Climax native to enter Atlanta Country Music Hall of Honor

Published 8:47 am Tuesday, November 13, 2012

ENTERING THE HALL: Climax native R.H. “Ray” Boyett is shown as he performs one of his favorite country music stars. Boyett will be inducted into the Atlanta Country Music Hall of Honor on Nov. 24.

Climax native, R.H. “Ray” Boyett, will be inducted into the Atlanta Country Music Hall of Honor later this month.

In recognition of his contributions and achievements in the music industry, the Awards committee and the Executive Board of the Atlanta Country Music Hall of Fame announced, on Oct. 27, that they had selected Boyett to be honored and inducted into the Hall of Honor at the 31st annual awards celebration, to be held in Atlanta on Nov. 24.

They cited some of Boyett’s contributions to country, bluegrass, Western swing and gospel music. He was also recognized for having played and sang at the Georgia Mountain Fair, for three to four hours each day for 10 days straight, for 18 years in a row.

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He has also played for more than 10 years on Saturday night at the Mt. Zion Music Hall near Valdosta, Ga., with artists like Herschell Finch, Billy Owens and Simon Newton. The group Boyett is affiliated with is known as the “Creekside Country Strings,” and they also performed on stage at the Georgia Mountain Fair Music Hall.

The honoree said he had played music in Georgia since he was about 10 years old, playing with his dad, uncles, and cousins, when in elementary and high school. College caused a delay in his music playing, but after college he moved to Oak Ridge, Tenn. and played with several groups there.

During those years when he came home to Climax on vacations, Boyett played jam sessions with his dad, Edgar, and friends and neighbors such as Gilford Eaton and his son Billy Eaton. He also played at many more outings, such as peanut boiling at the Kellys, when fall came to the country.

After retirement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, in Thomasville, Ga. in the early 1990s, Boyett had the opportunity to play a number of venues in various parts of the states of Georgia, Mississippi, Virginia and Florida.

His contributions include rhythm guitar and vocals, plus a number of tunes played on the mandolin. Boyett has recorded five country, bluegrass, and Western swing albums and has recorded one gospel album. He has written about 20 songs, including three gospel songs in memory of his mother, Pauline Boyett — two of which are included in the gospel album.

Boyett and the Creekside Country Strings have played at the Dogwood Arts Festival, in Attapulgus, and many nursing homes events, and suppers at the barn near Climax. The band has also played at the Climax Golden Agers, and other local senior groups and clubs, and also at the depot during the Swine Time Festival.

Boyett is married to Nancy Tichenor Boyett, formerly of Oak Ridge, Tenn. The couple has one daughter, Dr. Ranan B. Stimpson, an optometrist, who lives in Dallas, Ga.

Boyett said it was truly an honor just to be considered for the Atlanta Country Music Hall of Honor, but to be inducted was something he had only dreamed about.

Congratulations to Climax boy, R.H. “Ray” Boyett — a dream come true!