Wednesday, July 16, 2014

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 65)
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 42)

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 60)
Mark Jones of Exile born in Harlan, Kentucky, 1954 (now 60)

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

July 19:
Sue Thompson born in Nevada, Missouri, 1926 (now 88)
George Hamilton IV born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, 1937 (now 77)
Bernie Leadon of the Eagles, Flying Burrito Brothers, and Run C&W born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1947 (now 67)
William "Lefty" Frizzell (CM 82, NS 72) died in Nashville, Tennessee (stroke), 1975 (was 47)

July 20:


Thomas "Sleepy" LaBeef born in Smackover, Arkansas, 1935 (now 79)
T.G. Sheppard born in Humbolt, Tennessee, 1942 (now 72)
Radney Foster born in Del Rio, Texas, 1959 (now 55)
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)

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 67). 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 43)
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 71)
Marty Brown born in Maceo, Kentucky, 1965 (now 49)
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 83)

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

July 27:


Bobbie Gentry born in Chickasaw, Mississippi, 1944 (now 70)

Bill Engvall born in Galveston, Texas, 1957 (now 57)
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 48)
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 62)
Sam Phillips (CM 01) died in Memphis, Tennessee (respiratory failure), 2003 (was 80)

July 31:


Bonnie Brown of the Browns born in Sparkman, Arkansas, 1937 (now 77)
Jim Reeves (CM 67) died in Nashville, Tennessee (plane crash), 1964 (was 40)
Dean Manuel died in Nashville, Tennessee (plane crash), 1964 (was 30)

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

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 68)
Aaron Tippin born in Pensacola, Florida, 1958 (now 56)
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 77)
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 74)
Nancy Griffith born in Austin, Texas, 1953 (now 61)
Justin Trevino born in Brownsville, Texas, 1973 (now 41)
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 67)
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)

July 8:

Toby Keith born in Clinton, Oklahoma, 1961 (now 53)
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 85)
David Ball born in Rock Hill, South Carolina, 1953 (now 61)
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 54)

July 11:

Jeff Hanna of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band born in Detroit, Michigan, 1947 (now 67)
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 72)
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 60)
Rhonda Vincent born in Kirksville, Missouri, 1962 (now 52)
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 72)
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 74)
Linda Ronstadt born in Tucson, Arizona, 1946 (now 68).  The multi-genre talent was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014.
Mac McAnally (NS 07) born in Red Bay, Alabama, 1957 (now 56)
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).  The legendary songwriter is one of the members of the Country Music Hall of Fame induction class of 2014.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

One Final Big Ol' Aaa-Eeeee!

Category:  Obituary


Jimmy C. Newman had a long career as a country-Cajun singer.  The "C" stood for "Cajun," even though his given middle name was "Yeve."  More than perhaps anyone, with the exception of Doug Kershaw, Newman kept a bright spotlight on Cajun music.  He closed his Opry performances by saying, "A big ol' aaa-eeee! to you."

Jimmy C. Newman died June 21 after a battle with cancer.  His final appearance on the Grand Ole Opry was two weeks prior to his death.

Newman's early material was credited as "Jimmy Newman" and included country hits such as "A Fallen Star" (his biggest hit), "Cry, Cry Darling," "Alligator Man," and "Louisiana Saturday Night" (no relation to the 1980's song with the same title by Mel McDaniel).  All told, Newman had eleven top ten hits among his 33 songs to make Billboard's country charts.

A native of Louisiana, Newman took the Cajun music that was immensely popular in his home state to a new audience, performing traditional Cajun favorites such as "Allons a Lafayette" and "Jole Blon" as well as the aforementioned "Alligator Man," which Newman co-wrote.

Newman had been a member of the Louisiana Hayride when Elvis Presley was there.  His Opry membership began in 1956.  In 2004 he was inducted into the Cajun Music Hall of Fame, and in 2009 the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame enshrined him.

Jimmy C. Newman posing backstage
at the Grand Ole Opry in the mid-90's.
c.2014 K.F. Raizor

Jimmy C. Newman was 86.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Dates of Note in Country Music, June 16-30

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 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)

June 16:

Billy "Crash" Craddock born in Greensboro, North Carolina, 1946 (now 68)
Bob Nolan  (CM 80, NS 71) died in Newport Beach, California (heart attack), 1980 (was 72)
"Orange Blossom Special" recorded by the Rouse Brothers, 1939. Ervin Rouse co-wrote the legendary fiddle tune with Chubby Wise.

June 17:

Clyde "Red" Foley (CM 67) born in Blue Lick, Kentucky, 1910 (died 1968)
Dave Akeman (Stringbean) born in Annville, Kentucky, 1916 (died 1973)
Minnie Pearl suffered a stroke that ended her career, 1991
Ground breaking ceremonies held for the new Country Music Hall of Fame, 1999. Your blogger was a member of the "All-Guitar Marching Band," fronted by Chet Atkins, that led the Hall of Fame members to the site.

June 18:

Sir Paul McCartney born in Liverpool, England, 1942 (now 72). The legendary Beatle hit the country chart in 1974 with "Sally G." He was also introduced to a Friday Night Opry audience in 1974 by Roy Acuff, where McCartney proclaimed Nashville the "music capital of the universe."
Marty Haggard born in Bakersfield, California, 1958 (now 56)

Zeke Turner born in Lynchburg, Virginia, 1923 (died 2003)
A.P. Carter married Sara Dougherty, 1915

June 19:

Glen Allred of the Florida Boys (SG 01) born in Monroe, Tennessee, 1934 (now 80)

Doug Stone born in Marietta, Georgia, 1956 (now 58)
Howard Dixon of the Dixon Brothers born in Darlington, South Carolina, 1903 (died 1951)
Lester Flatt (CM 85, BG 91, NS 07) born in Sparta, Tennessee, 1914 (died 1979)
Pat Buttram born in Addison, Alabama, 1915 (died 1994)
Bobby Helms died in Martinsville, Indiana (emphysema), 1997 (was 63)

Slim Whitman died in Orange Park, Florida (heart failure), 2013 (was 90)
Chet Flippo died in Nashville, Tennessee (illness), 2013 (was 69)

June 20:

Anne Murray (Canadian Music 93) born in Springhill, Nova Scotia, 1945 (now 69)
Evelyn Mae Cox of the Cox Family born in Springhill, Louisiana, 1959 (now 54)
Jimmie Driftwood (ne James Corbitt Morris) born in Mountain View, Arkansas, 1907 (died 1998)
T. Texas Tyler born in Mena, Arkansas, 1916 (died 1972)

Pauline "Mom" Lewis of the Lewis Family (BG 06) born in Washington, Georgia, 1920 (died 2003)
Chet Atkins (CM 73, RR 02) born in Luttrell, Tennessee, 1924 (died 2001)
Ira Louvin (CM 01, NS 79) died near Williamsburg, Missouri (car wreck), 1965 (was 41)
Benjamin "Whitey" Ford, the "Duke of Paducah" (CM 86), died in Nashville, Tennessee (cancer), 1986 (was 85)

June 21:

Eddie Adcock (BG 96) born in Scottsville, Virginia, 1938 (now 76)
Leon Everette born in Aiken, South Carolina, 1948 (now 66)
Kathy Mattea born in Cross Lanes, West Virginia, 1959 (now 55)
Porter Howell of Little Texas born in Longview, Texas, 1964 (now 50)

Charlie Lamb born in Knoxville, Tennessee, 1921 (died 2012)

June 22:

Kris Kristofferson (CM 04, NS 77) born in Brownsville, Texas, 1936 (now 78)
Peter Asher born in Williesden, Middlesex, England, 1944 (now 70). The former half of the pop duo Peter and Gordon was the producer of most of Linda Ronstadt's crossover hits.
Roy Drusky born in Atlanta, Georgia, 1930 (died 2004)
Elton Britt died in McConnellsburg, Pennsylvania (heart attack), 1972 (was 58)

June 23:

Dallas Wayne born in Springfield, Missouri, 1956 (now 58)

Zeb Turner born in Lynchburg, Virginia, 1915 (died 1978)
June Carter Cash born in Maces Springs, Virginia, 1929 (died 2003)

June 24:

Johnnie Bailes of the Bailes Brothers born in Kanawha County, West Virginia, 1918 (died 1989)
Foy Willing of Riders of the Purple Sage died in Nashville, Tennessee (heart attack), 1978 (was 63)
Songwriter Tim Krekel died in Louisville, Kentucky (stomach cancer), 2009 (was 57)

June 25:

Jenifer Strait, daughter of George Strait, died in San Marcos, Texas (car wreck), 1986 (was 13)
Boudleaux Bryant (CM 91, NS 72) died in Knoxville, Tennessee (cancer), 1987 (was 67)
Lew DeWitt retired from the Statler Brothers because of health issues, 1982
Billboard magazine renames the "Hillbilly" music chart the "Country and Western" chart, 1949

June 26:

Gretchen Wilson born in Granite City, Illinois, 1973 (now 41)

Colonel Tom Parker born in Breda, Netherlands, 1909 (died 1997). Before Elvis, Colonel Tom managed Hank Snow, Eddy Arnold, and Minnie Pearl.
Doc Williams born in Cleveland, Ohio, 1914 (died 2011)
Kenny Baker (BG 99) born in Jenkins, Kentucky, 1926 (died 2011)
Charlie Cline of the Lonesome Pine Fiddlers (BG 09) born in Gilbert Creek, Virginia, 1931 (died 2004)
Vernon Presley died in Memphis, Tennessee (heart failure), 1979 (was 63)
Elvis Presley's final concert, at the Hoosier Dome in Indianapolis, 1977

June 27:
Lorrie Morgan born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1959 (now 55)
Elton Britt born in Marshall, Arkansas, 1913 (died 1972)
Rosalie Allen born in Old Forge, Pennsylavania, 1924 (died 2003)
Little Roy Wiggins (STG 85) born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1926 (died 1999)
Joe Maphis died near Los Angeles, California (lung cancer), 1986 (was 65)
Bob Keeshan born in Lynbrook, New York, 1927 (died 2004). The Statler Brothers referenced Keeshan's best-known character in their hit "Flowers on the Wall:" "Smokin' cigarettes and watchin' Captain Kangaroo."

Susanna Clark died in Nashville, Tennessee (illness), 2012 (was 73)

June 28:

George Morgan (CM 98) born in Waverly, Tennessee, 1924 (died 1975)
Bobby Caldwell (STG 10) born in St. Louis, Missouri, 1941 (died 2009)
The WWVA Wheeling Jamboree began, 1940

June 29:

T. Tommy Cutrer (DJ 80) born in Osyka, Mississippi, 1924 (died 1998)
Frank Loesser born in New York City, 1910 (died 1969). The legendary pop songwriter was the first "victim" of a Homer & Jethro parody in 1949, "Baby, It's Cold Outside." After Homer & Jethro recorded seven more parodies of Loesser compositions for an EP (Homer & Jethro Fracture Frank Loesser), Loesser, a fan of the pair, wrote the liner notes.
Rosemary Clooney died in Beverly Hills, California (lung cancer), 2002 (was 74).  The pop singer worked on WLW with many country singers and recorded a cover of the Carl Smith hit "If Teardrops Were Pennies."

June 30:

Dwayne O'Brien of Little Texas born in Ada, Oklahoma, 1963 (now 51)
Doyle Holly born in Perkins, Oklahoma, 1936 (died 2007)
R.W. Blackwood of the Blackwood Brothers Quartet (SG 02) died in Clanton, Alabama (plane crash), 1954 (was 33)
Bill Lyles of the Blackwood Brothers Quartet (SG 02) died in Clanton, Alabama (plane crash), 1954 (was 34)
Chet Atkins (CM 73, RR 02) died in Nashville, Tennessee (brain cancer), 2001 (was 77)

Monday, June 02, 2014

"The Only Time I Wish You Weren't Gone"

CATEGORY:  Obituary

The great Weldon Myrick has died.

Myrick passed away today (6/2) at approximately 3 PM Nashville time, two days after suffering a stroke.

Weldon Myrick was born in Jayton, Texas in 1938.  He took up the steel guitar before he turned ten because his older brother, who had been playing steel, left the instrument at home when he enlisted in the Air Force.  By the time he had graduated from high school Myrick had made a trip to Nashville (with another young Texan, Waylon Jennings) and was making a name for himself in the Texas music scene, playing on local music television programs.  He also wrote songs, including "It's Not My Fault," recorded by a friend, Buddy Holly.

In the early 60's Myrick, who was by that time a policeman in Big Spring, Texas, took his steel and went to Nashville to find work as a musician.  He became one of two staff steel guitarists on the Grand Ole Opry (the other was Hal Rugg) and joined Bill Anderson's Po' Boys band.  

The work with Anderson led to one of the legendary sounds Myrick contributed to the great genre of music known as country.  Anderson had discovered Connie Smith on a tour in Ohio and managed to get her signed.  He wrote her first hit, "Once a Day," and Myrick put that signature opening steel riff on it.  His tenure in the Po' Boys Band also got Anderson a line in a song:  as Anderson told me in a 1991 interview, when he was writing the song "At the Time" (a hit for Jean Shepard), he needed a town to contrast with Paris.  Myrick suggested his old home town of Big Spring, and thus was born the line, "If you've never been to Paris, France, Big Spring, Texas will suit you fine, and that's the way it was when I loved him at the time."

Throughout the years Myrick played on countless sessions and backed legends and newcomers as the steel guitarist in the Grand Ole Opry staff band.  He eventually retired from the Opry in 1998, one year after he was inducted into the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame.

Connie Smith sings "Once a Day," backed by Weldon Myrick, 
on The Marty Stuart Show

Weldon Myrick had a marvelous style that perfectly augmented the joy or the heartache of the lyrics of the song he played on.  He was truly one of a kind.  Above all of that, he was a very gracious, kind, and humble gentleman.

Bill Anderson's song that made Connie Smith a star sums up how all country fans must feel tonight on the passing of this true legend of the steel guitar:

The only time I wish you weren't gone
Is once a day, every day, all day long

The exceptionally talented Weldon Myrick was 76.



Sick Call: Weldon Myrick

CATEGORY:  News

Steel Guitar Hall of Fame great Weldon Myrick has been hospitalized with a stroke.

Janice Brooks, owner of the great online radio station Bus of Real Country, sent a note last night:

From Pat Coyne Asking prayers for Weldon Myrick and his family. Weldon has suffered a stroke and is hospitalized....it is very serious.

Myrick, 76, has worked with countless country music greats, including Bill Anderson and Connie Smith, over the years.  (Anderson said in a 1992 interview that Myrick was responsible for the mention of "Big Spring, Texas" in the Anderson composition "At the Time":  Anderson needed a small town to contrast to Paris, and Myrick suggested Big Spring.)  Myrick co-wrote the song "Hangin' Around," which was featured on the Wilburn Brothers' album Never Alone.  He was the Grand Ole Opry's staff band steel player for over three decades.  In 1997 he was inducted into the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame.

Please keep Weldon Myrick in your thoughts and prayers.

Dates of Note in Country Music, June 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 act inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)

June 1:

Pat Boone born in Jacksonville, Florida, 1934 (now 80). The legendary pop crooner married Red Foley's daughter Shirley.
Wayne Kemp (NS 99) born in Greenwood, Arkansas, 1941 (now 73)
Ronnie Dunn of Brooks & Dunn born in Coleman, Texas, 1953 (now 61)
Elsie McWilliams (NS 79) born in Harperville, Mississippi, 1896 (died 1985)

Lee Allen of the Allen Brothers born in Sewanee, Tennessee, 1906 (died 1981)
Johnny Bond (CM 99, NS 70) born in Enville, Oklahoma, 1915 (died 1978)
Dale Warren of the Sons of the Pioneers born in Rockford, Illinois, 1925 (died 2008)
Andy Griffith born in Mount Airy, North Carolina, 1926 (died 2012)
Hazel Dickens born in Mercer County, West Virginia, 1935 (died 2011)
Jimmy Murphy died (unknown cause), 1981 (was 55)

June 2:


Carl Butler born in Knoxville, Tennessee, 1927 (died 1992)
Helen Carter died in Nashville, Tennessee (gastrointestinal issues), 1998 (was 70)
Adolph Hofner died in San Antonio, Texas (illness), 2000 (was 83)

June 3:


Fred "Too Slim" LeBour of Riders in the Sky born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1948 (now 66)

Deke Dickerson born in St. Louis, Missouri, 1968 (now 46)
Jamie O'Neal born in Sydney, Australia, 1968 (now 46)
Curly Williams born in Cairo, Georgia, 1914 (died 1970)
Homer Louis "Boots" Randolph born in Paducah, Kentucky, 1927 (died 2007)
Wally Fowler died at Dale Hollow Lake, Tennessee (heart attack/drowned), 1994 (was 77)
Van Stoneman of the Stoneman Family died in Mufreesboro, Tennessee (Parkinson's disease), 1995 (was 54)
Graceland opens to the public, 1982
The Cincinnati radio show Midwest Hayride begins television broadcasts (on WLW-TV), 1955

June 4:


Bill Mack born in Shamrock, Texas, 1929 (now 85)
Linda Martell born in Leesville, South Carolina, 1941 (now 73). She was the first Black female artist to perform on the Grand Ole Opry.

Herby Wallace (STG 01) born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, 1947 (now 67)
Texas Ruby Owens born in Wise County, Texas, 1910 (died 1963)
Freddy Fender born in San Benito, Texas, 1937 (died 2006)
Zeke Clements (NS 71) died in Nashville, Tennessee (post-operative complications), 1994 (was 82)
John Hartford (BG 10) died in Madison, Tennessee (non-Hodgkin's lymphoma), 2001 (was 63)
Alabama's annual "June Jam" concert began in Fort Payne, Alabama, 1982

June 5:


Don Reid (CM 08) born in Staunton, Virginia, 1945 (now 69)
Gail Davies born in Broken Bow, Oklahoma, 1948 (now 66)
William "Hopalong Cassidy" Boyd born in Cambridge, Ohio, 1895 (died 1972)

Vaughn Horton (NS 71) born in Broad Top, Pennsylvania, 1911 (died 1988)
Hal "Lone" Pine born in Pea Cove, Maine, 1916 (died 1977)
John "Lonzo" Sullivan died in Nashville, Tennessee (heart attack), 1967 (was 48)
Conway Twitty (CM 99, NS 93) died in Springfield, Missouri (abdominal aneurysm), 1993 (was 59)
Ronald Reagan died in Los Angeles, California (complications of Alzheimer's disease), 2004 (was 93). While governor of California, the former president signed a full pardon for former convict Merle Haggard.

Don Bowman died in Branson, Missouri (complications of a stroke), 2013 (was 75)
Grand Ole Opry's first performance at the Ryman auditorium, 1943

June 6:


Joe Stampley born in Springhill, Louisiana, 1943 (now 71)
Gid Tanner of the Skillet Lickers born in Thomas Bridge, Georgia, 1885 (died 1960)
Asher Sizemore born in Manchester, Kentucky, 1906 (died 1973)
Charlie Cline of the Lonesome Pine Fiddlers born in Gilbert, West Virginia, 1931 (died 2004)
Claudette Orbison, wife of Roy Orbison, died in Gallatin, Tennessee (motorcycle accident), 1966 (was 24)
Grant Turner began his tenure as Grand Ole Opry announcer, 1944

June 7:


Sir Tom Jones born in Treforest, South Wales, 1940 (now 74). The legendary pop/rock singer had a hit with a cover of "Green, Green Grass of Home" in 1967 and hit the country charts with "Say You'll Stay Until Tomorrow" in 1977.
Larry Boone born in Cooper City, Florida, 1956 (now 58)
Dean Martin born in Steubenville, Ohio, 1917 (died 1995). The pop crooner recorded two albums of country music on Reprise in the early 60s and sang with Ricky Nelson in the John Wayne classic Rio Bravo in 1969.
Wynn Stewart born in Morrisville, Missouri, 1934 (died 1985)
Courtney Johnson of New Grass Revival died in Glasgow, Kentucky (lung cancer), 1996 (was 56)

June 8:


Vernon Oxford born in Rogers, Arkansas, 1941 (now 73)
Tony Rice born in Danville, Virginia, 1951 (now 63)
Adolph Hofner born in Moulton, Texas, 1916 (died 2000)
Alton Delmore (CM 01, NS 71) died in Huntsville, Alabama (alcohol-related illness), 1964 (was 55)
Roba Stanley died in Gainesville, Florida (unknown cause), 1986 (was 76). She is credited as being the first female solo artist recorded in country music history (1924).
Tommy Perkins of the Texas Playboys died in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (car accident), 2003 (was 69)

June 9:

Herb Remington (Steel Guitar 79) born in Mishawaka, Indiana, 1926 (now 88)

Willard Cox of the Cox Family born in Cotton Valley, Louisiana, 1937 (now 77)
Jamie Dailey of Dailey & Vincent born in Corbin, Kentucky, 1975 (now 39)

Les Paul born in Waukesha, Wisconsin, 1915 (died 2009). In addition to his recordings with wife Mary Ford, Paul invented the solid-body electric guitar and multi-track recording. He also won a Grammy for his album with Chet Atkins, Chester and Lester, in 1976.

June 10:


Thom Schuyler (NS 11) born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, 1952 (now 62)
Herman Crook of the Crook Brothers died in Nashville, Tennesee (heart attack), 1988 (was 89).  Crook was the last surviving member of the original Grand Ole Opry/WSM Barn Dance cast from 1925.
Steve Sanders, who replaced William Lee Golden in the Oak Ridge Boys for 15 years, died in Cape Coral, Florida (suicide), 1998 (was 45)
Ray Charles died in Beverly Hills, California (complications of liver disease), 2004 (was 73). Charles made the country charts in the 80s with duets with George Jones and Willie Nelson, and his ground-breaking 1962 album Modern Sounds in Country Music presented country songs to a wide audience.


June 11:


Jay McDowell of BR-549 born in Bedford, Indiana, 1969 (now 45)
Edwin Duhon of the Hackberry Ramblers born in Lafayette, Louisiana, 1910 (died 2006)
Brother Dave Gardner born in Jackson, Tennessee, 1926 (died 1983)
Jud Strunk born in Jamestown, New York, 1936 (died 1981)
 
Wilma Burgess born in Orlando, Florida, 1939 (died 2003)
Henry Maddox of the Maddox Brothers & Rose died aboard a mercy flight between Ashland, Oregon and Portland, Oregon (kidney disease), 1974 (was 46)

John Wayne died in Los Angeles, California (stomach cancer), 1979 (was 72). The actor has been referenced in a number of country songs.

June 12:


Junior Brown born in Kirksville, Indiana, 1952 (now 62)
Rebecca Holden born in Austin, Texas, 1958 (now 56)
Penny Jay born in Monteagle Mountain, Tennessee, 1927 (died 2006)
Dr. Humphrey Bate of the Possum Hunters died in Castalain Springs, Tennessee (heart attack), 1936 (was 61)
J.E. Mainer died (heart attack), 1971 (was 72)
Johnny Bond (CM 99, NS 70) died in Burbank, California (complications from stroke/heart attack), 1978 (was 63)

Winnie Winston (STG 10) died in New Zealand (prostate cancer), 2005 (was 64)
Danny Davis (ne George Joseph Nowlan) died in Nashville, Tennessee (heart failure), 2008 (was 83)

June 13:


Howard Vokes born in Clearfield, Pennsylvania, 1931 (now 83)
Slim Dusty born in Kempsey, Australia, 1927 (died 2003)

Jimmy Dean (CM 10) died in Varina, Virginia (natural causes), 2010 (was 81)
Frances Preston (CM 92) died in Nashville, Tennessee (congestive heart failure), 2012 (was 83)
The Country Music Foundation Library and Media Center opened in the basement of the Country Music Hall of Fame, 1972. The CMF is now on the top floor of the new Hall of Fame building.

June 14:


Burl Ives born in Newton, Illinois, 1909 (died 1995)
Lash LaRue born in Gretna, Louisiana, 1917 (died 1996). The Western actor was the first sidekick to western singer/actor/songwriter Eddie Dean and was mentioned in the Statler Brothers' "Whatever Happened to Randolph Scott."
Ernest V. "Pop" Stoneman (CM 08) died in Nashville, Tennessee (illness), 1968 (was 75)

Tom Tall died in Los Angeles, California (unknown cause), 2013 (was 75)
Patsy Cline seriously injured in a car accident in Madison, Tennessee, 1961

June 15:


Terri Gibbs born in Miami, Florida, 1954 (now 60)
Blind Alfred Reed born in Floyd, Virginia, 1880 (died 1956)
Tex Owens (NS 71) born in Killeen, Texas, 1892 (died 1962)
Marvin Hughes born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1911 (died 1986)

Leon Payne (NS 70) born in Alba, Texas, 1917 (died 1969)
RCA engineer Bill Porter born in St. Louis, Missouri, 1931 (died 2010)
Bob White (STG 90) born in Jenny Lind, Arkansas, 1932 (died 2003)
Waylon Jennings (CM 01, NS 95) born in Littlefield, Texas, 1937 (died 2002)

Ruby Falls died in Nashville, Tennessee (cerebral hemorrhage), 1986 (was 40)
Hee Haw debuted on CBS as the summer replacement show for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, 1969. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Dates of Note in Country Music, May 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; DJ=Disc Jockey; NS=Nashville Songwriter; SG=Southern Gospel; STG=Steel Guitar; WS=Western Swing; RR=country act inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)

May 16:


Rick Trevino born in Austin, Texas, 1971 (now 43)
Laura Lee Owens, the "Queen of Western Swing," born in Kansas City, Missouri, 1920 (died 1989)

Wallace Lewis of the Lewis Family (BG 06) died in Washington, Georgia (complications of Parkinson's disease), 2007 (was 78)
Doug Dillard of the Dillards (BG 09) died in Nashville, Tennessee (lung infection), 2012 (was 75)

May 17:

Pat Flynn of the New Grass Revival born in Los Angeles, California, 1952 (now 62)
Grant Turner (CM 81, DJ 75) born in Abeline, Texas, 1912 (died 1991)
Paul Warren born in Lyles, Tennessee, 1918 (died 1978)
Arthur Lee "Red" Smiley (BG 92) born in Marshall, North Carolina, 1925 (died 1984)

Penny DeHaven born in Winchester, Virginia, 1948 (died 2014)
Wiley Walker of Wiley & Gene (NS 71) died in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (cancer), 1966 (was 54)
New Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum building opened, 2001.  Nearly every living Hall of Famer was present at the opening ceremonies, and the audience was treated to a tour of the new facilities.

May 18:

Rodney Dillard of the Dillards (BG 09) born in East St. Louis, Illinois, 1942 (now 72)
Joe Bonsall of the Oak Ridge Boys born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1948 (now 66)
Gary Scruggs born in Knoxville, Tennessee, 1949 (now 65)

Tom Shapiro (NS 08) born in Kansas City, Missouri, 1950 (now 64)
George Strait (CM 06) born in Poteet, Texas, 1952 (now 62)

Leon Ashley born in Newton County, Georgia, 1936 (died 2013)

May 19:

Martha Carson born in Neon, Kentucky, 1921 (died 2004)
Rex Gosdin born in Woodland, Alabama, 1938 (died 1983)
Mickey Newberry (NS 80) born in Houston, Texas, 1940 (died 2002)

May 20:

"Lonesome George" Gobel born in Chicago, Illinois, 1919 (died 1991). Although many may remember him as a comedian and regular on Hollywood Squares, one of Gobel's earliest jobs in entertainment was on the WLS National Barn Dance when he was a teenager in the 1930s.
Jack Cash, brother of Johnny Cash, died in Dyess, Arkansas (injuries from accident with table saw), 1944 (was 15)

Dick Kaihue McIntire (STG 82) died in Honolulu, Hawaii (unknown cause), 1951 (was 49)

May 21:

Henry Glover born in Hot Springs, Arkansas, 1921 (died 1991). The R&B songwriter and pioneering black record company executive co-wrote "Blues, Stay Away From Me" with the Delmore Brothers and Wayne Raney in 1949.
Charlie Poole died in Spray, North Carolina (alcohol-related heart failure), 1931 (was 39)
Billy Walker died in Fort Deposit, Alabama (car wreck), 2006 (was 77)
Vaughn Monroe died in Stuart, Florida (post-operative complications), 1973 (was 61). Among the pop singer's many hits was "(Ghost) Riders in the Sky."

May 22:

Miggie Lewis of the Lewis Family (BG 06) born in Richmond County, Georgia, 1926 (now 88)
Buddy Alan born in Mega, Arizona, 1948 (now 66)
Rich Alves of Pirates of the Mississippi born in Pleasanton, California, 1953 (now 61)
Dana Williams of Diamond Rio born in Dayton, Ohio, 1961 (now 53)
Ralph S. Peer (CM 84) born in Independence, Missouri, 1892 (died 1960)
Royce Kendall died in LaCrosse, Wisconsin (stroke), 1988 (was 63)

May 23:

Mac Wiseman (CM 14, BG 93) born in Crimora, Virginia, 1925 (now 89).  The legendary "Voice With a Heart" is one of the members of the Country Music Hall of Fame class of 2014.
Ken Irwin, co-founder of Rounder Records, born in New York, New York, 1944 (now 70)
Misty Morgan born in Buffalo, New York, 1945 (now 69)
Shelley West born in Cleveland, Ohio, 1958 (now 56)

Leroy Troy born in Goodlettesville, Tennessee, 1966 (now 48)
Rosemary Clooney born in Maysville, Kentucky, 1928 (died 2002). The legendary pop singer recorded a number of country songs, including covering Carl Smith's hit "If Teardrops Were Pennies."
Rex Gosdin died (heart attack), 1983 (was 45)

May 24:

Mike Reid (NS 05) born in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, 1947 (now 67)
Rosanne Cash born in Memphis, Tennessee, 1955 (now 59)
Billy Gilman born in Westerly, Rhode Island, 1988 (now 26). Gilman's "One Voice" hit #1 when he was 12, making him the youngest person in Billboard country chart history to have a #1 song.
Gene Clark of the Byrds and Dillard & Clark died in Sherman Oaks, California (bleeding ulcer), 1991 (was 46)
Vivian Liberto died in Ventura, California (cancer), 2005 (was 71). Vivian was Johnny Cash's first wife and Rosanne Cash's mother.
Jimmie Rodgers recorded "Old Love Letters (Bring Memories of You)," "Mississippi Delta Blues," "Somewhere Down Below the Dixon Line," and "Years Ago" in New York City, 1933. Ravaged with tuberculosis, they would be the final recordings of the Father of Country Music.

May 25:

Tom T. Hall (CM 08, NS 78) born in Olive Hill, Kentucky, 1936 (now 78)
Jessi Colter born in Phoenix, Arizona, 1947 (now 67)
Dr. Humphrey Bate of the Possum Hunters born in Castallian Springs, Tennessee, 1875 (died 1936)
Ernest V. "Pop" Stoneman (CM 08) born in Monarat, Virginia, 1893 (died 1968)

Hal David (NS 84) born in New York, New York, 1921 (died 2012)
Dick Curless died in Bangor, Maine (stomach cancer), 1995 (was 63)

May 26:

Lance LeRoy (BG 00) born in Tingall, Georgia, 1930 (now 84)

Randall Hank Williams Jr. (NS 07) born in Shreveport, Louisiana, 1949 (now 65)
Richard Leigh (NS 94) born in Washington, DC, 1951 (now 63)
Levon Helm born in Marvell, Arkansas, 1940 (died 2012). The actor and drummer/singer for the Band made his acting debut in Coal Miner's Daughter.
Jimmie Rodgers (CM 61, NS 70, RR 86) died in New York, New York (tuberculosis), 1933 (was 35)
Onie Wheeler died in Nashville, Tennessee (heart attack), 1984 (was 62). He died on the Grand Ole Opry stage during a performance of the post-Friday Night Opry show, Grand Ole Gospel.

Zane Beck (STG 91) died in Little Rock, Arkansas (unknown cause), 1985 (was 57)
Judy Lynn died in New Albany, Indiana (congestive heart failure), 2010 (was 74)
The first International Country Music Conference held in Meridian, Mississippi, 1983. The three-day event began as a memorial to Jimmie Rodgers and coincides with the anniversary of his death.

May 27:

Don Williams (CM 10) born in Floydada, Texas, 1939 (now 75)
Redd Stewart (NS 70) born in Ashland City, Tennessee, 1921 (died 2003)
Kenny Price born in Florence, Kentucky, 1931 (died 1987)

Bob Dunn (STG 92) died in Houston, Texas (cancer), 1971 (was 63).  In addition to being a Hall of Fame steel player, Dunn is credited with playing the first amplified instrument while a member of Milton Brown's Musical Brownies in 1935.
Slim Bryant died in Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania (long-term illness), 2010 (was 101)
Opryland opened, 1972 (closed 1997)

May 28:

John Fogerty born in Berkeley, California, 1945 (now 69). The leader of Creedence Clearwater Revival recorded an album of country songs under the pseudonym Blue Ridge Rangers in 1973, hitting the country chart with his rendition of "Jambalaya," and several songs Fogerty has written have been recorded by country singers.
Jerry Douglas born in Warren, Ohio, 1956 (now 58)
Phil Vassar born in Lynchburg, Virginia, 1965 (now 49)

Gary Stewart born in Jenkins, Kentucky, 1945 (died 2003)

May 29:

David Kelii (STG 90) born in Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii, 1914 (died 1983)

Carl Story (BG 07) born in Lenoir, North Carolina, 1916 (died 1995)
Danny Davis (ne George Joseph Nowlan) of the Nashville Brass born in Dorchester, Massachusetts, 1925 (died 2008)
Doc Watson (BG 00) died in Winston-Salem, North Carolina (complications from abdominal surgery), 2012 (was 89)
Mother Maybelle and the Carter Family became members of the Grand Ole Opry, 1950
Hank and Audrey Williams divorced, 1952

May 30:

Johnny Gimble (WS 98) born in Tyler, Texas, 1926 (now 88)

Paul Franklin (STG 00) born in Detroit, Michigan, 1954 (now 60)
Mike Snider born in Gleason, Tennessee, 1960 (now 54)
Lewis Crook of the Crook Brothers born in Trousdale County, Tennessee, 1909 (died 1996)

Don Wayne (NS 78) born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1933 (died 2011)
Karl Davis of Karl & Harty died in Chicago, Illinois (cancer), 1979 (was 73)
Bobby Harden of the Harden Trio died in Nashville, Tennessee (unknown cause), 2006 (was 70)

May 31:

Bud Carter (STG 09) born in Sullivan, Missouri, 1931 (now 83)

Vic Willis of the Willis Brothers born in Schulter, Oklahoma, 1922 (died 1995)
Johnny Paycheck (ne Donald Eugene Lytle) born in Greenfield, Ohio, 1938 (died 2003)

Winnie Winston (STG 10) born in New York, New York, 1941 (died 2005)
William "Red" Rector died in Knoxville, Tennessee (heart attack), 1990 (was 60)

Lloyd Perryman of the Sons of the Pioneers (CM 80) died in Burbank, California (complications of heart surgery), 1977 (was 60)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Update: Wayne the Train Released From the Hospital

Category:  News

There is great news out of Texas.  Wayne "The Train" Hancock has been released from the hospital following an April 26 motorcycle accident that left him with a collapsed lung, fractured elbow and several broken ribs.

Hancock turned 49 on May 2nd, celebrating his birthday in the hospital.  He is on the road to recovery and will hopefully be well enough to resume his touring schedule in the next two months.


Best wishes for a complete and quick recovery for Wayne the Train!

Wayne "The Train" Hancock in concert
in August 2013 at Southgate House
in Newport, KY.
c.2014 K.F. Raizor

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Wayne The Train Derailed By Motorcycle Accident

Category:  News

Texas-based honky tonk great Wayne "The Train" Hancock is recovering in a Dallas-area hospital following a motorcycle accident on April 26.

Hancock's Facebook page and web site have both reported that the hardcore honky-tonk singer suffered a collapsed lung, fractured elbow, and several broken ribs in the accident.  He was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.  Hancock was removed from the ventilator on May 2, and he has hopes of going home by the end of the week to finish his recuperation.  Due to his injuries Hancock has been forced to cancel his gigs through June 9.

Here's a salute to a hard-working Marine Corps veteran who always gives his all at shows (when I saw him last year he played for three hours and outlasted most of the audience!), and best wishes for a speedy recovery!


Dates of Note in Country Music, May 1-15

(My profound apologies for being late in posting this.  I've had a few health issues the past week.)

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.)

May 1:

Sonny James (ne James Loden) (CM 06) born in Hackleburg, Alabama, 1929 (now 85)
Rita Coolidge born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1944 (now 70). Although primarily a pop singer, Coolidge had a dozen songs chart in country. She is also the former wife of Kris Kristofferson.
Wayne Hancock born in Dallas, Texas, 1965 (now 49)
Sam McGee born in Williamson County, Tennessee, 1894 (died 1975)
Jimmy Gately born in Springfield, Missouri, 1931 (died 1985)
Ott Devine born in Gadsen, Alabama, 1910 (died 1994)
Spike Jones died in Bel Air, California (emphysema), 1965 (was 53). The novelty band leader recorded "Pal-Yat-Chee" with Homer and Jethro, and Red Ingle (of Red Ingle & Natural Seven, of "Temp-Tay-Shun" fame) was once a member of Jones' City Slickers.
Jim Hager of the Hager Twins died in Nashville, Tennessee (heart attack), 2008 (was 66)
Elvis Presley married Priscilla Beaulieu in Las Vegas, Nevada, 1967
A six-inch rainstorm hit Nashville, 2010.  The massive flood damaged the Grand Ole Opry House, the Opryland Hotel, the WSM-AM studios, the basement of the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Wildhorse Saloon, the instrument storage business Soundcheck, and a number of country singers' homes. Over 13 inches of rain fell in two days and killed nearly two dozen.

May 2:

R.C. Bannon born in Dallas, Texas, 1945 (now 69)
Larry Gatlin born in Seminole, Texas, 1948 (now 66)
Ty Herndon born in Meridian, Mississippi, 1962 (now 52)
Roy Lee Centers of the Clinch Mountain Boys died in Jackson, Kentucky (shot to death -- details disputed between a fight, "road rage" or murder), 1974 (was 29)
"Slowly" by Webb Pierce hits #1 on the Billboard charts, 1954. It becomes the first #1 song to feature the pedal steel guitar.

May 3:

Cactus Moser of Highway 101 born in Montrose, Colorado, 1957 (now 57)
Bing Crosby born in Tacoma, Washington, 1903 (died 1977). The pop crooner has the distinction of being the performer of the first #1 single in Billboard magazine's "Hillbilly and Western Singles" history with his rendition of Al Dexter's "Pistol Packin' Mama." Dexter's own recording was the second #1 song.
Dave Dudley born in Spencer, Wisconsin, 1928 (died 2003)
Patsy Montana (CM 96) died in San Jancinto, California (unknown cause), 1996 (was 83)
Dollywood theme park opened in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, 1986

May 4:

Stella Parton born in Sevierville, Tennessee, 1949 (now 64)
Robert Ellis Orrall born in Winthrop, Massachusetts, 1955 (now 58)
Randy Travis born in Marshville, North Carolina, 1959 (now 54)
Al Dexter (ne Clarence Albert Poindexter) (NS 71) born in Jacksonville, Texas, 1902 (died 1984)
Bobby Austin born in Wenatchee, Washington, 1933 (died 2002)
Joe L. Frank (CM 67) died in Chicago, Illinois (complications of throat infection), 1952 (was 52)
Leo Jackson died in Nashville, Tennessee (suicide [gunshot]), 2008 (was 73)

May 5:

Ace Cannon born in Grenada, Mississippi, 1934 (now 80)
Roni Stoneman born in Washington, DC, 1938 (now 76)

Wayne Carson (NS 97) born in Denver, Colorado, 1942 (now 72)
Glen Duncan of Lonesome Standard Time born in Columbus, Indiana, 1955 (now 59)
Tammy Wynette (CM 98, NS 09) born in Itawamba County, Mississippi, 1942 (died 1998)
J.D. Miller born in Iota, Louisiana, 1922 (died 1996)
Jerry Wallace died in Corona, California (congestive heart failure), 2008 (was 79)

May 6:

Jimmie Dale Gilmore born in Austin, Texas, 1945 (now 69)
Cliff Carlisle born in Taylorsville, Kentucky, 1904 (died 1983)

Otis Blackwell (NS 86) died in Nashville, Tennessee (heart attack), 2002 (was 71)
George "Goober" Lindsey died in Nashville, Tennessee (brief illness), 2012 (was 83)

May 7:

Jerry Chesnut (NS 96) born in Loyall, Kentucky, 1931 (now 83)

Lorie Collins of the Collins Kids born in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, 1942 (now 72)
Riley Puckett born in Alpharetta, Georgia, 1894 (died 1946)
Horace "Aytchie" Burns born in Cisco, Georgia, 1918 (died 1974). Aytchie, the older brother of Jethro Burns, was a performer at the WNOX Midday Merry-Go-Round and the Renfro Valley Barn Dance. While in the Army he was also the platoon sergeant of Roger Miller.
Eddie Rabbitt (NS 98) died in Nashville, Tennessee (lung cancer), 1998 (was 56)

May 8:

Jack Blanchard born in Buffalo, New York, 1942 (now 72)
Del Anthony Gray of Little Texas born in Hamilton, Ohio, 1968 (now 46)
Jimmie Tarlton of Darby & Tarlton born in Cheraw, South Carolina, 1892 (died 1979)

Homer Bailes of the Bailes Brothers born in Kanawha County, West Virginia, 1922 (died 2013)
Benny Martin (BG 05) born in Sparta, Tennessee, 1928 (died 2001)
Rick Nelson born in Teaneck, New Jersey, 1940 (died 1985)
Leon Huff of the Light Crust Doughboys died (unknown cause), 1952 (was 39)
George D. Hay (CM 66) died in Virginia Beach, Virginia (unknown cause), 1968 (was 72)
Eddy Arnold (CM 66) died in Brentwood, Tennessee (complications from a fall), 2008 (was 89)

Charles "Everett" Lilly (BG 02) died in Clear Creek, West Virginia (aneurysm/heart attack), 2012 (was 87)


May 9:

Richie Furay of Poco born in Yellow Springs, Ohio, 1944 (now 70)
Bobby Lewis born in Hodgenville, Kentucky, 1946 (now 68)
Fuzzy Knight born in Fairmont, West Virginia, 1901 (died 1976). The actor appeared in several films as Tex Ritter's sidekick.
Hank Snow (CM 79, NS 78) born in Brooklyn, Nova Scotia, 1914 (died 1999)
Nudie Cohn died in Hollywood, California (unknown cause), 1984 (was 81)
Keith Whitley died in Nashville, Tennessee (alcohol poisoning), 1989 (was 33)
Jimmie Davis elected governor of Louisiana, 1944

May 10:

Carl T. Sprague born in Houston, Texas, 1895 (died 1979)
Mother Maybelle Carter (CM 70, BG 01) born in Nicklesville, Virginia, 1909 (died 1979)
Shel Silverstein (NS 02) died in Key West, Florida (heat attack), 1999 (was 68)

May 11:

Bobby Black (Steel Guitar 04) born in Prescott, Arizona, 1934 (now 80)

Dick Overbey (Steel Guitar 10) born in Detroit, Michigan, 1942 (now 72)
Mark Herndon of Alabama (CM 05) born in Springfield, Massachusetts, 1955 (now 59)
Bob Atcher born in West Point, Kentucky, 1914 (died 1993)
Lester Flatt (CM 85, BG 91, NS 07) died in Nashville, Tennessee (heart failure), 1979 (was 64)

Dottie Rambo (SG 97, NS 07) died in Mt. Vernon, Missouri (bus crash), 2008 (was 74)

May 12:

Kix Brooks born in Shreveport, Louisiana, 1955 (now 59)
The Duke of Paducah, Benjamin "Whitey" Ford, (CM 86) born in DeSoto, Missouri, 1901 (died 1986)
Joe Maphis born in Suffolk, Virginia, 1921 (died 1986)
Leroy Pullins born in Berea, Kentucky, 1940 (died 1984)

W. Lee "Pappy" O'Daniel died in Dallas, Texas (unknown cause), 1969 (was 79)

May 13:

Ray Kennedy born in Buffalo, New York, 1954 (now 59)
Lari White born in Dunedin, Florida, 1965 (now 48)
Jack Anglin born in Columbia, Tennesee, 1916 (died 1963)

Johnnie Wright born in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, 1914 (died 2011)
Gid Tanner died in Dacula, Georgia (unknown cause), 1960 (was 74)
Bob Wills (CM 68, NS 70) died Fort Worth, Texas (pneumonia/complications of stroke), 1975 (was 70)


May 14:

Jimmy Martin (BG 95) died in Nashville, Tennessee (bladder cancer), 2005 (was 77)

May 15:

K.T. Oslin born in Crossett, Arkansas, 1941 (now 73)
Eddy Arnold (CM 66) born in Henderson, Tennessee, 1918 (died 2008)
June Carter Cash died in Nashville, Tennessee (complications from open heart surgery), 2003 (was 73)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Country Music Hall of Fame 2014 Inductees Announced

Category:  News

The 2014 Country Music Hall of Fame inductees were announced this morning (4/22) in ceremonies held in the rotunda at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville.

As I predicted, the late Hank Cochran was enshrined in the Songwriter category in his first year of eligibility following his death from pancreatic cancer in 2010.  His widow, Suzi, accepted, saying, "I never dreamt it would be me and not Hank standing here.  I'm so proud of Hank, and so thrilled for our family."

The Modern Era inductee is Ronnie Milsap, one of country's stalwarts of the mid-70's to mid-80's.  He had 35 #1 hits over the course of his career, and his video of "Lost in the 50's Tonight" became the first video by a country artist to be played on the rock video channel MTV.

The biggest surprise of the day came in the Veterans Era induction.  Mac Wiseman, a legend in bluegrass music (and one of the first seven inductees into the Bluegrass Hall of Fame, enshrined in 1993) but with practically no straight country career (he had only nine singles on the country charts), was inducted.  In addition to a long career in music that goes back to a stint in Molly O'Day's Cumberland Mountain Folks, Wiseman was the first secretary of the Country Music Association, the governing body that elects the individuals to the Hall of Fame, as well as an executive for the Dot Records label in the 50's and early 60's.  


2014 inductee Mac Wiseman
performing at MerleFest in 1995.
c.2014 K.F. Raizor

I'm especially thrilled for Wiseman, who will be 89 next month.  He is a true gentleman, an incredible entertainer (all he has to do is sit on a stool and sing and you are in the palm of his hand), and his voice (his nickname is "The Voice With a Heart," and for a reason) is unique, distinct, and warm (you never forget a song once you hear Mac sing it!).  

Congratulations to the new inductees.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Glen Campbell Moved to Treatment Facility

Category:  News

Country Music Hall of Fame member Glen Campbell has been moved to a facility that specializes in treatment of individuals with Alzheimer's disease.

Campbell, who will turn 78 on April 22, made his diagnosis of Alzheimer's public in 2011.  He began a series of farewell concert tours, which unfortunately were cut short approximately one year ago when his condition reached the point that he could no longer continue.  Although details haven't been released, it appears that Campbell's health has deteriorated to the point where we have seen him in public for the final time.

Campbell has always been considered a first-rate guitarist, having performed on Beach Boys tours prior to the beginning of his Grammy-winning career.  His Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour show was a summer replacement for the Smothers Brothers' variety show on CBS in 1968 and became a regular series in 1969.  In addition to the four Grammy awards he received in his career he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Grammy in 2012.

Last year the Alzheimer's Association presented the inaugural "Glen Campbell Courage Award" to Campbell at the 22nd annual "Night At Sardi's" fundraising event.  A film about Campbell's battle with the disease, Glen Campbell...I'll Be Me, will debut on Friday (4/18) at the Nashville Film Festival.

Dates of Note in Country Music, April 16-30

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)

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 41)
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 67)
Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown born in Vinton, Louisiana, 1924 (died 2005)
Your blogger born in Louisville, Kentucky, 19(?!) (now not so young after all)
Milton Brown died in Fort Worth, Texas (pneumonia resulting from injuries in an April 13 car wreck), 1936 (was 32)

April 19:

Jody Carver (Steel Guitar 04) born in Brooklyn, New York, 1929 (now 85)
Bill Rice (NS 94) born in Datto, Arkansas, 1939 (now 75)
Gary Brewer born in Louisville, Kentucky, 1965 (now 49)
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 Tillotson born in Jacksonville, Florida, 1939 (now 75)
Doyle Lawson (BG 12) born in Ford Town, Tennessee, 1944 (now 70)
Wade Hayes born in Bethel Acres, Oklahoma, 1969 (now 45)
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:

Glen Campbell (CM 05) born in Delight, Arkansas, 1936 (now 78)
Ray Griff born in Vancouver, British Columbia, 1940 (now 74)
Pat Enright of the Nashville Bluegrass Band born in Huntington, Indiana, 1945 (now 69)
Cleve Francis born in Jennings, Louisiana, 1945 (now 69)
Larry Groce born in Dallas, Texas, 1948 (now 66). 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 63)
Heath Wright of Ricochet born in Vian, Oklahoma, 1967 (now 45)
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 died in Washington, DC (pneumonia), 2011 (was 75)

April 23:

Roland White of the Nashville Bluegrass Band born in Madawaska, Maine, 1938 (now 76)
Roy Orbison (NS 87) 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 80). Pat Boone's wife is also the daughter of Red Foley.
Rebecca Lynn Howard born in Salyersville, Kentucky, 1979 (now 35)
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 (Steel Guitar 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 69)
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 81)
Duane Eddy born in Corning, New York, 1938 (now 76)
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) died in Nashville, Tennessee (respiratory failure), 2013 (was 81)

April 27:

Maxine Brown of the Browns born in Campti, Louisiana, 1931 (now 83)
Herb Pedersen of the Dillards and Desert Rose Band born in Berkley, California, 1944 (now 69)
Sydney Nathan (BG 06) 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:

Billy Mize born in Arkansas City, Kansas, 1929 (now 85)
Duane Allen of the Oak Ridge Boys born in Taylortown, Texas, 1943 (now 71)
Wayne Secrest of Confederate Railroad born in Alton, Illinois, 1950 (now 64)
Karen Brooks born in Dallas, Texas, 1954 (now 60)
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 85)
Willie Nelson (CM 93, NS 73) born in Abbott, Texas, 1933 (now 81)
Darrell McCall born in New Jasper, Ohio, 1940 (now 74)
Johnny Farina (Steel Guitar 02) born in Brooklyn, New York, 1941 (now 73)
Robert Earl Reynolds of the Mavericks born in Kansas City, Missouri, 1962 (now 52)
Johnny Horton born in Los Angeles, California, 1930 (died 1960)
Curly Chalker (Steel Guitar 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.