WEDI AM 1130 (Eaton). Fans may also listen online at www.myclassiccountry.com or download the iPhone and Android apps.
Greene County News report compiled by Scott Halasz.