Saturday, April 14, 2018

Dates of Note in Country Music, April 15-30

Category: News

(Hall of Fame members in bold on birth/death date, followed by hall[s] of fame in which they are enshrined and the year[s] enshrined.  CM=Country Music; BG=Bluegrass; NS=Nashville Songwriter; SG=Southern Gospel; StG=Steel Guitar; LAG=Lifetime Achievement Grammy; RR=country act also inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)


April 16:

Dusty Springfield born in London, England, 1939 (died 1999). The legendary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame singer hit the country charts in 1962 as part of the Springfields with "Silver Threads and Golden Needles."

April 17:

Craig Anderson of Heartland born in Huntsville, Alabama, 1973 (now 45)
Eddie Cochran died in Bath, England (injuries from an April 16 car wreck), 1960 (was 21). The rockabilly pioneer co-wrote "Summertime Blues," which Alan Jackson covered in country.
Dorsey Dixon died in Plant City, Florida (heart attack), 1968 (was 70)
Hank Penny died in Camarillo, California (heart failure), 1992 (was 73)
Linda McCartney died in Tuscon, Arizona (breast cancer), 1998 (was 56). Linda and husband Sir Paul McCartney's band, Wings, hit the country charts in 1974 with "Sally G."
Glenn Sutton (NS 99) died in Nashville, Tennessee (heart attack), 2007 (was 69)

April 18:

Walt Richmond of the Tractors born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, 1947 (now 71)
Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown born in Vinton, Louisiana, 1924 (died 2005)
Curtis Potter born in Cross Plains, Texas, 1940 (died 2016)
Your blogger born in Louisville, Kentucky, 19(?!!??!) (drinking Hadacol)
Milton Brown died in Fort Worth, Texas (pneumonia resulting from injuries in an April 13 car wreck), 1936 (was 32)

April 19:

Jody Carver (StG 04) born in Brooklyn, New York, 1929 (now 89)
Bill Rice (NS 94) born in Datto, Arkansas, 1939 (now 79)
Gary Brewer born in Louisville, Kentucky, 1965 (now 53)
Bobby Russell (NS 94) born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1941 (died 1992)
Earl Bolick of the Blue Sky Boys died in Tucker, Georgia (unknown cause), 1998 (was 78)
Levon Helm died in New York, NY (throat cancer), 2012 (was 71)
The "National Barn Dance" debuted on WLS, Chicago, 1924

April 20:

Johnny Tillitson born in Jacksonville, Florida, 1939 (now 79)
Doyle Lawson (BG 12) born in Ford Town, Tennessee, 1944 (now 74)
Wade Hayes born in Bethel Acres, Oklahoma, 1969 (now 49)
Frank "Hylo" Brown born in River, Kentucky, 1922 (died 2003)
Benny Hill found dead in his London flat (coronary thrombosis), 1992 (was 68). The British comedian's Benny Hill Show featured Boots Randolph's "Yakety Sax" as its theme song.

April 21:

Wade Mainer born in Buncombe, North Carolina, 1907 (died 2011)
Ira Louvin (CM 01, NS 79) born in Section, Alabama, 1924 (died 1965)
Carl Belew born in Salina, Oklahoma, 1931 (died 1990)
Paul Davis (NS 10) born in Meridian, Mississippi, 1948 (died 2008)
Neal Matthews Jr. (CM 01) died in Nashville, Tennessee (heart attack), 2000 (was 70)

April 22:

Pat Enright of the Nashville Bluegrass Band born in Huntington, Indiana, 1945 (now 73)
Cleve Francis born in Jennings, Louisiana, 1945 (now 73)
Larry Groce born in Dallas, Texas, 1948 (now 70). The Mountain Stage host had one charted record, 1977's "Junk Food Junkie," which was a minor country hit.
Reuben Gosfield of Asleep at the Wheel born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1951 (now 67)
Heath Wright of Ricochet born in Vian, Oklahoma, 1967 (now 49)
Glen Campbell (CM 05, LAG 12) born in Delight, Arkansas, 1936 (died 2017)
Ray Griff born in Vancouver, British Columbia, 1940 (died 2016)
Steve Sholes (CM 67) died in Nashville, Tennessee (heart attack), 1968 (was 57)
Felice Bryant (CM 91, NS 72) died in Nashville, Tennessee (cancer), 2003 (was 77)
Paul Davis (NS 10) died in Meridian, Mississippi (heart attack), 2008 (was 60)
Richard Nixon died in New York, New York (stroke), 1994 (was 81). The former president's political troubles were chronicled in Tom T. Hall's song "Watergate Blues." Nixon also appeared on the Grand Ole Opry during its first night at the Opry House in 1974.
Hazel Dickens (BG 17) died in Washington, DC (pneumonia), 2011 (was 75)

April 23:

Roland White of the Nashville Bluegrass Band born in Madawaska, Maine, 1938 (now 80)
Roy Orbison (NS 87, LAG 98) born in Vernon, Texas, 1936 (died 1988)
Kent Robbins (NS 98) born in Mayfield, Kentucky, 1947 (died 1997)

April 24:

Shirley Boone born in Chicago, Illinois, 1934 (now 84). Pat Boone's wife is also the daughter of Red Foley.
Rebecca Lynn Howard born in Salyersville, Kentucky, 1979 (now 39)
Harry McClintock died in San Francisco, California (unknown cause), 1957 (was 74). His greatest success would come decades after his death when his recording of "Big Rock Candy Mountain" began the film O Brother, Where Art Thou.
Bobby Garrett (StG 95) died in Tyler, Texas (cancer), 1999 (was 64)
Bonnie Owens died in Bakersfield, California (Alzheimer's disease), 2006 (was 73)

April 25:

Larry Robbins of the Johnson Mountain Boys born in Dickerson, Maryland, 1945 (now 73)
Karl Farr (CM 80) born in Rochelle, Texas, 1909 (died 1961)
Cliff Bruner born in Texas City, Texas, 1915 (died 2000)
Vassar Clements born in Kinard, South Carolina, 1928 (died 2005)
O.B. McClinton born in Senatobia, Mississippi, 1940 (died 1987)
The musical Big River opened on Broadway, 1985. It won a "Best Musical" Tony for songwriter Roger Miller, making him, to date, the only country performer to ever win a Tony Award.

April 26:

Johnny Mosby born in Fort Smith, Arkansas, 1933 (now 85)
Duane Eddy born in Corning, New York, 1938 (now 80)
Fiddlin' Doc Roberts born in Richmond, Kentucky, 1897 (died 1978)
Cecil Null born in East War, West Virginia, 1927 (died 2001)
Tim Spencer (CM 80) died in Apple Valley, California (long illness), 1974 (was 65)
Wesley Rose (CM 86) died in Nashville, Tennessee (unknown cause), 1990 (was 72)
George Jones (CM 92, LAG 12) died in Nashville, Tennessee (respiratory failure), 2013 (was 81)

April 27:

Maxine Brown of the Browns (CM 15) born in Campti, Louisiana, 1931 (now 87)
Herb Pedersen of the Dillards and Desert Rose Band born in Berkley, California, 1944 (now 74)
Sydney Nathan (BG 06; RR 97) born in Cincinnati, Ohio, 1904 (died 1968)
Jimmie Skinner born in Blue Lick, Kentucky, 1909 (died 1979)

April 28:

Dale Potter born in Puxico, Missouri, 1929 (died 1996)
Tommy Caldwell of the Marshall Tucker Band died in Spartanburg, South Carolina (injuries from an April 21 car wreck), 1980 (was 30)
Ken Curtis died in Clovis, California (heart attack), 1991 (was 74). The Gunsmoke star was also a one-time member of the Sons of the Pioneers.

April 29:

Duane Allen of the Oak Ridge Boys (CM 15) born in Taylortown, Texas, 1943 (now 75)
Wayne Secrest of Confederate Railroad born in Alton, Illinois, 1950 (now 68)
Karen Brooks born in Dallas, Texas, 1954 (now 64)
Billy Mize born in Arkansas City, Kansas, 1929 (died 2017)
Eddie Noack born in Houston, Texas, 1930 (died 1978)
Vern Gosdin died in Nashville, Tennessee (stroke), 2009 (was 74)
Kenny Roberts died in Alton, Massachusetts (natural causes), 2012 (was 85)

April 30:

Fuzzy Owen born in Conway, Arkansas, 1929 (now 89)
Willie Nelson (CM 93, NS 73, LAG 00) born in Abbott, Texas, 1933 (now 85)
Darrell McCall born in New Jasper, Ohio, 1940 (now 78)
Johnny Farina (StG 02) born in Brooklyn, New York, 1941 (now 77)
Robert Earl Reynolds of the Mavericks born in Kansas City, Missouri, 1962 (now 56)
Johnny Horton born in Los Angeles, California, 1930 (died 1960)
Curly Chalker (StG 85) died in Hendersonville, Tennessee (brain cancer), 1998 (was 66)
WLS airs the final broadcast of the National Barn Dance, 1960, after 36 years on the air.

Monday, April 02, 2018

Dates of Note in Country Music, April 1-15

Category: News


(Hall of Fame members in bold on birth/death date, followed by hall[s] of fame in which they are enshrined and the year[s] enshrined.  CM=Country Music; BG=Bluegrass; NS=Nashville Songwriter SG=Southern Gospel; StG=Steel Guitar; GLA= Grammy Lifetime Achievement recipient; PMF= Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient; RR=country performer also in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)


April 1:

Jules Verne Allen born in Waxahachie, Texas, 1883 (died 1945)
Arthur "Guitar Boogie" Smith born in Clinton, South Carolina, 1921 (died 2014)
Jimmy Logsdon born in Panther, Kentucky, 1922 (died 2001)
Jim Ed Brown (CM 15) born in Sparkman, Arkansas, 1934 (died 2015)
Paul Cohen (CM 76) died in Nashville, Tennessee (cancer), 1970 (was 71)
Rachel Veach joined Roy Acuff's Smoky Mountain Boys, 1939. Her presence gave rise to Pete Kirby's nickname "Bashful Brother Oswald:" a woman traveling with a group of men was scandalous, so Kirby was billed as Veach's "bashful brother" to quell any rumors.
The original Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum opened, 1967

April 2:

Warner Mack born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1938 (now 80)
Sonny Throckmorton (NS 87) born in Carlsbad, New Mexico, 1941 (now 77)
Emmylou Harris (CM 08) born in Birmingham, Alabama, 1947 (now 71)
Dean Townson of Pirates of the Mississippi born in Battle Creek, Michigan, 1959 (now 59)
Billy Dean born in Quincy, Florida, 1962 (now 56)
Mose Rager born in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, 1911 (died 1986). The guitarist was a significant influence on the thumbpicking style of another guitarist from the region, Merle Travis.

Cliff Carlisle died in Lexington, Kentucky (unknown cause), 1983 (was 78)
Former Country Gentleman Doyle Lawson formed Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, 1979

April 3:

Richard Thompson born in Notting Hill, London, 1949 (now 69).  The legendary folk-rock singer/songwriter and guitarist wrote and originally recorded "1952 Vincent Black Lightning," later a bluegrass hit for Del McCoury, as well as Jo-El Sonnier's biggest hit, "Tear-Stained Letter" (which was also covered by Faith Hill).
Curtis Stone of Highway 101 (and son of Cliffie Stone) born in North Hollywood, California, 1950 (now 68)
Hank Newman of the Georgia Crackers born in Cochran, Georgia, 1905 (died 1978)
Don Gibson (CM 01, NS 73) born in Shelby, North Carolina, 1928 (died 2003)
Billy Joe Royal born in Valdosta, Georgia, 1942 (died 2015)
Ella Mae Cooley murdered, 1961. Her husband, self-proclaimed "King of Western Swing" Spade Cooley, was convicted of her murder and sentenced to life in prison.
David Keli'i (StG 90) died in Honolulu, Hawaii (unknown cause), 1983 (was 68)
Harley "Red" Allen (BG 05) died in Dayton, Ohio (cancer), 1993 (was 63)
Starday Records owner Don Pierce died in Nashville, Tennessee (heart attack), 2005 (was 89)
Arthur "Guitar Boogie" Smith died in Charlotte, North Carolina (natural causes), 2014 (was 93)
The 
Louisiana Hayride debuted on KWKH, Shreveport, Louisiana, 1948. Among the artists who performed on the radio show were Elvis Presley, Hank Williams, Claude King, Johnny Horton, and one-time emcee Jim Reeves.

April 4:

Steve Gatlin of the Gatlin Brothers born in Olney, Texas, 1951 (now 66)
Cy Coben (ne Cohen)  born in Jersey City, New Jersey, 1919 (died 2006)
Norro Wilson (NS 96) born in Scottsville, Kentucky, 1938 (died 2017)
Troy Gentry of Montgomery Gentry born in Lexington, Kentucky, 1967 (died 2017)
Red Sovine died in Nashville, Tennessee (heart attack while driving), 1980 (was 61)

April 5:

Bill Clifton (BG 08) (ne William August Marburg) born in Riverwood, Maryland, 1931 (now 87). In addition to being a bluegrass performer, Clifton is also credited with starting the bluegrass festival, when he organized a July 4, 1961 show in Luray, Virginia.
June Stearns born in Alpha, Kentucky, 1939 (now 79)
Tommy Cash born in Dyess, Arkansas, 1940 (now 78)
Bob McDill (NS 85) born in Beaumont, Texas, 1944 (now 74)
Pat Green born in San Antonio, Texas, 1972 (now 46)

Lewis Phillips of the Lewis Family (BG 06) born in Washington, GA, 1972 (now 46)
Laura Rogers of the Secret Sisters born in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, 1986 (now 32)
Jack Clement (CM 13, NS 73) born in Whitehaven, Tennessee, 1931 (died 2013)
Charlie Collins of Roy Acuff's Smoky Mountain Boys born in Caryville, Tennessee, 1933 (died 2012)
Frenchy "Stoney" Edwards died in Oklahoma (stomach cancer), 1997 (was 67)
Gene Pitney (RR 02) died in Cardiff, Wales (heart disease), 2006 (was 65). In addition to his rock hits, Pitney recorded two albums of duets with George Jones.

April 6:

Vernon Dalhart (CM 81, NS 70) (ne Marion Try Slaughter) born in Marion County, Texas, 1883 (died 1948)
Dick Kaihue McIntire (StG 82) born in Honolulu, Hawaii, 1902 (died 1951)
Wade Ray born in Griffin, Indiana, 1913 (died 1998)
Merle Haggard (CM 94, NS 77, GLA 06) born in Bakersfield, California, 1937 (died 2016)
Tammy Wynette (CM 98, NS 09) died in Nashville, Tennessee (heart failure attributed to blood clot), 1998 (was 55)
Merle Haggard (CM 94, NS 77, GLA 06) died in Palo Cedro, California (pneumonia), 2016 (79th birthday) 
Grand Ole Opry shows were canceled due to rioting in the wake of Martin Luther King's assassination earlier in the week, 1968

April 7:

Bobby Bare (CM 13) born in Ironton, Ohio, 1935 (now 83)
John Dittrich of Restless Heart born in New York, New York, 1951 (now 67)
Leon "Pappy" Selph born in Houston, Texas, 1914 (died 1999)
Cal Smith born in Gans, Oklahoma, 1932 (died 2013)
Clyde Moody died in Nashville, Tennessee (unknown cause), 1989 (was 73)
Henry Glover died in St. Albans, New York (heart attack), 1991 (was 69)
Jeff Newman (StG 99) died in Watertown, Tennessee (plane crash), 2004 (was 62)
George Shuffler (BG 11) died in Valdese, North Carolina (long illness), 2014 (was 88)

April 8:

John Schneider born in Mount Kisco, New York, 1960 (now 58)
Jimmie Osborne born in Winchester, Kentucky, 1923 (died 1957)

April 9:

Margo Smith born in Dayton, Ohio, 1942 (now 76)
Con Hunley born in Fountain City, Tennessee, 1945 (now 73)
Hal Ketchum born in Greenwich, New York, 1953 (now 65)
Mark Roberts of the Red Clay Ramblers born in Wareham, Massachusetts, 1957 (now 61)
Dave Innis of Restless Heart born in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, 1959 (now 59)
Carl Perkins (NS 85, RR 87) born in Tiptonville, Tennessee, 1932 (died 1998)
Darrell Glenn died in Fort Worth, Texas (cancer), 1990 (was 54)
Mae Boren Axton died in Nashville, Tennessee (natural causes), 1997 (was 82)
Tut Taylor died in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina (natural causes), 2015 (was 91)

April 10:

Fiddlin' Arthur Smith born in Bold Spring, Tennessee, 1898 (died 1971)
Sheb Wooley born in Enick, Oklahoma, 1921 (died 2003)
DeWitt "Scotty" Scott (StG 92) born in Amarillo, Texas, 1932 (died 2015)
Weldon Myrick (StG 97) born in Jayton, Texas, 1938 (died 2014)
Former home of Johnny and June Cash destroyed by fire, 2007. Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees owned the house at the time of the fire.  In 2010 the Gatlin Brothers referenced the fire in a song titled "Johnny Cash is Dead and His House Burned Down."

April 11:

Jim Lauderdale born in Troutman, North Carolina, 1957 (now 61)
Harty Taylor of Karl & Harty born in Mount Vernon, Kentucky, 1905 (died 1963)
Millie Good of the Girls of the Golden West born in Mount Carmel, Illinois, 1913 (died 1993)
George Shuffler (BG 11) born in Valdese, North Carolina, 1925 (died 2014)
Eddie Miller died in Nashville, Tennessee (unknown cause), 1977 (was 83). In addition to writing a number of songs, including "I've Loved and Lost Again" which was recorded by Patsy Cline during her stint on Four Star, Miller co-founded the Nashville Songwriters' Association International.
Lighnin' Chance died in Nashville, Tennessee (cancer/Alzheimer's), 2005 (was 79)
Jerry Byrd (StG 78) died in Honolulu, Hawaii (complications of Parkinson's disease), 2005 (was 85)

April 12:

Ron Elliott (StG 09) born in Salisbury, Maryland, 1936 (now 82)
Vince Gill (CM 07, NS 05) born in Norman, Oklahoma, 1957 (now 61)
Ernie Lee born in Berea, Kentucky, 1916 (died 1991)
Ned Miller born in Raines, Utah, 1925 (died 2016)
Judy Lynn born in Boise, Idaho, 1936 (died 2010)
Lewis Crook of the Crook Brothers died in Nashville, Tennessee (natural causes), 1997 (was 87)
Boxcar Willie died in Branson, Missouri (leukemia), 1999 (was 67)

April 13:

Sam Bush born in Bowling Green, Kentucky, 1952 (now 66)
Bob Nolan (CM 80, NS 71) of the Sons of the Pioneers born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, 1908 (died 1980)
Guy Willis of the Willis Brothers died in Nashville, Tennessee (unknown cause), 1981 (was 65)
Johnny Dollar died in Nashville, Tennessee (suicide), 1986 (was 53)

April 14:

Loretta Lynn (CM 88, NS 83, GLA 10, PMF 13) born in Butcher Holler, Kentucky, 1932 (now 86)
Stuart Duncan of the Nashville Bluegrass Band born in Quantico, Virginia, 1964 (now 54)
Vito Pelletteri died in Nashville, Tennessee (complications from a stroke), 1977 (was 87)
Burl Ives died in Anacortes, Washington (throat cancer), 1995 (was 85)

April 15:

Roy Clark (CM 09) born in Meherrin, Virginia, 1933 (now 85)
Chris Stapleton born in Lexington, Kentucky, 1978 (now 40)
J.L. Frank (CM 67) born in Limestone County, Alabama, 1900 (died 1952)
Bob Luman born in Nacogdoches, Texas, 1937 (died 1978)
Junior Barnard of Bob Wills' Texas Playboys died (car wreck), 1951 (was 30)
Rose Maddox died in Ashland, Oregon (kidney failure), 1998 (was 72)
Otto Kitsinger died in Nashville, Tennessee (heart attack), 1998 (was 54). Kitsinger was the historian and writer for CMT's Opry Backstage.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Kenny O'Dell Dies


Category: News/Obituary

Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee Kenny O'Dell died Tuesday (3/27) in a suburban Nashville healthcare facility.

Born Kenneth Guy Gist, Jr. in 1944, O'Dell changed his name because of the difficulty people had pronouncing his real last name.  His interest in songwriting began early, writing songs while he was still in grade school.  Moving to Nashville in the late 60s, he recorded three albums of his own music, with his biggest hit as a singer being 1978's "Let's Shake Hands and Come Out Lovin'."

As a songwriter, however, O'Dell attained legendary status in 1973...thanks to Watergate.  He told the Nashville Tennessean in 2017 that he kept hearing about Congressional hearings related to the Watergate scandal being held in secret.  "They're always talking about how no one knows what goes on behind closed doors," O'Dell told Bart Herbison.  "And I'm thinking, I like the title 'Behind Closed Doors.'"

O'Dell played rhythm guitar on Charlie Rich's recording of the song, which became a chart-topping smash in country and pop.  The song won the "Country Song of the Year" Grammy award for the year, as well as the "Song of the Year" award in both the Country Music Association and Academy of Country Music awards presentations.

His other massive songwriting success -- earning him a BMI "Country Song of the Year" award and a Grammy nomination -- was "Mama, He's Crazy," one of the biggest hits in the career of the Judds.  Additionally, O'Dell wrote or co-wrote other hits such as "Lizzy and the Rainman" (Tanya Tucker), "I Take It on Home" (Charlie Rich), and "Trouble in Paradise" (Loretta Lynn).

O'Dell was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1996.  His wife, Corki Casey O'Dell, was a Musicians Hall of Fame guitarist.  She passed away last year.

Kenny O'Dell was 73.


Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Deke Dickerson to Write Travis Biography

Category: News

I saw some terrific news on Facebook this evening from my friend, guitarist, singer, and songwriter Deke Dickerson.  He has signed a contract with BMG Books to publish a biography of the legendary Merle Travis.

With the full cooperation of Travis' daughters, Cindy and Merlene, Dickerson has access to an unpublished and unfinished autobiography Travis began, as well as "a storage unit full of Merle's writings, photos, letters, guitars, and reel-to-reel recordings."

If you've read either (or both) of Dickerson's Strat in the Attic books you know his love for guitars, guitarists, and the rich history of the greatest guitar heroes of country, rockabilly, and early rock and roll.

Congratulations to Deke on this exciting project!  We can't wait!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Three Shining New Hall of Fame Stars

Category: News

Today (3/27) it is overcast and gloomy, but the new Hall of Fame inductees are shining so brightly it takes away the cloud cover.  The class of 2018 was announced this morning, and I am thrilled beyond measure to present the list of inductees.

MUSICIAN: JOHNNY GIMBLE.  Known initially as a member of Bob Wills' Texas Playboys, Gimble's career branched out to include his trademark fiddle work on countless albums.  He was featured on Merle Haggard's tribute album to Wills, as well as working as a road musician for Willie Nelson and a session man for George Strait.  Later he was a member of the Hee Haw "Million Dollar Band."  Gimble died in 2015, but what a legacy he left.

VETERANS ERA: DOTTIE WEST.  Country music's first female Grammy winner, the late Dottie West had been one of the most overlooked performers on the list of "veterans era" performers.  That came to an end today, over 26 years after her tragic death from injuries in a car wreck on her way to an Opry performance.  A songwriter, a singer, and a dynamic performer, West was one of the unsung female heroes in country music who helped pave the way for the women singers today.  Now, she has received the recognition she so richly deserved.

MODERN ERA: RICKY SKAGGS.  From eastern Kentucky (along the famed "Country Music Highway"), Skaggs learned a love of bluegrass at a very early age...and showed it off at an equally early age, playing on Flatt & Scruggs' TV show.  His career has covered bluegrass in the 70s with J.D. Crowe, a band musician in the late 70s and early 80s as part of Emmylou Harris' "Hot Band," his own string of country successes in the 80s as one of the champions of the "neo-traditional sound" revival, and his return to his bluegrass roots in the 90s through today.

Thank you, Hall of Fame.  What a remarkable class for 2018. 

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Dates of Note in Country Music, March 16-31

Category: News

(Hall of Fame members in bold on birth/death date, followed by hall[s] of fame in which they are enshrined and the year enshrined.  CM=Country Music; BG=Bluegrass; NS=Nashville Songwriter; SG=Southern Gospel; StG=Steel Guitar; RR=country performer also inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.)


March 16:


Ray Walker of the Jordanaires (CM 01) born in Centerville, Mississippi, 1934 (now 84)

Jerry Jeff Walker (ne Ronald Clyde Crosby) born in Oneonta, New York, 1942 (now 76)
Ray Benson of Asleep at the Wheel born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1951 (now 67)
Tim O'Brien born in Wheeling, West Virginia, 1954 (now 64)
Stan Thorn of Shenandoah born in Kenosha, Wisconsin, 1959 (now 59)
Ronnie McCoury born in York County, Pennsylvania, 1967 (now 51)
Robert Whitstein born in Colfax, Louisiana, 1944 (died 2001)

Carlton Haney (BG 98) died in Greensboro, North Carolina (stroke), 2011 (was 82)
Plane crash at Otay Mountain near San Diego, California kills Reba McEntire band members Chris Austin, Kirk Capello, Joey Cigainero, Paula Kaye Evans, Terry Jackson, Michael Thomas, and Tony Saputo, 1991

March 17:

Jim Weatherly (NS 06) born in Pontotoc, Mississippi, 1943 (now 75)
Paul Overstreet (NS 03) born in Newton, Mississippi, 1955 (now 63)
Dick Curless born in Fort Fairfield, Maine, 1932 (died 1995)
Hugh Farr (CM 80) died in Casper, Wyoming (unknown causes), 1980 (was 77)
Jimmy Gately died in Madison, Tennessee (unknown causes), 1985 (was 53)
Sammy Pruett died in Birmingham, Alabama (unknown causes), 1988 (was 61)
Terry Stafford died in Amarillo, Texas (liver failure), 1996 (was 55)
Bill Carlisle (CM 02) died in Nashville, Tennessee (natural causes), 2003 (was 94)

Ferlin Husky (CM 10) died in Nashville, Tennessee (congestive heart failure/colon cancer), 2011 (was 85)
Steve Young died in Nashville, Tennessee (complications from a fall), 2016 (was 73)
Chuck Berry (NS 82, RR 86) died in Wentzville, Missouri (heart attack), 2017 (was 90)

March 18:

Billy Armstrong born in Streator, Illinois, 1930 (now 88)
Charley Pride (CM 00) born in Sledge, Mississippi, 1934 (now 84)
Margie Bowes born in Roxboro, North Carolina, 1941 (now 77)
James McMurty born in Fort Worth, Texas, 1962 (now 56)
Smiley Burnette (NS 71) born in Summum, Illinois, 1911 (died 1967)

Dennis Linde (NS 05) born in Abilene, Texas, 1943 (died 2006)
John Phillips of the Mamas and Papas died in Los Angeles, California (heart failure), 2001 (was 65). His solo hit, "Mississippi," was a country hit in 1971.

Ned Miller died in Medford, Oregon (natural causes), 2016 (was 90)

March 19:

Henry "Friendly Henry" Maddox born in Boaz, Alabama, 1928 (died 1974)
Speck Rhodes died in Nashville, Tennessee (natural causes), 2000 (was 84)
Randall Hylton died in Nashville, Tennessee (brain aneurysm), 2001 (was 55)
Tootsie's Orchid Lounge opened in Nashville, 1960

March 20:

Tommy Hunter born in London, Ontario, 1937 (now 81)
Douglas B. Green (Ranger Doug) of Riders in the Sky and the Time Jumpers born in Great Lakes, Illinois, 1946 (now 72)
Jim Seales of Shenandoah born in Hamilton, Alabama, 1954 (now 64)

Jerry Reed (CM 17, NS 05) born in Atlanta, Georgia, 1937 (died 2008)
Ralph Mooney (StG 83) died in Kennedale, Texas (kidney cancer), 2011 (was 82)

March 21:

Carol Lee Cooper born in West Virginia, 1942 (now 76)
Tommy Hill died in Nashville, Tennessee (liver and heart ailments), 2002 (was 72)

March 22:

Charlie Poole born in Randolph County, North Carolina, 1892 (died 1931)
Hoyle Nix of the West Texas Cowboys born in Azel, Texas, 1918 (died 1985)

Bobby Garrett (Steel Guitar 95) born in Dallas, Texas, 1935 (died 1999)
Uncle Dave Macon (CM 66) died in Murfreesboro, Tennessee (illness), 1952 (was 81)
Stoney Cooper died in Nashville, Tennessee (heart attack), 1977 (was 59)
Carl Perkins injured in automobile accident near Wilmington, Delaware, 1956

March 23:


David Grisman born in Passaic, New Jersey, 1945 (now 73)
Fiddlin' John Carson born in Fannin County, Georgia, 1868 (died 1949)
Jim Anglin born in Franklin, Tennessee, 1913 (died 1987)
Smokey Rogers born in McMinnville, Tennessee, 1917 (died 1993)
J.D. Miller died in Crowley, Louisiana (complications from heart bypass surgery), 1996 (was 73)
James Roy "Pop" Lewis (BG 06) of the Lewis Family died in Lincoln County, Georgia (natural causes), 2004 (was 98)
Cindy Walker (CM 97, NS 70) died in Mexia, Texas (natural causes), 2006 (was 88)

March 24:

Peggy Sue Webb born in Butcher Hollow, Kentucky, 1947 (now 71)
Carson Robison (NS 71) died in Poughkeepsie, New York (unknown causes), 1957 (was 66)
Howard Dixon died in East Rockingham, North Carolina (unknown - possible work accident), 1961 (was 57)

Maggie Cavender (NS 89) died in Nashville, Tennessee (stroke), 1996 (was 77)
Henson Cargill died in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (complications from surgery), 2007 (was 66)

March 25:

Bonnie Guitar born in Seattle, Washington, 1923 (now 95)
Robbie Fulks born in York, Pennsylvania, 1963 (now 55)

Shad Cobb born in Hazel Dale, Washington, 1973 (now 45)
Natchee the Indian (ne Lester Vernon Storer) born in Peebles, Ohio, 1916 (died 1970)
Hoyt Axton born in Duncan, Oklahoma, 1938 (died 1999)
Jack Kapp died in New York, New York (cerebral hemorrhage), 1949 (was 47)
Buck Owens (CM 96, NS 96) died in Bakersfield, California (heart attack), 2006 (was 76)

March 26:

John Starling of the Seldom Scene (BG 14) born in Durham, North Carolina, 1940 (now 78)

Vicki Lawrence born in Inglewood, California, 1949 (now 69). The Carol Burnett Show actress had one hit, "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia," which made both the pop and country charts.
Ronnie McDowell born in Fountain Head, Tennessee, 1950 (now 68)
Michael Bonagura of Baillie & the Boys born in Newark, New Jersey, 1953 (now 65)
Dean Dillon (NS 02) born in Lake City, Tennessee, 1955 (now 62)
Charly McClain born in Jackson, Tennessee, 1956 (now 62)

Bud Isaacs (StG 84) born in Bedford, Indiana, 1928 (died 2016)
Julian Tharpe (StG 08) born in Skipperville, Alabama, 1937 (died 1994)

March 27:

Bill Callahan of the Callahan Brothers born in Madison County, North Carolina, 1912 (died 2002)

Don Warden (StG 08) born in Mountain Grove, Missouri, 1929 (died 2017)
David Rogers born in Houston, Texas, 1936 (died 1993)

March 28:

Roy Dean Webb (BG 09) of the Dillards born in Independence, Missouri, 1937 (now 81)
Charlie McCoy (CM 09) born in Oak Hill, West Virginia, 1941 (now 77)
Reba McEntire (CM 11) born in Chockie, Oklahoma, 1955 (now 63)

Jay Livingston born in McDonald, Pennsylvania, 1915 (died 2001). The pop songwriter's many hits include "Silver Bells," which has been recorded by many country performers.
W.C. Handy (NS 83) died in New York, New York (bronchial pneumonia), 1958 (was 84)
Farrell "Rusty" Draper died in Bellevue, Washington (heart disease/throat cancer), 2003 (was 80)
Glenn Barber died in Gallatin, Tennessee (heart ailment), 2008 (was 73)

Earl Scruggs (CM 85, BG 91, NS 07) died in Nashville, Tennessee (natural causes), 2012 (was 88)

March 29:

Paul Humphrey (BG 09) of the Lonesome Pine Fiddlers born in Wytheville, Virginia, 1935 (now 83)

Brady Seals of Little Texas born in Hamilton, Ohio, 1969 (now 49)
Moon Mullican (NS 76) born in Corrigan, Texas, 1909 (died 1967)
Jerry Byrd (StG 78) born in Lima, Ohio, 1920 (died 2005)
Texas Ruby died in Nashville, Tennessee (house fire), 1963 (was 54)
Opry announcer Hal Durham died in Nashville, Tennessee (unknown cause), 2009 (was 77)

March 30:

Bobby Wright born in Charleston, West Virginia, 1942 (now 76)
Connie Cato born in Carlinville, Illinois, 1955 (now 63)

March 31:

Greg Martin of the Kentucky Headhunters born in Louisville, Kentucky, 1954 (now 64)

Phil Leadbetter born in Knoxville, Tennessee, 1962 (now 56)
Howdy Forrester born in Vernon, Tennessee, 1922 (died 1987)
Tommy Jackson born in Birmingham, Alabama, 1926 (died 1979)

Hoyt Hawkins (CM 01) of the Jordanaires born in Paducah, Kentucky, 1927 (died 1982)
William O. "Lefty" Frizzell (CM 82, NS 72) born in Corsicana, Texas, 1928 (died 1975)
Anita Carter born in Maces Springs, Virginia, 1933 (died 1999)

John D. Loudermilk (NS 76) born in Durham, North Carolina, 1934 (died 2016)
Skeets McDonald died in Inglewood, California (heart attack), 1968 (was 52)

Carl Story (BG 07) died in Greer, South Carolina (complications from heart bypass surgery), 1995 (was 78)
Mel McDaniel died in Hendersonville, Tennessee (lung cancer), 2011 (was 68)

Monday, March 12, 2018

Walk, Don't Run

Category: Obituary

Nokie Edwards, one of the most influential guitarists in rock and roll history, has died.

Edwards, a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame "surf guitar" group the Ventures, died today (3/12) after a long illness. 

So why is a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer being memorialized here?  The answer to that question is simple: Buck Owens.

Nole Floyd Edwards was born in Oklahoma in 1935.  He began playing guitar at the age of five.  By the time he enlisted in the Army Reserves in 1956 he was making over $300 a week playing concerts in the Pacific northwest.

He was living in Tacoma when a country singer showed up in the area.  That singer was Buck Owens.  As Owens related in the taped interviews used for his autobiography Buck 'Em, "After those early singles flopped I'd left Bakersfield and gone up there (Tacoma) to work at a radio station, and to play in a band with a fellow by the name of Dusty Rhodes."  While Owens was there, he met Nokie Edwards, who would play guitar for Owens' live shows while the young Don Rich was featured exclusively on fiddle.

From there, Edwards met and worked with other country performers.  His web site's biography lists other greats such as Lefty Frizzell, Justin Tubb, Ferlin Husky, and Benny Martin as stars who utilized Edwards' talents.  Edwards was in Frizzell's final touring band in 1975.

But it was the formation of the Ventures with three other musicians from Washington that made Edwards legendary.  The band's first hit was a cover of the song "Walk, Don't Run," which was on a mid-50s Chet Atkins album.  

Their biggest success came with the CBS television series Hawaii Five-O, which used the Ventures' song as its theme music.  The single went to #1 on the pop charts and is still one of the most recognizable instrumentals and/or TV themes in history.

Edwards left the Ventures shortly after that success and launched his own solo career in music and acting (he was in the TV series Deadwood).  The Ventures reunited over the years, including for their 2008 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 

Over the past few years Edwards' health had been seriously declining, with a number of fundraisers taking place to help with his medical expenses.  He passed away early this morning.

Farewell to a giant in early rock and roll who also played with a number of country giants as well.

Nokie Edwards was 82.

Friday, March 02, 2018

Dates of Note in Country Music, March 1-15

Category: News

(Hall of Fame members in bold on birth/death date, followed by hall[s] of fame in which they are enshrined and the year[s] enshrined.  CM=Country Music; BG=Bluegrass; NS=Nashville Songwriter SG=Southern Gospel; StG=Steel Guitar; GLA=Grammy Lifetime Achievement recipient; RR=country act also in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)


March 1:


Janis Oliver of Sweethearts of the Rodeo born in Manhattan Beach, California, 1954 (now 64)
Sara Hickman born in Jacksonville, North Carolina, 1963 (now 55)
Clinton Gregory born in Martinsville, Virginia, 1966 (now 52)
Cliffie Stone (CM 89) born in Stockton, California, 1917 (died 1998)
Pearl Butler died in Nashville, Tennessee (unknown cause), 1988 (was 61)
RCA Victor debuted a new record format -- the 45 RPM, 1949

Johnny Cash and June Carter Smith Nix married in Franklin, Kentucky, 1968
California governor Ronald Reagan issued a full pardon to Merle Haggard, 1972


March 2:


Larry Stewart born in Paducah, Kentucky, 1959 (now 59)

Doc Watson (BG 00) born in Deep Gap, North Carolina, 1923 (died 2012)
Dottie Rambo (NS 07, SG 97) born in Madisonville, Kentucky, 1934 (died 2008)
Lonnie Glosson died in Searcy, Arkansas (natural causes), 2001 (was 93)

March 3:


John Carter Cash born in Madison, Tennessee, 1970 (now 48)
Jimmy Heap born in Taylor, Texas, 1922 (died 1977)
Kyle Bailes died (unknown cause), 1996 (was 80)
Harlan Howard (CM 97, NS 73) died in Nashville, Tennessee (heart attack), 2002 (was 74)
Ernie Ashworth died in Hartsville, Tennessee (heart attack), 2009 (was 80)
Benefit concert for the family of DJ "Cactus" Jack Call held in Kansas City, Missouri, 1963. Among those performing: Roy Acuff, Patsy Cline, Hawkshaw Hawkins, Cowboy Copas, Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper, George Jones, and Billy Walker.

March 4:


Betty Jack Davis born in Corbin, Kentucky, 1932 (died 1953)
John Duffey (BG 96, BG 14) born in Washington, DC, 1934 (died 1996)
Scotty Stoneman died in Nashville, Tennessee (overdose of prescription medication), 1973 (was 40)
Minnie Pearl (CM 75) died in Nashville, Tennessee (complications from stroke), 1996 (was 83)
Eddie Dean died in Los Angeles, California (emphysema), 1999 (was 91)

Joey Feek died in Alexandria, Indiana (cervical cancer), 2016 (was 40)

March 5:


Raymond Fairchild born in Cherokee, North Carolina, 1939 (now 79)

Willis Alan Ramsey born in Birmingham, Alabama, 1951 (now 67)
Jimmy Bryant born in Moultrie, Georgia, 1925 (died 1980)
Patsy Cline (CM 73; GLA 95) died near Camden, Tennessee (plane crash), 1963 (was 30)
Cowboy Copas died 
near Camden, Tennessee (plane crash), 1963 (was 59)
Hawkshaw Hawkins died near Camden, Tennessee (plane crash), 1963 (was 41)
Randy Hughes died near Camden, Tennessee (plane crash), 1963 (was 34). Hughes was Patsy Cline's manager and Cowboy Copas' son-in-law as well as the pilot of the ill-fated plane.
Syd Nathan (BG 06, RR 97) died in Miami, Florida (heart disease/pneumonia), 1968 (was 63). The Cincinnati record store owner founded King Records in 1943, making it the first all-country music record label in history.
Anna Carter Davis (SG 05), original member of the Chuck Wagon Gang and widow of Jimmie Davis, died in Fort Worth, Texas (complications following a fall), 2004 (was 87)
Elvis Presley honorably discharged from the Army, 1960

March 6:


Skip Ewing born in Red Lands, California, 1964 (now 54)

Redd Volkaert born in Vancouver, British Columbia, 1958 (now 60)
Cliff Carlisle born in Mount Eden, Kentucky, 1904 (died 1983)
Bob Wills (CM 68, NS 70, RR 99; GLA 07) born in Turkey, Texas, 1905 (died 1975)
Jean Chapel of the Coon Creek Girls born in Neon, Kentucky, 1925 (died 1995)

Don Stover (BG 02) born in Ameagle, West Virginia, 1928 (died 1996)
Red Simpson born in Higley, Arizona, 1934 (died 2016)
Doug Dillard (BG 09) of the Dillards born in East St. Louis, Missouri, 1937 (died 2012)
Elmer "Buddy" Charleton (StG 93) born in New Market, Virginia, 1938 (died 2011)
George Jones critically injured in single-vehicle accident, 1999
The siege of the Alamo ended, 1836. Davy Crockett, subject of the legendary song, was among those who died during the battle. Johnny Cash would memorialize the fight in his song "Remember the Alamo."

March 7:


Townes Van Zandt
 (NS 16) born in Fort Worth Texas, 1944 (died 1997)
Jack Anglin died in Nashville, Tennessee (car wreck), 1963 (was 46). Anglin was on his way to Patsy Cline's memorial service at the time of his accident.
Pee Wee King (CM 74, NS 70) died in Louisville, Kentucky (heart attack), 2000 (was 86)

Charlie Lamb died in Nashville, Tennessee (pneumonia), 2012 (was 90)
Claude King died in Shreveport, Louisiana (natural causes), 2013 (was 90)

March 8:


Randy Meisner of Poco and the Eagles born in Scotts Bluff, Nebraska, 1946 (now 72)

Jimmy Dormire of Confederate Railroad born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1960 (now 58)
Johnny Dollar born in Kilgore, Texas, 1933 (died 1986)
Jimmy Stoneman of the Stoneman Family born in Washington, DC, 1937 (died 2002)

Stuart Hamblen (NS 70) died in Santa Monica, California (brain tumor), 1989 (was 80)
Hank Locklin died in Brewton, Alabama (natural causes), 2009 (was 90)

March 9:


Mickey Gilley born in Natchez, Mississippi, 1936 (now 82)
Jimmy Fadden of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band born in Long Beach, California, 1948 (now 70)

Jerry Byrd (StG 78) born in Lima, Ohio, 1920 (died 2005)
Ralph Sloan of the Ralph Sloan Dancers born in Wilson County, Tennessee, 1925 (died 1980)

Glen Sherley born in Oklahoma, 1936 (died 1978)
George Burns died in Beverly Hills, California (cardiac arrest), 1996 (was 100). The legendary comedian and actor had a country hit with "I Wish I Was Eighteen Again."
Chris LeDoux died in Casper, Wyoming (bile duct cancer), 2005 (was 56)

Wayne Kemp (NS 99) died in Lafayette, Tennessee (various illnesses), 2015 (was 73)
Ray Griff died in Canada (post-operative pneumonia), 2016 (was 75)
Final Saturday night Grand Ole Opry at the Ryman before the opening of the new Opry House, 1974

March 10:


Ralph Emery (CM 07) born in McEwen, Tennessee, 1933 (now 85)
Norman Blake born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, 1938 (now 80)
Johnnie Allan born in Rayne, Louisiana, 1938 (now 80)
Kenneth "Jethro" Burns (CM 01) born in Conasauga, Tennessee, 1920 (died 1989)
Daryl Singletary born in Wigham, Georgia, 1971 (died 2018)
Soul singer James Brown guested on the Grand Ole Opry at the request of Porter Wagoner, 1979

March 11:


Jimmy Fortune (CM 08) born in Williamsburg, Virginia, 1955 (now 63)
W. Lee "Pappy" O'Daniel of the Light Crust Doughboys born in Malta, Ohio, 1890 (died 1969)
Jim Boyd of the Cowboy Ramblers died (unknown cause), 1993 (was 78)

Don Warden (StG 08) died (natural causes), 2017 (was 87)

March 12:


Marshall Wilborn of the Johnson Mountain Boys and the Lynn Morris Band born in Austin, Texas, 1952 (now 66)
James Taylor born in Belmont, Massachusetts, 1948 (now 70). The legendary pop/folk superstar wrote "Bartender's Blues" and sang with George Jones on Jones' recording of the tune.

Lew DeWitt (CM 08) born in Roanoke, Virginia, 1938 (died 1990)  
Ralph Sloan died in Nashville, Tennessee (unknown illness), 1980 (was 55)

March 13:


Jan Howard born in West Plains, Missouri, 1930 (now 88)

Liz Anderson born in Roseau, Minnesota, 1930 (died 2011) 
Benny Martin (BG 05) died in Nashville, Tennessee (nerve disorder/illness), 2001 (was 72)

Jack Greene died in Nashville, Tennessee (Alzheimer's disease), 2013 (was 83)
Ezra Carter married Maybelle Addington, 1926

March 14:


Michael Martin Murphy born in Oak Cliff, Texas, 1945 (now 73)
Doc Pomus died in New York, New York (lung cancer), 1991 (was 65)
Dale Potter died in Puxaco, Missouri (cancer), 1996 (was 66)
Tommy Collins (NS 99) died in Ashland City, Tennessee (emphysema), 2000 (was 69)

Bill Bolick of the Blue Sky Boys died in Hickory, North Carolina (natural causes), 2008 (was 90)

March 15:


D.J. Fontana born in Shreveport, Louisiana, 1931 (now 87)

Wayland Holyfield (NS 92) born in Malletttown, Arkansas, 1942 (now 76)
Gunilla Hutton of Hee Haw born in Goteborg, Sweden, 1946 (now 72)
Ry Cooder born in Los Angeles, California, 1947 (now 71)
Carl Smith (CM 03) born in Maynardville, Tennessee, 1927 (died 2010)
The final performance of the Friday Night Opry at the Ryman, 1974. The final song was the Opry cast singing "Will the Circle Be Unbroken."