Monday, August 31, 2015

Dates of Note in Country Music, September 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 enshrined.  CM=Country Music; BG=Bluegrass; NS=Nashville Songwriter; SG=Southern Gospel; StG=Steel Guitar)

September 1

Steve Goetzman of Exile born in Louisville, Kentucky, 1950 (now 65)
Maggie Cavender (NS 89) born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1918 (died 1996)
Boxcar Willie (ne Lecil Travis Martin) born in Sterratt, Texas, 1931 (died 1999)
Johnny Mack Brown born in Dothan, Alabama, 1904 (died 1974). The western actor was the namesake of Lester "Roadhog" Moran and the Cadillac Cowboy's Live at the Johnny Mack Brown High School album.
Conway Twitty (CM 99, NS 93) born in Friars Point, Mississippi, 1933 (died 1993)
George Riddle born in Marion, Indiana, 1935 (died 2014)
Delia "Mom" Upchurch, the "Den Mother to the Stars," died in Nashville, Tennessee (unknown cause), 1967 (was 85)

Jerry Reed (NS 05) died in Nashville, Tennessee (emphysema), 2008 (was 71)
Hal David (NS 84) died in Los Angeles, California (stroke), 2012 (was 91)
Doug Bounsall died in Las Vegas, Nevada (car wreck), 2012 (was 61)

September 2

Paul Wylie Deakin of the Mavericks born in Miami, Florida, 1959 (now 56)
Johnny Lee Wills born in Jewell, Texas, 1912 (died 1984)
Charline Authur born in Henrietta, Texas, 1929 (died 1987)
Grady Nutt born in Amarillo, Texas, 1934 (died 1982)
Fabor Robinson, founder of Fabor Records, died in Minden, Louisiana (unknown cause), 1986 (was 74)


September 3

Jimmy Riddle born in Dyersburg, Tennessee, 1918 (died 1981)
Hank Thompson (CM 89, NS 97) born in Waco, Texas, 1925 (died 2007)
Tompall Glaser born in Spalding, Nebraska, 1933 (died 2013)

September 4

Kathy Louvin born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1957 (now 58)
Harold "Shot" Jackson (StG 86) born in Wilmington, North Carolina, 1920 (died 1991)
Dottie West died in Nashville, Tennessee (injuries from a car wreck), 1991 (was 58)
Carl Butler died in Franklin, Tennessee (heart attack), 1992 (was 65)

September 5

Chuck Seitz born in Cincinnati, Ohio, 1918 (died 2012).  In addition to serving as a Grammy-nominated recording engineer at King and RCA Seitz co-wrote the classic "Before I Met You."
Curley Williams died in Montgomery, Alabama (unknown cause), 1970 (was 66)
Joe South (NS 79) died in Atlanta, Georgia (heart failure), 2012 (was 72)
The Country Music Association was founded, 1958
The Lewis Family's final concert, 2009. The bluegrass and gospel band began performing in 1951.


September 6

David Allan Coe born in Akron, Ohio, 1939 (now 76)
Buddy Miller born in Fairborn, Ohio, 1952 (now 63)
Jeff Foxworthy born in Atlanta, Georgia, 1958 (now 57)
Mark Chesnutt born in Beaumont, Texas, 1963 (now 52)
Zeke Clements (NS 71) born near Empire, Alabama, 1911 (died 1994)
Paul Yandell, C.G.P. born in Mayfield, Kentucky, 1935 (died 2011)
Mel McDaniel born in Checotah, Oklahoma, 1942 (died 2011)
Ernest Tubb (CM 64, NS 70) died in Nashville, Tennessee (complications from emphysema), 1984 (was 70)
Autry Inman died (unknown cause), 1988 (was 59)
Roy Huskey Jr. died in Nashville, Tennessee (cancer), 1997 (was 41)

September 7

Ronnie Dove born in Herndon, Virginia, 1940 (now 75)
Mark D. Sanders (NS 09) born in Los Angeles, California, 1950 (now 65)
Buddy Holly (NS 94) born in Lubbock, Texas, 1936 (died 1959)

Hubert Long (CM 79) died in Nashville, Tennessee (brain tumor), 1972 (was 48)
Warren Zevon died in Los Angeles, California (mesothelioma), 2003 (was 56).  The folk-rock singer wrote "Poor Poor Pitiful Me," which made the country charts by both Linda Ronstadt and Terri Clark, and Dwight Yoakam recorded Zevon's "Carmelita" and sang on two of Zevon's albums.  Zevon also appeared in the movie South of Heaven, West of Hell with Yoakam.
Oscar Sullivan died in Nashville, Tennessee (leukemia), 2012 (was 93)

September 8

Jimmie Rodgers (CM 61, NS 70) born in Meridian, Mississippi, 1897 (died 1933)
Milton Brown born in Stephenville, Texas, 1903 (died 1936)
Patsy Cline (CM 73) born in Winchester, Virginia, 1932 (died 1963)
Harlan Howard (CM 97, NS 73) born in Detroit, Michigan, 1929 (died 2002)

September 9

Freddy Weller born in Atlanta, Georgia, 1947 (now 68)
Rodger Dale Tubb died in Fredericksburg, Texas (car wreck), 1938 (was 7 weeks old)
Tex Owens (NS 71) died in New Baden, Texas (unknown cause), 1962 (was 70)
Bill Monroe (CM 70, BG 91, NS 71) died in Nashville, Tennessee (stroke), 1996 (was 84)

September 10

Tommy Overstreet born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 1937 (now 78)
Rosie Flores born in San Antonio, Texas, 1956 (now 59)
Luke Wills born in Memphis, Texas, 1920 (died 2000)
Joe (ne Walter) Callahan of the Callahan Brothers died in Asheville, North Carolina (cancer), 1971 (was 61)


September 11

Jimmie Davis (CM 72, NS 71) born in Beech Springs, Louisiana, 1899 (died 2000)
Randy Hughes born in Gum, Tennessee, 1928 (died 1963)
Lorne Greene died in Santa Monica, California (pneumonia), 1987 (was 72). The actor's recitation "Ringo" was a top 25 country hit in 1964.
Leon Payne (NS 70) died in San Antonio, Texas (heart attack), 1969 (was 52)
Bill (ne Homer) Callahan of the Callahan Brothers died in Dallas, Texas (congestive heart failure), 2002 (was 90)

Terrorists crash planes into the World Trade Center's twin towers in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington DC, 2001.  The attack spawned several country songs including Alan Jackson's "Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)" and Toby Keith's "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)."

September 12

Lois Johnson Burns born in Jackson Township, Ohio, 1924 (died 1989). One of WLW's "Johnson Twins," she married Jethro Burns of Homer & Jethro in 1946.
Leona Johnson Atkins born in Jackson Township, Ohio, 1924 (died 2009). One of WLW's "Johnson Twins," she married Chet Atkins in 1946.
Helen Carter born in Maces Springs, Virginia, 1927 (died 1998)
George Jones (CM 92) born in Saratoga, Texas, 1931 (died 2013)
Rod Brasfield (CM 87) died in Martin, Tennessee (heart failure), 1958 (was 48)
Johnny Cash (CM 80, NS 77) died in Nashville, Tennessee (Shy-Drager syndrome complications, diabetes, lung disease), 2003 (was 71)
John Ritter died in Los Angeles, California (heart ailment), 2003 (was 54). The actor was the son of Western legend Tex Ritter.
Charlie Walker died in Nashville, Tennessee (colon cancer), 2008 (was 81)

Don Wayne (NS 78) died in Nashville, Tennessee (cancer), 2011 (was 78)
Wade Mainer died in Flint, Michigan (congestive heart failure), 2011 (was 104)

September 13

Bobbie Cryner born in Woodland, California, 1961 (now 53)
Bill Monroe (CM 70, BG 91, NS 71) born in Rosine, Kentucky, 1911 (died 1996)
Wilma Lee Cooper died in Nashville, Tennessee (natural causes), 2011 (was 90)
Roy Acuff postage stamp issued by the U.S. Postal Service, 2003

September 14

John Berry born in Aiken, South Carolina, 1959 (now 56)
Mae Boren Axton born in Bardwell, Texas, 1914 (died 1997)
Don Walser born in Brownfield, Texas, 1934 (died 2006)
Vernon Dalhart (CM 81, NS 70) died in Bridgeport, Connecticut (heart attack), 1948 (was 65)
Beasley Smith (NS 83) died in Nashville, Tennessee (cerebral hemorrhage), 1968 (was 66)
Hank Williams arrived in Nashville and met with Fred Rose to discuss a record or publishing deal, 1946

September 15

Roy Acuff (CM 62) born in Maynardsville, Tennesssee, 1903 (died 1992)
Patsy Cline married Charlie Dick, 1957

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Dates of Note in Country Music, August 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=also inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)

August 16:

Billy Joe Shaver (NS 04) born in Corsica, Texas, 1939 (now 76)
Kathie Lee Gifford born in Paris, France, 1953 (now 62). Gifford began her career as one of the "Hee Haw honeys."
Emory Martin born in Hickman County, Tennessee, 1889 (died 2006). Martin was the one-armed banjo player at the Renfro Valley Barn Dance.
Elvis Presley (CM 98, RR 86) died at Graceland, Memphis, Tennessee (heart failure), 1977 (was 42)
Vassar Clements died in Nashville, Tennessee (lung cancer), 2005 (was 77)
Patsy Montana recorded "I Want to Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart," 1935. The song would become country music's first million-seller by a female.


August 17:

E.W. "Bud" Wendell (CM 98) born in Akron, Ohio, 1927 (now 88)
Wayne Raney (DJ 93) born in Wolf Bayou, Arkansas, 1920 (died 1993)

 
August 18:

Bob Koefer (StG 04) born in Clay Center, Kansas, 1928 (now 87)
Allen Reynolds (NS 00) born in North Little Rock, Arkansas, 1938 (now 77)
Hank Penny born in Birmingham, Alabama, 1918 (died 1992)
Molly Bee born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 1939 (died 2009)
Johnny Preston born in Port Arthur, Texas, 1939 (died 2011). Preston is best known for "Running Bear," the 1959 hit written by J.P. Richardson and featuring guitar work and backing vocals by George Jones.
Charlie Waller (BG 96) died in Gordonsville, Virginia (heart attack), 2004 (was 69)
The Louvin Brothers play their last official show as a duo (opening for Ray Price) in Watseka, Illinois, 1963. According to Charles Wolfe's biography, the duo that once commanded over $1,100 per show as headliners received $250 for the performance.

August 19:

Roger Cook (NS 97) born in Bristol, England, 1940 (now 75)
Eddy Raven born in Lafayette, Louisiana, 1944 (now 71)
Larry Sasser (StG 11) born in Gainesville, Georgia, 1947 (now 68)
Lee Ann Womack born in Jacksonville, Texas, 1966 (now 49)
Clay Walker born in Beaumont, Texas, 1969 (now 46)
Curly Ray Cline (BG 09) died in Rockhouse, Kentucky (illness), 1997 (was 74)


August 20:

Rudy Gatlin born in Olney, Texas, 1952 (now 63)
John Hiatt (NS 08) born in Indianapolis, Indiana, 1952 (now 63)
Ralph Stanley II born in Coeburn, Virginia, 1958 (now 56)
Jim Reeves born in Galloway, Texas, 1923 (died 1964)
"Sneaky Pete" Kleinow (StG 07) born in South Bend, Indiana, 1934 (died 2007)
Justin Tubb born in San Antonio, Texas, 1935 (died 1998)
Louis Innis died (heart attack), 1982 (was 63)
Leon McAuliffe (StG 78) died in Tulsa, Oklahoma (illness), 1988 (was 71)

Red Rhodes (StG 05) died in Los Angeles, California (lung disease), 1995 (was 64)

 August 21:

Kenny Rogers (CM 13) born in Houston, Texas, 1938 (now 77)
Harold Reid (CM 08) born in Staunton, Virginia, 1939 (now 76)
Nick Kane of the Mavericks born in Jerusalem, Georgia, 1954 (now 61)
Sam McGee died in Williamson County, Tennessee (tractor accident on his farm), 1975 (was 81)
Murray "Buddy" Harman died in Nashville, Tennessee (congestive heart failure), 2008 (was 79)

August 22:

Rounder Records co-founder Marian Leighton-Levy born in Harrington, Maine, 1948 (now 67)
Holly Dunn born in San Antonio, Texas, 1957 (now 58)

Collin Raye born in DeQueen, Arkansas, 1959 (now 56)
Rod Brasfield (CM 87) born in Smithville, Arkansas, 1910 (died 1958)
Connie B. Gay (CM 80) born in Lizard Lick, North Carolina, 1914 (died 1989)
Horace "Aytchie" Burns died in Knoxville, Tennessee (heart attack), 1974 (was 56). Aytchie was a bass player at Knoxville's WNOX and on the Renfro Valley Barn Dance. He was also the older brother of Jethro Burns.
Elizabeth Haynes born in Greenville, Kentucky, 1920 (died 1976)
Elizabeth Haynes died in Hammond, Indiana (kidney disease), 1976 (56th birthday). The one-time bass player and "red-headed yodeling gal" on the Renfro Valley Barn Dance was the wife of Homer Haynes.
Leon Chappelear died in Gladewater, Texas (suicide [gunshot]), 1962 (was 53)
Mooney Lynn, the husband of Loretta Lynn, died in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee (heart failure/diabetes), 1996 (was 69)

Floyd Tillman (CM 83, NS 70) died in Houston, Texas (leukemia), 2003 (was 88)

August 23:

Rex Allen, Jr. born in Chicago, Illinois, 1947 (now 68)
Woody Paul of Riders in the Sky born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1949 (now 66)
Tex Williams born in Anvil, Illinois, 1917 (died 1985)
Leslie York of the York Brothers born in Louisa, Kentucky, 1917 (died 1984)

"It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels" hit #1 on the Billboard charts, 1952. The song, the first #1 hit for a female singer, was very controversial in its day, with many country stations refusing to play the song and the Grand Ole Opry management prohibiting Kitty Wells from performing the tune on the Opry.

August 24:

Teea Goans born in Lowry City, Missouri, 1980 (now 35)
Fred Rose (CM 61, NS 70) born in Evansville, Indiana, 1897 (died 1954)
Jerry Clower died in Jackson, Mississippi (complications from heart surgery), 1998 (was 71)
Nat Stuckey died in Nashville, Tennessee (lung cancer), 1988 (was 54)

August 25:

Elvis Costello born in London, England, 1954 (now 61). The punk pioneer and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member has performed with numerous country legends including George Jones, Ricky Skaggs, Emmylou Harris, and Charlie Louvin. Johnny Cash recorded Costello's song "The Big Light" on Johnny Cash is Coming to Town.
Jo Dee Messina born in Holliston, Massachusetts, 1970 (now 45)
Jerry Rivers born in Miami, Florida, 1928 (died 1996)
Cliff Bruner died in Texas City, Texas (cancer), 2000 (was 85)

August 26:

Jimmy Olander of Diamond Rio born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1961 (now 54)
Don Bowman born in Lubbock, Texas, 1937 (died 2013)
Bob Miller (NS 70) died in Nyack, New York (unknown cause), 1955 (was 59)
Wilma Burgess died in Nashville, Tennessee (heart attack), 2003 (was 64)
Harlow Wilcox died in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (heart attack), 2003 (was 59)

August 27:
J.D. Crowe (BG 03) born in Lexington, Kentucky, 1937 (now 78)
Jeff Cook of Alabama (CM 05) born in Fort Payne, Alabama, 1949 (now 65)
Carter Stanley (BG 92) born in Dickenson County, Virginia, 1925 (died 1966)
Oliver "Mooney" Lynn, husband of Loretta Lynn, born in Butcher Holler, Kentucky, 1926 (died 1996)
Jimmy C. Newman born in Big Mamou, Louisiana, 1927 (died 2014)
Frances Preston (CM 92) born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1928 (died 2012)
'David "Bunny" Biggs of Jamup & Honey died in Nashville, Tennessee (unknown causes), 1948 (was 52)
Jim Denny (CM 66) died in Nashville, Tennessee (cancer), 1963 (was 52). For his Hall of Fame career, Denny may be most infamous for telling a guest artist after an appearance on the Grand Ole Opry, "You ain't goin' nowhere, son. You ought to go back to driving a truck." The person on the receiving end of Denny's criticism was Elvis Presley.

August 28:

LeAnn Rimes born in Jackson, Mississippi, 1982 (now 33)
Billy Grammer born in Benton, Illinois, 1925 (died 2011)
Archie Campbell died in Knoxville, Tennessee (post-operative complications following June heart attack), 1987 (was 67)

August 29:

Don Schlitz (NS 93) born in Durham, North Carolina, 1952 (now 63)

Dan Truman of Diamond Rio born in St. George, Utah, 1956 (now 59)
Grady Cole born in Lafayette, Georgia, 1909 (died 1981)


August 30:

Kitty Wells (CM 76) born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1919 (died 2012)
Jon Hagar born in Chicago, Illinois, 1946 (died 2009)
Jim Hagar born in Chicago, Illinois, 1946 (died 2008)


August 31:

Noel Boggs (StG 81) died in Los Angeles, California (heart attack), 1974 (was 56)

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

A Wreath Upon His Door

Category:  News/Obituary 

Country music has taken a pounding the past week with the deaths of Buddy Emmons, Lynn Anderson, and Top Billing International president and noted Nashville executive Tandy Rice.  Add to that list the legendary producer Billy Sherrill. 

Sherrill, a 2010 Country Music Hall of Fame inductee, died yesterday (8/4) after a short illness.

Although hailed as one of the most important producers in Nashville during the "countrypolitan" era of the late 60's and 70's, Sherrill was also a noted songwriter.  Among the award-winning songs he co-wrote:  "A Very Special Love Song," "Almost Persuaded," and "Stand By Your Man."

His work as a producer, however, will undoubtably be his lasting legacy.  From Elvis Costello's album of country covers, Almost Blue, to Tammy Wynette's legendary hits, Sherrill was simply a genius in the recording studio.  Nearly every act he recorded said as much.  The evidence is in the rich, full sound of the records that defined country music in the late 60's and early 70's.  

Then there was "He Stopped Loving Her Today."

The story is legendary, how George Jones balked at the notion of recording the Bobby Braddock song. "It's too damn morbid," Jones complained.  Sherrill held firm, in the end giving Jones a number one hit and country music what, to many, is its defining song.

Billy Sherrill was 78.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Dates of Note in Country Music, August 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 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)

August 1:

Leon Chappelear born in Tyler, Texas, 1909 (died 1962)
Howard "Howdy" Forrester of the Smoky Mountain Boys died in Nashville, Tennessee (unknown cause), 1987 (was 65)
The AFM called a strike against record companies, 1942. The strike, combined with the shortage of shellac because of World War II, severely limited the record companies' output for two years.


August 2:

Ted Harris (NS 90) born in Lakeland, Florida, 1937 (now 78)
Hank Cochran (CM 14, NS 74) born in Isola, Mississippi, 1935 (died 2010).  Cochran is one of the members of the "class of 2014" Country Music Hall of Fame inductees.
Betty Jack Davis died in Cincinnati, Ohio (car wreck), 1953 (was 21)
Joe Allison (NS 78) died in Nashville, Tennessee (illness), 2002 (was 77)
Redd Stewart (NS 70) died in Louisville, Kentucky (complications from a head injury), 2003 (was 82)
The wreckage of Jim Reeves' plane discovered, 1964. The two-day search of wooded areas in and around Nashville for the plane included many country music performers. Eddy Arnold was among those in the party that found and identified Reeves' body.

August 3:

Randy Scruggs born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1953 (now 62)
Dean Sams of Lonestar born in Garland, Texas, 1966 (now 49
Dorothy Dillard of the Anita Kerr Singers born in Springfield, Missouri, 1923 (died 2015))
Gordon Stoker of the Jordanaires (CM 01) born in Gleason, Tennessee, 1924 (died 2013)
Little Roy Wiggins (StG 85) died in Sevierville, Tennessee (heart disease and diabetes complications), 1999 (was 73)


August 4:

Vicki Hackerman of Dave & Sugar born in Louisville, Kentucky, 1950 (now 65)
Louis Armstrong born in New Orleans, 1901 (died 1971). The legendary jazz trumpet player and singer recorded with Jimmie Rodgers.
Carson J. Robison (NS 71) born in Oswego, Kansas, 1890 (died 1957)
James Blackwood of the Blackwood Brothers (SG 97) born in Ackerman, Mississippi, 1919 (died 2002)
Scotty Stoneman born in Galax, Virginia, 1932 (died 1973)
Fiddlin' Doc Roberts died in Richmond, Kentucky (unknown cause), 1978 (was 81)
Kenny Price died in Nashville, Tennessee (heart attack), 1987 (was 56)


August 5:

Bobby Braddock (CM 11, NS 81) born in Lakeland, Florida, 1940 (now 75)
Terri Clark born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 1968 (now 47)
Hal Durham born in McMinnville, Tennessee, 1931 (died 2009)
Vern "The Voice" Gosdin born in Woodland, Alabama, 1934 (died 2009)
Sammi Smith born in Orange, California, 1943 (died 2005)
Tim Wilson born in Columbus, Georgia, 1961 (died 2014)
Luther Perkins died in Nashville, Tennessee (injuries from a house fire), 1968 (was 40)


August 6:

Billy Robinson (StG 96) born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1931 (now 84)
Patsy and Peggy Lynn born in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee, 1964 (now 51)
Lisa Stewart born in Louisville, Mississippi, 1968 (now 47)
Old Joe Clark (Manuel Clark), longtime Renfro Valley performer, born in Erwin, Tennessee, 1922 (died 1998)
Billy Bowman (StG 89) died in Columbia, South Carolina (cancer), 1989 (was 60)
Colleen Carroll Brooks died in Yukon, Oklahoma (throat cancer), 1999 (was 70). The former Ozark Mountain Jubilee singer was the mother of Garth Brooks.
Marshall Grant died in Jonesboro, Arkansas (brain aneurysm), 2011 (was 83)


August 7:

B.J. Thomas born in Hugo, Oklahoma, 1942 (now 73)
Rodney Crowell (NS 03) born in Houston, Texas, 1950 (now 65)
Raul Malo of the Mavericks born in Miami, Florida, 1965 (now 50)
Felice Bryant (CM 91, NS 72) born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1925 (died 2003)
Henry "Homer" Haynes (CM 01) died in Hammond, Indiana (heart attack), 1971 (was 51)
Billy Byrd died in Nashville, Tennessee (natural causes), 2001 (was 81)


August 8:

Mel Tillis (CM 07, NS 76) born in Tampa, Florida, 1932 (now 83)
Phil Balsley of the Statler Brothers (CM 08) born in Staunton, Virginia, 1939 (now 76)
Jamie O'Hara born in Toledo, Ohio, 1950 (now 65)
Webb Pierce (CM 01) born in West Monroe, Louisiana, 1926 (died 1991)
Dale Warren of the Sons of the Pioneers died in Branson, Missouri (heart failure), 2008 (was 83)
Chuck Seitz died in Cincinnati, Ohio (natural causes), 2012 (was 93).  In addition to serving as recording engineer at King and RCA Seitz co-wrote the classic "Before I Met You."
Hank Williams Jr. critically inured in a fall while mountain climbing on Ajax Mountain in Montana, 1975. Williams' head was split open, his face was shattered, and he lost an eye in the 500-foot fall.


August 9:

Merle Kilgore (NS 98) born in Chickasha, Oklahoma, 1934 (died 2005)
Hal Rugg (StG 89) died in Tuscon, Arizona (cancer), 2005 (was 69)


August 10:

Jerry Kennedy born in Shreveport, Louisiana, 1940 (now 75)
Jonie Mosby born in Van Nuys, California, 1940 (now 75)
Gene Johnson of Diamond Rio born in Jamestown, New York, 1949 (now 66)
Delia Upchurch born in Gainesboro, Tennessee, 1891 (died 1976). Upchurch was known as "the Den Mother of Nashville Stars" because she ran a boarding house where struggling musicians and songwriters could stay and pay what they could afford.
Jimmy Martin (BG 95) born in Sneedville, Tennessee, 1927 (died 2005)
Jimmy Dean (CM 10) born in Plainview, Texas, 1928 (died 2010)
Alvin "Junior" Samples born in Buena Park, California, 1926 (died 1983)
Billy Grammer died in Benton, Illinois (long-term illness), 2011 (was 85)

August 11:

John Conlee born in Versailles, Kentucky, 1946 (now 69)
Don Helms (StG 84) died in Nashville, Tennessee (heart attack), 2008 (was 81)
Hank Williams fired from the Grand Ole Opry, 1952


August 12:

Mark Knopfler born in Glasgow, Scotland, 1949 (now 66). Knopfler, best known as guitarist and lead singer of Dire Straits, won a "Best Country Vocal Collaboration" Grammy with Chet Atkins in 1990 for the song "Poor Boy Blues."  He also recorded an album of country songs under the pseudonym the Notting Hillbillies.
Rex Griffin (NS 70) born in Gadsden, Alabama, 1912 (died 1958)
Porter Wagoner (CM 02) born in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, 1927 (died 2007)
Buck Owens (CM 96, NS 96) born in Sherman, Texas, 1929 (died 2006)
Linda Parker of the WLS National Barn Dance died in Mishawaka, Indiana (peritonitis), 1935 (was 23)


August 13:

Lee Roy Abernathy (SG 97) born in Atco, Georgia, 1913 (died 1993)
Dan Fogelberg born in Peoria, Illinois, 1951 (died 2007)
Les Paul died (pneumonia), 2009 (was 94). The legendary guitarist won a Grammy for his work with Chet Atkins on the album Chester and Lester.
Vernon Dalhart recorded "The Prisoner's Song," 1924. The song would sell an estimated seven million copies as country's first million-selling song.


August 14:

Connie Smith (CM 12) born in Elkhart, Indiana, 1941 (now 74)
Charles K. Wolfe (BG 09) born in Sedalia, Missouri, 1943 (died 2006)
Johnny Duncan died in Fort Worth, Texas (heart attack), 2006 (was 67)

August 15:

Ben Eldridge of the Seldom Scene (BG 14) born in Richmond, Virginia, 1938 (now 77)
Jimmy Webb (NS 90) born in Elk City, Oklahoma, 1946 (now 69)
Rose Maddox born in Boaz, Alabama, 1925 (died 1998)
Bobby Helms born in Bloomington, Indiana, 1933 (died 1997)
Don Rich born in Olympia, Washington, 1941 (died 1974)

Lew DeWitt (CM 08) died in Waynesboro, Virginia (complications from Chron's disease), 1990 (was 52)
Will Rogers died near Port Barrow, Alaska (plane crash with Wiley Post), 1935 (was 55)

Come Along And Share the Good Times While We Can

Category:  News/Obituary

For the second time this week, country music has suffered a significant loss of one who helped make it what it was.

Lynn Anderson, the woman who took Joe South's song "Rose Garden" to the top of the country and pop charts in 1970, has died.

Anderson died Thursday (7/30) in Nashville after suffering a heart attack.

Lynn Anderson, the daughter of songwriters Liz and Casey Anderson, was born in Grand Forks, North Dakota in 1947.  Her career began to take off in the mid-60's when she signed to Chart Records.  Her early hits included "Ride, Ride, Ride" and "If I Kiss You (Will You Go Away)," along with the duet, "Mother, May I" with Liz.  During this time she helped bring country music into millions of households on a weekly basis as a member of the cast of The Lawrence Welk Show.

Moving to Columbia in early 1970, Anderson's first hit for her new label was "Stay There Till I Get There."  It was dwarfed, as was everything else in 1970, by her version of Joe South's song "Rose Garden."  It stayed at #1 for five weeks, eventually winning Anderson a Grammy and a CMA award.  "Rose Garden" was the fifth biggest hit of the entire decade according to Joel Whitburn's Billboard book on country singles.

Anderson's last charted hit was in 1983, but she continued to release albums.  Her Bluegrass Sessions was nominated for a Grammy in 2004.  Earlier this year a gospel album, Bridges, was released to positive reviews.

In addition to her work in country music, Anderson was a dedicated horse breeder.  Her equestrian work centered around hippotherapy, the therapeutic use of horses for children with emotional and developmental disabilities such as autism.

Joe South's words in the song that made him and Lynn Anderson household names ring in memory today:

So smile for awhile and let's be jolly
Love shouldn't be so melancholy
Come along and share the good times while we can 

Lynn Anderson was 67.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Listen to What the Blues Are Saying

Category:  News/Obituary 

Country music has lost another legendary session man.  The phenomenal Buddy Emmons has died.

Emmons, a Steel Guitar Hall of Famer who began work with Little Jimmy Dickens and moved on through generations of country music greats, died today(7/29).

Born in Indiana in 1937, Emmons joined the Nashville chapter of the Musicians' Union when he was 18.  His work on the steel guitar permeated many of the legendary recordings of the 1950's, starting with Little Jimmy Dickens in early 1956.  The steel he played on Ray Price's recordings has thrilled fans and influenced musicians who followed.  The haunting fills Emmons played on Price's classic "Night Life," written by Willie Nelson, still stands as one of the most admired and loved songs featuring steel guitar in country music.


Ray Price's "Night Life" with Buddy Emmons on steel


Emmons' influence didn't end on the recordings or the stage, either.  He co-founded Sho-Bud with Shot Jackson in 1956.  The company was the first to manufacture the upstart pedal steel guitar, now considered "standard" in country music.

Emmons continued to work with the likes of George Strait and Ricky Skaggs until no longer able to play full-time due to repetitive motion injuries in the early 2000's.

His legacy is long and far-reaching.  His playing was unique and influential.  There will never be another like Buddy Emmons.

He was 78.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

It's Not All Parties and Drinking Anymore

Category:  Album Review

At a concert in 2013 Dale Watson joked about the subject matter of the songs on his album El Rancho Azul by saying, "Let's see, there's drinking...and then (pause) there's drinking, and then...(another pause) drinking!"  People who are expecting more drinking and dancing along the lines of the favorites "I Lie When I Drink" and "Quick Quick, Slow Slow" won't find them on Watson's sterling new album Call Me Insane, but they won't be disappointed.  Watson has moved into a new level of songwriting while maintaining the hardcore traditional country music sound that makes him popular with the people who are sick of the pop, rock, and rap being presented as "country music" today.


Dale Watson's insightful new album, Call Me Insane
Cover Courtesy of Ameripolitan/Red House Records
Watson and his knockout band, the Lone Stars, keep the music country Ameripolitan (Watson is through with the word "country" after what Nashville has done to the term; and, based on comments hurled at his friend Amber Digby by fans thinking her straight-ahead country music is something other than country, who can blame him?), while the themes are adult and frequently gut-punching powerful.  Oh, sure, there's the obligatory "fun" songs ("Heaven's Gonna Have a Honky Tonk" and the play on the Waylon song title "Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys," "Mamas, Don't Let Your Cowboys Grow Up to Be Babies" ["let 'em drink that Lone Star Beer"]) because country music has always had an element of fun.  Watson will happily remind you of the motto of Luckenbach, Texas in the song "Everybody's Somebody in Luckenbach, Texas." 

One of the best songs on the album is the bouncy "Bug Ya for Love," co-written with bassist Chris Crepps.  The song, with its Western swing feel, is an upbeat, innocent number about a man who promises he's going to do his best to become a single girl's steady beau.  Watson recently said at a concert that one critic misinterpreted the song, declaring it to be about stalking someone.  It's hard to take this happy song that way, however, unless someone has their mind deeply in the gutter.  Another highlight is "I'm Through Hurtin'," about a man who's finally over a failed relationship and promises that, with his new outlook ("an old leaf I'm burning, a new leaf I'm turning"), "I'll paint the town tonight, what color do you like?"

The ballads, however, make Call Me Insane one of the best albums in Watson's discography.  The title track, with its reminiscence of Waylon, is about a man who keeps going back for love even though he knows he's going to be hurt time and time again ("there's still hope in my heart, but that part is never smart 'cause it still ends the same"), pondering, "Is my destiny this insanity?"  "Crocodile Tears" shows a man who tires of the repeated false emotions his love emits.

The best thing on this album, and easily one of the best songs of 2015 thus far, is "The Burden of the Cross."  The song is deeply autobiographical, about Watson taking a nocturnal visit to the site on a Texas highway where his fiancee died in a car wreck to replace the memorial cross that was removed when the highway was widened.  "They don't understand a man's need to see his loss," Watson sings, "and the symbol that it carries: the burden of the cross."  The song will bring a lump to your throat, and you'll never look at those crosses on the side of the highway the same way again.

Watson just finished a five-week tour in support of the album on the east coast and in the Midwest.  He's scheduled to hit the west coast in September.  Don't miss him live, and don't miss this album.


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Always On Our Minds

Category:  News/Obituary 

Wayne Carson, the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Famer behind the classic "Always On My Mind," has died.

Carson died Monday (7/20) in Franklin, Tennessee after suffering with various health issues.  He had become a hospice patient in June.  

Wayne Carson Thompson (ne Head) was born in Denver, the son of professional musicians.  His list of songs included two rock classics:  "The Letter" and "Soul Deep," both by the Box Tops.  On the country side, hits he wrote or co-wrote include "She's Acting Single (I'm Drinking Doubles)" by Gary Stewart, "Slide Off Your Satin Sheets" by Johnny Paycheck, "I See the Want To In Your Eyes" by Conway Twitty, and "Somebody Like Me" by Eddy Arnold.

It was "Always On My Mind," however, that made Carson a legend.  From the stunning, heartfelt rendition by Elvis following his divorce from Priscilla to the well-known chart-topping version by Willie Nelson, "Always On My Mind" is considered by many to be among the best songs of the 20th century in any genre of popular music.  Carson took home a "Song of the Year" Grammy for the tune in 1982.

His induction into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame took place in 1997.

Wayne Carson, who'll be always on our minds, was 72.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

I Should Have Known Better

Category:  News/Opinion

As the Beatles once sang, "I Should Have Known Better."

Last month I wrote about Don Henley's forthcoming album, Cass County, due out in September.  I had hopes that Henley, unlike the other 22 bazillion rockers who suddenly decide they have smelled enough manure to sing like a hillbilly (to paraphrase the great quote from Hank Williams), would actually stay true to his roots:  if not country roots, then the country-rock roots that the Eagles learned from people like Gram Parsons and Poco.

Henley's first single from the album, titled "Take a Picture of This," has been released.  It starts off almost identically to his 1989 hit "The Heart of the Matter," and musically carries that theme throughout the song.  

And, of course, it's not country.  It's soft rock.

Oh, it'll pass as "country," given everything else they laughingly call "country music" today.  However, if you're expecting country music from a man who claims the album is what he was raised on, you're going to be sadly disappointed (not to mention by what he does to "When I Stop Dreaming").  This sounds nothing like the country music of the 50's and 60's that Henley (who'll turn 68 on Wednesday) would have heard growing up.  His country music would've been Lefty Frizzell, Hank Williams, Faron Young, Buck Owens, and Webb Pierce.  Even the 60's "Nashville sound" era that orchestrated singers such as Jim Reeves, Dottie West, Glen Campbell, and Patsy Cline would've been more "country" than this is.

No, Henley is going for the typical 2010's definition of "country music," not the country music he grew up with nor even the "country-rock" he actually sang in the 70's in the Eagles with songs such as "Saturday Night" (from Desperado), "Best of My Love" (from On the Border), or "Hollywood Waltz" (from One of These Nights).  It has the feel of the ballads from his last two solo albums (as well as a riff or 20 borrowed from things such as "Busy Being Fabulous" off the Eagles' Long Road Out of Eden album).  

Bottom line:  Henley, like all the others, is looking to make a commercial killing, not a country statement.


Thursday, July 16, 2015

Dates of Note in Country Music, July 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)

July 16:

Ronny Robbins born in Phoenix, Arizona, 1949 (now 66)
Harry Chapin died in East Meadow, New York (heart attack resulting in car wreck), 1981 (was 38). Chapin, a folk music icon, wrote "Cat's in the Cradle," which gave Ricky Skaggs one of his last country hits.
Jo Stafford died in Century City, California (congestive heart failure), 2008 (was 90). The pop singer also did country, including appearing on Red Ingle & Natural Seven's hit "Tem-Tay-Shun."
Kitty Wells (CM 76) died in Nashville, Tennessee (stroke), 2012 (was 92)

July 17:

Elizabeth Cook born in Wildwood, Florida, 1972 (now 43)

Woodrow Wilson "Red" Sovine born in Charleston, West Virginia, 1918 (died 1980)
Harry Choates died in Austin, Texas (head injury, possibly self-inflicted), 1951 (was 29)
Dizzy Dean died in Reno, Nevada (heart attack), 1974 (was 63). Dizzy was credited with giving Roy Acuff the nickname "King of Country Music."
Don Rich died in Bakersfield, California (motorcycle accident), 1974 (was 32)
Wynn Stewart died in Nashville, Tennessee (heart attack), 1985 (was 51)
Ozark Jubilee debuted on KWTO radio, 1954

July 18:


Ricky Skaggs born in Cordell, Kentucky, 1954 (now 61)
Mark Jones of Exile born in Harlan, Kentucky, 1954 (now 61)

Barney Alvin Kalanikau Isaacs, Jr. (StG 99) born in Honolulu, Hawaii, 1926 (died 1996)

July 19:
Sue Thompson born in Nevada, Missouri, 1926 (now 89)
Bernie Leadon of the Eagles, Flying Burrito Brothers, and Run C&W born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1947 (now 68)
George Hamilton IV born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, 1937 (died 2014)
William "Lefty" Frizzell (CM 82, NS 72) died in Nashville, Tennessee (stroke), 1975 (was 47)
George Riddle died in Indianapolis, Indiana (throat cancer), 2014 (was 78)

July 20:


Thomas "Sleepy" LaBeef born in Smackover, Arkansas, 1935 (now 80)
T.G. Sheppard born in Humbolt, Tennessee, 1942 (now 73)
Radney Foster born in Del Rio, Texas, 1959 (now 56)
Joseph Emmett "J.E." Mainer born in Weaverville, North Carolina, 1898 (died 1971)
Cindy Walker (CM 97, NS 70) born near Mart, Texas, 1918 (died 2006)

Velma Smith born in Eppley Station, Kentucky, 1927 (died 2014)
Ralph Rinzler (BG 12) born in Passaic, New Jersey, 1934 (died 1994)

July 21:


Sara Carter of the Carter Family
 (CM 70, BG 01) born in Wise County, Virginia, 1899 (died 1979)
Eddie Hill (DJ 75) born in Delano, Tennessee, 1921 (died 1994)
Hal Rugg (StG 89) born in New York, New York, 1936 (died 2005)

July 22:

Don Henley of the Eagles born in Gilmer, Texas, 1947 (now 68). In addition to the Eagles, Henley was in a band, Shiloh, in the late 60s with Richard Bowden (later of Pinkard and Bowden) and Jim Ed Norman.
Margaret Whiting born in Detroit, Michigan, 1924 (died 2011). Although primarily a pop singer, Whiting had a series of duets with Jimmy Wakely in the 40s and 50s.
Bob Ferguson died in Jackson, Mississippi (cancer), 2001 (was 73)
Jack Lynn, son of Loretta Lynn, died in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee (drowned), 1984 (was 34)
Ralph S. Peer arrived in Bristol to make recordings for RCA, 1927

July 23:


Alison Krauss born in Decatur, Illinois, 1971 (now 44)
Johnny Darrell born in Hopewell, Alabama, 1940 (died 1997)

July 24:


Donald "Red" Blanchard of the WLS National Barn Dance born in Pittsville, Wisconsin, 1914 (died 1980)
Lawton Williams born in Troy, Tennessee, 1922 (died 2007)
Max D. Barnes (NS 92) born in Hardscratch, Iowa, 1936 (died 2004)

Freddie Tavares (StG 95) died in Anaheim, California (unknown cause), 1990 (was 77)

July 25:


Roy Acuff Jr. born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1943 (now 72)
Marty Brown born in Maceo, Kentucky, 1965 (now 50)
Walter Brennan born in Swmapscott, Massachusetts, 1894 (died 1974). The actor had a major country hit with "Old Rivers" in 1962.
Steve Goodman born in Chicago, Illinois, 1948 (died 1984)
Tommy Duncan died in San Diego, California (heart attack), 1967 (was 56)
Charlie Rich died in Hammond, Louisiana (blood clot in lung), 1995 (was 62)

July 26:


Fred Foster born in Rutherford County, North Carolina, 1931 (now 84)

Jim Foglesong (CM 04) born in Lundale, West Virginia, 1922 (died 2013)

July 27:


Bobbie Gentry born in Chickasaw, Mississippi, 1944 (now 71)

Bill Engvall born in Galveston, Texas, 1957 (now 58)
Henry "Homer" Haynes (CM 01) born in Knoxville, Tennessee, 1920 (died 1971)

July 28:


Frank Loesser died in New York, New York (lung cancer), 1969 (was 59). The legendary pop composer was the "victim" of Homer and Jethro's first major hit, "Baby, It's Cold Outside," in 1949 (which featured a young June Carter singing the female part). Although RCA officials worried about Loesser's reaction, Loesser loved the parody and only asked that the songwriter credit read, "With apologies to Frank Loesser."  Loesser later wrote the liner notes for the Homer & Jethro Fracture Frank Loesser EP.

July 29:


Martina McBride born in Sharon, Kansas, 1966 (now 49)
Pete Drake (StG 87) died in Brentwood, Tennessee (lung disease), 1988 (was 55)
Anita Carter died in Goodlettesville, Tennessee (illness), 1999 (was 66)

July 30:


Dennis Morgan (NS 04) born in Tracy, Minnesota, 1952 (now 63)
Sam Phillips (CM 01) died in Memphis, Tennessee (respiratory failure), 2003 (was 80)

July 31:


Bonnie Brown
 of the Browns (CM 15) born in Sparkman, Arkansas, 1937 (now 78).  The Browns are one of the new inductees for the "class of 2015" in the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Jim Reeves (CM 67) died in Nashville, Tennessee (plane crash), 1964 (was 40)
Dean Manuel died in Nashville, Tennessee (plane crash), 1964 (was 30)

Velma Smith died in Madison, Tennessee (illness), 2014 (was 87)

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Sick Call: Phil Leadbetter

Category:  News 

Reigning IBMA Dobro player of the year Phil Leadbetter announced on his Facebook page that his cancer has returned.

Leadbetter, 53, has been playing Dobro in bluegrass music since the 1980's when his band New Dawn performed at the 1982 World's Fair in Knoxville.  Since then he has recorded several solo albums, recorded and toured as a member of J.D. Crowe & the New South, and currently performs with Dale Ann Bradley.

In 2011 Leadbetter was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma.  He has been aggressively treated with chemotherapy and stem cell transplants; however, as he wrote on his Facebook page yesterday (7/10), "we've been hitting it really hard for four years now, and it seems to be getting more stubborn."  He has detailed his fight on his web site.

Leadbetter is one of only three Dobro players to ever win the IBMA "Dobro player of the year" award since the award's inception in 1990.  The other two are Jerry Douglas and Rob Ickes.  Leadbetter was also the award's recipient in 2005.

Please keep this bluegrass great in your thoughts and prayers as he continues his fight against cancer.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Please Walk On Out of My Mind

Category:  News/Obituary 

Red Lane has died.

The Nashville Songwriter Hall of Fame member died this evening (7/1) of cancer at approximately 7 PM central time in Nashville, according to his Facebook page.

Born in Louisiana in 1939, Red Lane was one of the great prolific songwriters in Nashville in the 60's through the 80's.  The long string of hits he wrote include John Conlee's "Miss Emily's Picture" (inspired by Lane's grandmother, Emily), "Country Girl" (co-written with and a hit by Dottie West), Conway Twitty's "Darlin', You Know I Wouldn't Lie" (co-written with Wayne Kemp, who passed away earlier this year), Eddy Arnold's "They Just Don't Make Love Like They Used To," and "New Looks From an Old Lover" by B.J. Thomas.

Two of Lane's best-known compositions were the haunting "Black Jack County Chain," recorded by Willie Nelson, about a group of inmates who beat a sadistic jailer to death with their chains, and the classic Waylon Jennings song "Walk On Out of My Mind," with its terrific chorus of, "Since you walked out of my life, out of my world, please walk on out of my mind."

Lane was elected to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1993.  He has been honored with presentations on his career at the "songwriters session" at the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Red Lane was 76.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Dates of Note in Country Music, July 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 enshrined.  CM=Country Music; BG=Bluegrass; DJ=Disc Jockey; NS=Nashville Songwriter; SG=Southern Gospel; STG=Steel Guitar; RR=country act inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)

July 1:

John Lair born in Livingston, Kentucky, 1894 (died 1985). Lair, a one-time announcer on the WLS National Barn Dance, founded the Renfro Valley Barn Dance in 1937.
Thomas A. Dorsey (NS 79) born in Villa Rica, Georgia, 1899 (died 1993)
Alvino Ray (STG 78) born in Oakland, California, 1908 (died 2004)
Charles "Everett" Lilly (BG 02) born in Clear Creek, West Virginia, 1924 (died 2012)
Keith Whitley born in Sandy Hook, Kentucky, 1955 (died 1989)
Charles Carr died in Montgomery, Alabama (brief illness), 2013 (was 79).  As a 19-year-old college student, Carr was Hank Williams' chauffeur on the fateful trip from Alabama to Akron, Ohio New Year's Eve 1952. 

July 2:

Ken Curtis (one-time member of Sons of the Pioneers as well as Gunsmoke actor) born in Lamar, Colorado, 1916 (died 1991)
Fred Maddox of the Maddox Brothers born in Boaz, Alabama, 1919 (died 1992)
Marvin Rainwater born in Wichita, Kansas, 1925 (died 2013)
DeFord Bailey (CM 05) died in Nashville, Tennessee (kidney and heart failure), 1982 (was 82)
Elwood Goins of the Lonesome Pine Fiddlers (BG 09) died in Pikeville, Kentucky (long-term illness), 2007 (was 71)
Ralph Rinzler (BG 12) died in Washington, DC (long-term illness), 1994 (was 59)
Jim Reeves' final RCA recording session, 1964

July 3:

Johnny Lee born in Texas City, Texas, 1946 (now 69)
Aaron Tippin born in Pensacola, Florida, 1958 (now 57)
Johnny Russell (NS 01) died in Nashville, Tennessee (complications of diabetes), 2001 (was 61)
Homer L. "Boots" Randolph died in Nashville, Tennessee (subdural hematoma), 2007 (was 80)

July 4:

Stephen Collins Foster (NS 10) born in Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania, 1826 (died 1864)
Ray Pillow born in Lynchburg, Virginia, 1937 (now 78)
Charlie Monroe born in Rosine, Kentucky, 1903 (died 1975)
Marion Worth born in Birmingham, Alabama, 1930 (died 1999)
Bill Vernon (BG 04) born in New York, New York, 1937 (died 1996)
Big Al Downing died in Leicester, Massachusetts (leukemia), 2005 (was 65)

July 5:

James "Guy" Willis of the Willis Brothers born in Alex, Arkansas, 1915 (died 1981)
Mitch Jayne (BG 09) born in Hammond, Indiana, 1928 (died 2010)
The Grand Ole Opry's first show at the War Memorial Auditorium, 1939

July 6:

Jeannie Seely born in Titusville, Pennsylvania, 1940 (now 75)
Nancy Griffith born in Austin, Texas, 1953 (now 62)
Justin Trevino born in Brownsville, Texas, 1973 (now 42)
Roy Rogers (CM 80; CM 88) died in Apple Valley, California (heart failure), 1998 (was 86)

July 7:

Randy Goodrum (NS 00) born in Hot Springs, Arkansas, 1947 (now 68)
John "Lonzo" Sullivan born in Edmonton, Kentucky, 1917 (died 1967)
Charlie Louvin (CM 01, NS 79) born in Section, Alabama, 1927 (died 2011)
Wallace Lewis of the Lewis Family (BG 06) born in Lincolnton, Georgia, 1928 (died 2007)
Doyle Wilburn born in Hardy, Arkansas, 1930 (died 1982)
George Morgan (CM 98) died in Nashville, Tennessee (complications of heart bypass surgery), 1975 (was 50)
Bill Porter died in St. Louis, Missouri (Alzheimer's disease), 2011 (was 79)
Lois Johnson died in Nashville, Tennessee (long illness), 2014 (was 72)

July 8:

Toby Keith born in Clinton, Oklahoma, 1961 (now 54)
Louis Jordan (a jazz artist who had two country #1 hits in 1944) born in Brinkley, Arkansas, 1908 (died 1975)
Ervin Rouse died (complications from diabetes), 1981 (was 64)
Kenny Baker (BG 99) died in Gallatin, Tennessee (stroke), 2011 (was 85)
Marty Stuart married Connie Smith, 1997

July 9:

Jesse McReynolds (BG 93) born in Coeburn, Virginia, 1929 (now 86)
David Ball born in Rock Hill, South Carolina, 1953 (now 62)
Eddie Dean born in Posey, Texas, 1907 (died 1999)
Molly O'Day born in Pike County, Kentucky, 1923 (died 1987)
Jim Fogelsong (CM 04) died in Nashville, Tennessee (natural causes), 2013 (was 90)
The Country Music Association announced the largest Country Music Hall of Fame induction class ever -- a total of 12 inductees (Bill Anderson, Delmore Brothers, Everly Brothers, Don Gibson, Homer & Jethro, Waylon Jennings, Jordanaires, Don Law, Louvin Brothers, Ken Nelson, Webb Pierce, and Sam Phillips) -- to coincide with the opening of the new Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, 2001

July 10:

Randall E. "Hawk" Shaw Wilson of BR5-49 born in Topeka, Kansas, 1960 (now 55)

July 11:

Jeff Hanna of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band born in Detroit, Michigan, 1947 (now 68)
Eddie Cline of the Lonesome Pine Fiddlers (BG 09) died in Gilbert Creek, West Virginia (unknown cause), 1984 (was 77)

July 12:

Steve Young born in Newman, Georgia, 1942 (now 73)
Jimmie Driftwood died in Fayetteville, Arkansas (heart attack), 1998 (was 91)

July 13:

Louise Mandrell of the Mandrell Sisters born in Corpus Christi, Texas, 1954 (now 61)
Rhonda Vincent born in Kirksville, Missouri, 1962 (now 53)
Bradley Kincaid (NS 71) born in Level, Kentucky, 1895 (died 1989)
Tim Spencer (CM 80, NS 71) born in Webb City, Missouri, 1908 (died 1974)
Riley Puckett died in East Point, Georgia (blood poisoning), 1946 (was 62)

July 14:

Rory Michael Brook (NS 89) born in Cleveland, Ohio, 1942 (now 73)
William J. "Billy" Hill (NS 82) born in Boston, Massachusetts, 1899 (died 1940)
Woody Guthrie (NS 77) born in Okemah, Oklahoma, 1912 (died 1967)
Marijohn Wilkin (NS 75) born in Kemp, Texas, 1920 (died 2006)
Del Reeves born in Sparta, North Carolina, 1933 (died 2007)

July 15:

Johnny Seay born in Gulfport, Mississippi, 1940 (now 75)
Linda Ronstadt born in Tucson, Arizona, 1946 (now 69)
Mac McAnally (NS 07) born in Red Bay, Alabama, 1957 (now 57)
Lloyd "Cowboy" Copas born in Adams County, Ohio, 1913 (died 1963)
Hank Cochran (CM 14, NS 74) died in Nashville, Tennessee (pancreatic cancer), 2010 (was 74)