Monday, December 15, 2014

Dates of Note in Country Music, December 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=Country Disc Jockey; NS=Nashville Songwriter; SG=Southern Gospel; StG=Steel Guitar WS=Western Swing; RR=also in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)

December 16:

Jim Glaser of the Glaser Brothers born in Spalding, Nebraska, 1937 (now 77)
Jeff Carson born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, 1964 (now 50)
Shelby Singleton born in Waskom, Texas, 1931 (died 2009)
Jenny Lou Carson (NS 71) died in Torrance, California (unknown causes), 1978 (was 63)
Martha Carson died in Nashville, Tennessee (natural causes), 2004 (was 83)
Gary Stewart died in Fort Pierce, Florida (suicide [gunshot]), 2003 (was 58)
Dan Fogelberg died in Deer Island, Maine (cancer), 2007 (was 56)

Ray Price (CM 96) died in Mount Pleasant, Texas (pancreatic cancer), 2013 (was 87)

December 17:

Frankie Miller born in Victoria, Texas, 1930 (now 84)
Sharon White Skaggs born in Wichita Falls, Texas, 1953 (now 61) 
Tracy Byrd born in Vidor, Texas, 1966 (now 48)
Karl Davis born in Mount Vernon, Kentucky, 1905 (died 1979)
Spade Cooley born in Grand, Oklahoma, 1910 (died 1969)
Nat Stuckey born in Cass County, Texas, 1933 (died 1988)
Roy Huskey Jr. born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1956 (died 1997)
Rex Allen Sr. died in Tuscon, Arizona (accidentally run over by car), 1999 (was 77)
Commercial plane carrying Doug Stone crash-lands in Chicago, 1999. Stone was uninjured.

December 18:

Cledus T. Judd (real name: James Poole) born in Crowe Springs, Georgia, 1964 (now 50)
Wilf Carter (Montana Slim) (NS 71) born in Port Hilford, Nova Scotia, 1904 (died 1996)
The Louvin Brothers' first recording session (they recorded "Alabama") at Castle Studios, Nashville, 1947

December 19:

Little Jimmy Dickens (CM 83) born in Bolt, West Virginia, 1920 (now 94)
John McEuen of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Bang born in Long Beach, California, 1945 (now 69)
Janie Fricke born in South Whitney, Indiana, 1947 (now 67)
Jumpin' Bill Carlisle (CM 02) born in Wakefield, Kentucky, 1908 (died 2003)
Marion Worth died in Madison, Tennessee (emphysema), 1999 (was 69)
Hank Williams' last show, given at the Skyline Club, Austin, Texas, 1952
Johnny Paycheck shot a man outside a bar in Greenfield, Ohio, 1985

December 20:

Skeeter Willis of the Willis Brothers born in Colton, Oklahoma, 1917 (died 1976)
Jack Stapp (CM 89) died in Nashville, Tennessee (unknown cause), 1980 (was 68)
Don Law (CM 01) died in LaMarque, Texas (unknown cause), 1982 (was 80)

Hank Snow (CM 79, NS 78) died in Nashville, Tennessee (various illnesses), 1999 (was 85)

December 21:

Freddie Hart (NS 04) born in Lockapoke, Alabama, 1926 (now 88)
Lee Roy Parnell born in Abilene, Texas, 1956 (now 58)
Christy Forrester of the Forester Sisters born in Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, 1962 (now 52)
Vito Pellettieri born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1889 (died 1977)
Floyd "Lightnin'" Chance born in Como, Mississippi, 1925 (died 2005)

Natchee the Indian (ne Lester Vernon Storer) died in Santa Clara, California (unknown cause), 1970 (was 54)
John Bailes of the Bailes brothers died (unknown cause), 1989 (was 71)
Harold Morrison died in Springfield, Missouri (illness), 1993 (was 62)


December 22:

Red Stegall born in Gainesville, Texas, 1937 (now 77)
Chuck Mead of BR5-49 born in Nevada, Missouri, 1960 (now 54)
Paul Martin of Exile born in Winchester, Kentucky, 1962 (now 52)
Harold "Hawkshaw" Hawkins born in Huntington, West Virginia, 1921 (died 1963)
Dave Dudley died in Danbury, Wisconsin (heart attack), 2003 (was 75)
Dennis Linde (NS 01) died in Nashville, Tennessee (lung disease), 2006 (was 63)

December 23:

Murray "Buddy" Harman born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1928 (died 2008)


December 24:

Lulu Belle Wiseman born in Boone, North Carolina, 1913 (died 1999)
Zane Beck (StG 91) born in Clarksville, Arkansas, 1927 (died 1985)
Jake Hess (SG 97) born in Limestone County, Alabama, 1927 (died 2004)
Stoney Edwards born in Seminole, Oklahoma, 1929 (died 1997)
William J. "Billy" Hill (NS 82) died in Boston, Massachusetts (heart attack), 1940 (was 41)
Charlie Moore died in Maryland (illness), 1979 (was 44)

December 25:

J.R. "Curly" Seckler (BG 04) born in China Grove, North Carolina, 1919 (now 95)
Jimmy Buffett (NS 06) born in Pascagoula, Mississippi, 1946 (now 68)

Barbara Mandrell (CM 09, StG 09) born in Houston, Texas, 1948 (now 66)
Steve Wariner born in Noblesville, Indiana, 1954 (now 60)
Alton Delmore (CM 01, NS 71) born in Elkmont, Alabama, 1908 (died 1964)
Billy Nelson, Willie Nelson's son, died in Nashville, Tennessee (suicide [hanged self]), 1991 (was 33)
Johnny Cash and family robbed and held at gunpoint in their Jamaica home, 1982

December 26:

Ronnie Prophet born in Calument, Quebec, 1938 (now 76)
Bob Carpenter of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1946 (now 68)

Travis Lewis of the Lewis Family (BG 06) born in Greenwood, South Carolina, 1958 (now 56)
Audrey Wiggins born in Asheville, North Carolina, 1967 (now 47)
Beecher Ray "Pete" "Bashful Brother Oswald" Kirby born in Sevier County, Tennessee, 1911 (died 2002)
Harry Choates born in Rayne, Louisiana, 1911 (died 1951)
Jimmie Osborne died in Louisville, Kentucky (suicide [gunshot]), 1957 (was 34)
Red Foley and wife Sally injured in a fire in their apartment in Nashhville, 1964

December 27:

Leonard T. "LT" Zinn (StG 05) born in Hanover, Pennsylvania, 1924 (now 90)
Scotty Moore born in Gadsden, Tennessee, 1931 (now 83)
Les Taylor of Exile born in Oneida, Kentucky, 1948 (now 66)
Darrin Vincent of Dailey & Vincent born in Kirkville, Missouri, 1969 (now 45)

John Hughey (StG 96) born in Elaine, Arkansas, 1933 (died 2007)
Bob Luman died in Nashville, Tennessee (pneumonia), 1978 (was 41)
Hoagy Carmichael (NS 88) died in Rancho Mirage, California (heart ailment), 1981 (was 82)
Kent Robbins (NS 98) died in Clanton, Alabama (car wreck), 1997 (was 50)
Vestal Goodman (SG 02) died in Celebration, Florida (complications from the flu), 2003 (was 74)
Hank "Sugarfoot" Garland died in Orange Park, Florida (staph infection), 2004 (was 74)

December 28:

Joe Diffie born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, 1958 (now 56)
Mike McGuire of Shenandoah born in Haleyville, Alabama, 1958 (now 56)
Marty Roe of Diamond Rio born in Lebanon, Ohio, 1960 (now 54)
Dorsey Burnette born in Memphis, Tennessee, 1932 (died 1979)
Mike Auldridge (BG 14) died in Silver Spring, Maryland (cancer), 2012 (was 73)
Hank Williams Jr.'s first recording session at age 14, 1963

December 29:

Rose Lee Maphis born in Baltimore, Maryland, 1922 (now 92)
Ed Bruce born in Keiser, Arkansas, 1940 (now 74)

December 30:

Melvin Goins (BG 09) born in Bramwell, West Virginia, 1933 (now 81)
Mike Auldridge (BG 14) born in Washington, DC, 1938 (died 2012)
Suzy Bogguss born in Aledo, Illinois, 1956 (now 58)
Joaquin Murphey (StG 80) born in Hollywood, California, 1923 (died 1999)
Bob Ferguson born in Willow Spring, Missouri, 1927 (died 2001)
Orville "Red" Rhodes (StG 05) born in Alton, Illinois, 1930 (died 1995)
Skeeter Davis (nee Mary Frances Penick) born in Dry Ridge, Kentucky, 1931 (died 2004)
John Hartford (BG 10) born in New York, New York, 1937 (died 2001)
Elsie McWilliams (NS 79) died in Meridian, Mississippi (natural causes), 1985 (was 89)

December 31:

Talmade Lewis of the Lewis Family (BG 06) born in Lincolnton, Georgia, 1934 (now 80)
Rex Allen Sr. born in Wilcox, Arizona, 1920 (died 1999)
Dale Noe born in New Boston, Ohio, 1927 (died 2005)
John Denver born in Roswell, New Mexico, 1943 (died 1997)
Rick Nelson died in DeKalb, Texas (plane crash), 1985 (was 45)
Floyd Cramer (CM 03) died in Nashville, Tennessee (lung cancer), 1997 (was 64)
Jim McReynolds of Jim & Jesse (BG 93) died in Gallatin, Tennessee (cancer), 2002 (was 75)
Charlie Louvin injured in car accident near Manchester, Tennessee, 2001
The original Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum building closed, 2000

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Dates of Note in Country Music, December 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=Country Disc Jockey; NS=Nashville Songwriter; SG=Southern Gospel; StG=Steel Guitar; WS=Western Swing; RR=country performer also in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame)

December 1:

Darryl Ellis born in Norfolk, Virginia, 1964 (now 50)
Silm Willet born in Dublin, Texas, 1919 (died 1966)
Jim Nesbitt born in Bishopville, South Carolina, 1931 (died 2007)
Fred Rose (CM 61, NS 70) died in Nashville, Tennessee (heart failure), 1954 (was 57)
Carter Stanley (BG 92) died in Bristol, Tennessee (cirrhosis of the liver), 1966 (was 41)

December 2:

John Wesley Ryles born in Bastrop, Louisiana, 1950 (now 64)
Herman Crook born in Scottsboro, Tennessee, 1898 (died 1988)
Marvin Hughes died in Nashville, Tennessee (unknown cause), 1986 (was 75)
"Tennessee Waltz" recorded by Pee Wee King and Redd Stewart, 1947

December 3:

Paul Gregg of Restless Heart born in New York, New York, 1954 (now 60)
Ferlin Husky (CM 10) born in Flat River, Missouri, 1927 (died 2011)
Rabon Delmore (CM 01, NS 71) born in Dothan, Alabama, 1916 (died 1952)
Hubert Long (CM 79) born in Poteet, Texas, 1923 (died 1972)
Lew Childre died in Foley, Albama (various health issues), 1961 (was 60)
Grady Martin died (heart attack), 2001 (was 72)
Homer Bailes of the Bailes Brothers died in Ruston, Louisiana (natural causes), 2013 (was 91)
Bob Wills recorded "What Makes Bob Holler," 1973.  He suffered a stroke during the night after the recording session and never spoke or sang again.

December 4:

Chris Hillman born in Los Angeles, California, 1944 (now 70)
Rabon Delmore (CM 01, NS 71) died in Athens, Alabama (lung cancer), 1952 (was 36)
Connie B. Gay (CM 80) died in Fairfax, Virginia (cancer), 1989 (was 75)
Eddy Arnold's first record session as a solo artist, 1944
Sun Records' "Million Dollar Quartet" of Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis record together, 1956
Connie B. Gay elected inaugural president of the Country Music Association, 1958


December 5:

Don Robertson (NS 72) born in Peking, China, 1922 (now 92)
Jim Messina of Poco born in Harlingen, Texas, 1947 (now 67)
Ty England born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 1963 (now 51)
Ray Whitley (NS 81) born in Atlanta, Georgia, 1901 (died 1979)
Eddie Alkire (Steel Guitar 83) born in Hacker, West Virginia, 1907 (died 1981)
Michael "Bea" Lilly (BG 02) born in Clear Creek, West Virginia, 1921 (died 2005)
Molly O'Day died in Huntington, West Virginia (cancer), 1987 (was 64)
Wilf Carter (Montana Slim) (NS 71) died in Scottsdale, Arizona (stomach cancer), 1996 (was 91)
The soundtrack to O Brother, Where Art Thou released, 2000

December 6:

Helen Cornelius born in Hannibal, Missouri, 1941 (now 73)
Bill Lloyd of Foster & Lloyd born in Ft. Hood, Texas, 1955 (now 59)
Hugh Farr (CM 80) born in Llano, Texas, 1903 (died 1980)
Eddie Alkire (StG 83) born in Hacker Valley, West Virginia, 1907 (died 1981)
Jim Eanes born in Mountain Valley, Virginia, 1923 (died 1995)
Huddie "Lead Belly" Leadbetter (NS 80) died in New York, New York (Lou Gehrig's Disease), 1949 (was 60)
Roy Orbison (NS 87) died in Hendersonville, Tennessee (heart attack), 1989 (was 52)

December 7:

Bobby Osborne (BG 94) born in Hyden, Kentucky, 1931 (now 83)
Hugh X. Lewis born in Yeaddiss, Kentucky, 1932 (now 82)
Gary Morris born in Fort Worth, Texas, 1948 (now 66)
Ronnie Sessions born in Henrietta, Oklahoma, 1948 (now 66)
Slim Bryant born in Atlanta, Georgia, 1908 (died 2010)
Darrell Glenn born in Waco, Texas, 1935 (died 1990)
Bill Boyd died in Dallas, Texas (unknown cause), 1977 (was 67)

December 8:

Marty Raybon born in Stanford, Florida, 1959 (now 55)
Jack Stapp (CM 89) born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1912 (died 1980)
Floyd Tillman (CM 83, NS 70) born in Ryan, Oklahoma, 1914 (died 2003)
Marty Robbins (CM 82, NS 75) died in Nashville, Tennessee (heart attack), 1982 (was 57)

December 9:

Billy Edd Wheeler (NS 00) born in Whitesville, Virginia, 1932 (now 82)
David Kersh born in Humble, Texas, 1970 (now 44)

David Houston born in Bossier City, Louisiana, 1938 (died 1993)
Tommy Jackson died in Nashville, Tennessee (unknown cause), 1979 (was 53)

December 10:

Johnny Rodriguez born in Sabinal, Texas, 1951 (now 63)
Eddie Miller (NS 75) born in Camargo, Oklahoma, 1919 (died 1977)
Roy Ayers (StG 07) born in Columbus, Mississippi, 1929 (died 2012)
John Duffey (BG 96, BG 14) died (heart attack), 1996 (was 62)
Faron Young (CM 00) died in Nashville, Tennessee (suicide [gunshot]), 1996 (was 64)
Jimmy Riddle died in Nashville, Tennessee (cancer), 1982 (was 64)
Before the evening's WSM Barn Dance began, announcer George D. Hay commented, "For the past hour, you've been listening to selections taken from grand opera. Now we present Grand Ole Opry," 1927.

December 11:

Brenda Lee (CM 97, RR 02) born in Atlanta, Georgia, 1944 (now 70)
Charles Whitstein born in Colfax, Louisiana, 1945 (now 69)
Arthur Q. Smith (ne James Arthur Pritchett) born in Griffin, Georgia, 1909 (died 1963)
Cousin Jody (ne James Summey) born in Sevierville, Tennessee, 1914 (died 1975)
Tom Brumley (StG 92) born in Stella, Missouri, 1935 (died 2009)
Fiddlin' John Carson died in Atlanta, Georgia (natural causes), 1949 (was 81)
Commercial plane with Tex Ritter aboard as a passenger hijacked to Cuba, 1968

December 12:

LaCosta Tucker born in Seminole, Texas, 1951 (now 63)
Shelton Hank Williams III born in Houston, Texas, 1972 (now 42)
Maurice Anderson (StG 06) born in Dallas, Texas, 1934 (died 2013)
Clifton Chenier died in Lafayette, Louisiana (kidney disease related to diabetes), 1987 (was 62)

December 13:

Buck White born in Oklahoma, 1930 (now 84)
Randy Owen of Alabama (CM 05) born in Fort Payne, Alabama, 1949 (now 65)
John Anderson born in Orlando, Florida, 1954 (now 60)
Wesley Tuttle born in Lamar, Colorado, 1917 (died 2003)
Wayne Walker (NS 75) born in Quapaw, Oklahoma, 1925 (died 1979)
Lulu Belle and Scotty Wiseman wed, 1934

December 14:

DeFord Bailey (CM 05) born in Smith County, Tennessee, 1899 (died 1982)
Walter Haynes (StG 03) born in Kingsport, Tennessee, 1928 (died 2009)
Charlie Rich born in Forest City, Arkansas, 1932 (died 1995)
Billie Jo Spears died in Vidor, Texas (cancer), 2011 (was 73)

December 15:

Doug Phelps of Kentucky Headhunters born in Leachville, Arkansas, 1960 (now 54)

Alvin Pleasant Carter (CM 70, NS 70, BG 01) born in Maces Spring, Virginia, 1891 (died 1960)
Jerry Wallace born in Guilford, Missouri, 1928 (died 2008)
Ernie Ashworth born in Huntsville, Alabama, 1928 (died 2009)
Nudie Cohn (ne Nuta Kotlyarenko) born in Kiev, Ukraine, 1902 (died 1984)
William Eugene "Red" Rector born in Marshall, North Carolina, 1929 (died 1990)

Hank Williams married Audrey Guy, 1944

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Dates of Note in Country Music, November 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=Country Disc Jockey; NS=Nashville Songwriter; SG=Southern Gospel; StG= Steel Guitar; WS=Western Swing)

November 16:

Troy Seals (NS 88) born in Bill Hill, Kentucky, 1938 (now 76)
Larry Cordel born in Cordell, Kentucky, 1949 (now 65)
Will Goleman of the Cactus Brothers born in Shreveport, Louisiana, 1963 (now 51)
Ernest Tubb biographer Ronnie Pugh born in Texas, year unknown
W.C. Handy (NS 83) born in Florence, Alabama, 1873 (died 1958)
Gene Sullivan (NS 71) born in Carbon Hill, Alabama, 1914 (died 1984)
Earl Bolick born in Hickory, North Carolina, 1919 (died 1998)
Sol Ho'opi'i (StG 79) died in Seattle, Washington (extended illness), 1953 (was 48)
J.D. Sumner (SG 97) died in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (heart attack), 1998 (was 73)

November 17:

Gordon Lightfoot born in Orilla, Ontario, Canada, 1938 (now 76). The legendary folk singer has written such hits as Marty Robbins' "Ribbon of Darkness" and Bill Anderson's "Did She Mention My Name," and a number of his own recordings have made the country chart.
Wiley Walker (NS 71) born in Laurel Hill, Florida, 1911 (died 1966)
Eva Foley (Red Foley's wife) died in Nashville, Tennessee (suicide), 1951 (was 33)
Don Gibson (CM 01, NS 73) died in Nashville, Tennessee (natural causes), 2003 (was 75)

November 18:

John McFee of Southern Pacific born in Santa Cruz, California, 1953 (now 61)
Jessi Alexander born in Jackson, Tennessee, 1976 (now 38)
Doug Sahm died in Taos, New Mexico (heart attack), 1999 (was 58)
John Hughey (StG 96) died in Nashville, Tennessee (heart disease), 2007 (was 73)

November 19:

Jerry Foster (NS 94) born in Tallapoosa, Missouri, 1935 (now 79)
Joe Falcon died (unknown cause), 1965 (was 65). Falcon is credited with making the first recording of a Cajun song in 1928 with "Allons a Lafayette."
Bobby Russell (NS 94) died in Nicholasville, Kentucky (coronary artery disease), 1992 (was 52)
Buford Abner of the Swanee River Boys (SG 02) died in Ashland, Alabama (natural causes), 2011 (was 94)

November 20:

Curly Putman (NS 76) born in Princeton, Alabama, 1930 (now 84)
Roger Murrah (NS 05) born in Athens, Alabama, 1946 (now 68)
George Grantham of Poco and Ricky Skaggs' band born in Cordell, Oklahoma, 1947 (now 67)
Josh Turner born in Hannah, South Carolina, 1977 (now 37)
Judy Canova born in Starke, Florida, 1913 (died 1983)
Eck Robertson born in Madison County, Arkansas, 1897 (died 1975)
RCA buys the contract of Elvis Presley from Sun Records for $35,000, 1955

November 21:

Jean Shepard (CM 11) born in Paul Valley, Oklahoma, 1933 (now 81)
Joe Carson born in Holliday, Texas, 1936 (died 1964)

Jim Eanes died in Martinsville, Virginia (congestive heart failure), 1995 (was 71)
Bill Vernon (BG 04) died in Rocky Mount, Virginia (asthma-induced heart attack), 1996 (was 59)
Bob White (StG 90) died in Ft. Smith, Arkansas (unknown cause), 2003 (was 70)
Charlie Cline (BG 09) died in Jasper, Alabama (long-term illness), 2004 (was 73)
Paul Yandell, C.G.P. died in Hendersonville, Tennessee (cancer), 2011 (was 76)
Charlie Daniels refused to play the "Country Freedom Concert" after being told not to perform "This Ain't No Rag, It's a Flag," 2001

November 22:

Hoagy Carmichael (NS 88) born in Bloomington, Indiana, 1899 (died 1981)
Wiley Post born in Grand Saline, Texas, 1899 (died 1935)
Doye O'Dell born in Plainview, Texas, 1912 (died 2001)
First Disc Jockey Convention held in Nashville, 1952
Keith Whitley and Lorrie Morgan married, 1986

November 23:

Charlie Black (NS 91) born in Cheverly, Maryland, 1949 (now 64)
Charlie Sizemore born in Richmond, Kentucky, 1960 (now 53)
Jerry Sullivan born in Wagarville, Alabama, 1933 (died 2014)
Spade Cooley died in Oakland, California (heart attack), 1969 (was 58)
Grady Nutt died in Vinemont, Alabama (plane crash), 1982 (was 48)
Roy Acuff (CM 62) died in Nashville, Tennessee (congestive heart failure), 1992 (was 89)
Smokey Rogers died (unknown cause), 1993 (was 76)

November 24:

Johnny Carver born in Jackson, Mississippi, 1940 (now 74)
Steve Nelson (NS 73) born in New York, New York, 1907 (died 1981)
Stoney Edwards born in Seminole, Oklahoma, 1929 (died 1997)
Johnny Sibert (StG 98) born in Indianapolis, Indiana, 1933 (died 2013)
Teddy Wilburn died in Nashville, Tennessee (congestive heart failure), 2003 (was 71)
Charlie Douglas (DJ 94) died in Covington, Louisiana (unknown cause), 2011 (was 78)
Wanted! The Outlaws by Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Tompall Glaser, and Jessi Colter certified platinum, making it the first certified platinum country music album in history, 1976


November 25:

Kayton Roberts (StG 12) born in Ona, Florida, 1933 (now 81)
Amy Grant born in Augusta, Georgia, 1960 (now 54)
Eddie Stubbs (DJ 12) born in Gaithersburg, Maryland, 1961 (now 53)
Biff Collie born in Little Rock, Arkansas, 1926 (died 1992)
Ralph Emery debuted on WSM in overnight slot, 1957

November 26:

Hal Blair (NS 03) born in Kansas City, Missouri, 1915 (died 2001)

November 27:

Eddie Rabbitt (NS 98) born in Brooklyn, New York, 1941 (died 1998)
Charlene Arthur died in Idaho (atherosclerosis), 1987 (was 58)

November 28:

WSM Barn Dance (later known as the Grand Ole Opry) born, 1925 (now 89)
A.L. "Doodle" Owens (NS 99) born in Waco, Texas, 1930 (died 1999)
Carrie Rodgers, widow of Jimmie Rodgers, died in San Antonio, Texas (cancer), 1961

November 29:

Joel Whitburn born in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, 1938 (now 76)
Jody Miller born in Phoenix, Arizona, 1941 (now 73)
Merle Travis (CM 77, NS 70) born in Rosewood, Kentucky, 1917 (died 1983)
Jim Nesbitt died in Florence, South Carolina (heart ailment), 2007 (was 75)

November 30:

Bob Moore born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1932 (now 82)
Jeannie Kendall born in St. Louis, Missouri, 1954 (now 60)
Teddy Wilburn born in Hardy, Arkansas, 1931 (died 2003)
Jack Reno born in Bloomfield, Iowa, 1935 (died 2008)
Mindy McCready born in Ft. Myers, Florida, 1975 (died 2013)
David Houston died in Bossier City, Louisiana (brain aneurysm), 1993 (was 54)
Howard "Happy" Goodman (SG 03) died in Nashville, Tennessee (unknown cause), 2002 (was 81)

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Musical Veterans

Category: Tribute

Veterans Day originated as Armistice Day in 1938 to honor the "Great War" (what we now call World War I) veterans on the anniversary of the signing of the armistice ending the first world war (which occurred on November 11, 1918 at 11:00 a.m.).  In 1954 the name of the holiday was changed to "Veterans Day" to honor the veterans of both world wars as well as the Korean war and those who served in peacetime.

I publish this list of some of the members of the world of country and bluegrass music who served in the armed forces, and (if applicable) the war during which they served every year.  It's always one of my most popular blogs.  

Country's singing heroes (Country Music Hall of Fame members in bold):

Army:

Jules Verne Allen (World War I)
Jack Anglin (World War II)
Bob Atcher (World War II)
Bobby Bare
Byron Berline
Pat Brady (World War II)
Rod Brasfield (World War II)
Jim Ed Brown
Tom Brumley
Horace "Aytchie" Burns (World War II) 
Kenneth "Jethro" Burns (World War II)
Tommy Cash
Harold "Curly" Chalker
Hank Cochran
Earl Thomas Conley
Tommy Duncan (World War II)
Jim Eanes (World War II)
Bob Ferguson (also served in the Marines)
David Frizzell
Jack Greene
Tom T. Hall
Bill Harrell 
Harold "Hawkshaw" Hawkins (World War II)
Red Hayes (World War II)

Henry "Homer" Haynes (World War II)
Fairley Holden (World War II)
Doyle Holly
Harlan Howard
Stonewall Jackson (primarily served in the Navy; briefly in Army but discharged after it was discovered he lied about his age)
Louis "Grandpa" Jones (World War II)
Doug Kershaw
Rusty Kershaw
Bradley Kincaid (World War I)
Kris Kristofferson 
John Lair
Darrell ("Pee Wee") Lambert (World War II)
Charlie Louvin (Korea; was in the Army Air Corps during WW II)
Ira Louvin (World War II)
Darrell McCall
Del McCoury
Skeets McDonald
Jesse McReynolds (Korea)
Jim McReynolds (Korea)
Homer "Slim" Miller (World War I)
Roger Miller (Korea)
Hubert "Buster" Moore
George Morgan
"Colonel" Tom Parker
Les Paul (World War II)
Lloyd Perryman (World War II)
Webb Pierce
Elvis Presley
John Prine
Boots Randolph
Jerry Reed
Don Reno (World War II)
Shel Silverstein
Cal Smith
James "Hal" Smith (World War II)
Carl Sprague
Ralph Stanley (World War II)
John Starling
George Strait
Nat Stuckey (Korea)
Floyd Tillman
Conway Twitty
T. Texas Tyler (David Myrick) (World War II)
Charlie Walker (World War II)
Roland White
Doyle Wilburn (Korea)
Teddy Wilburn (Korea)
Bob Wills (World War II)
Faron Young

Navy:

Hoyt Axton
Kenny Baker (World War II)
Archie Campbell (World War II)
Jerry Clower
Cy Coben (World War II)
Larry Cordle
Alton Delmore (World War II)
Roy Drusky
Bill Emerson
Leon Everette
Werly Fairburn (World War II)
Benjamin "Whitey" Ford (Duke of Paducah) (World War I)
Howdy Forrester (World War II)
Buddy Harman
Ferlin Husky (Merchant Marines) (World War II)
Harold "Shot" Jackson
Stonewall Jackson (also briefly served in the Army but was discharged after it was discovered he lied about his age to enlist)
Mitch Jayne (World War II)
Doyle Lawson
Johnny Lee (Vietnam)
Leon McAuliffe (World War II)
Ronnie McDowell
Bill Nettles (World War I)
Dale Noe (World War II)
Johnny Paycheck (Donald Lytle)
Don Pierce (World War II)
Ray Pillow
Claude "Curly" Putman
Marvin Rainwater (World War II)
Leon Rausch (World War II)
Red Rector (briefly joined the Navy in 1942, when he was 13, but was discharged once it was discovered he had lied about his age)
Marty Robbins (World War II)
Billy Joe Shaver
Arthur "Guitar Boogie" Smith (World War II)
Carl Smith
Carl Story (World War II)
Hank Thompson (World War II)
Ray Whitley
Slim Whitman (World War II)

Air Force/Army Air Corps:

Randy Atcher (World War II)
Gene Autry (World War II)
Rod Brasfield (World War II)
Henry Cannon (Mr. Minnie Pearl) (World War II)
Johnny Cash
Jimmy Dean
Tennessee Ernie Ford (World War II)
Kendall Hayes
Tommy Jackson (World War II)
Jimmie Logsdon (World War II)
Charlie Louvin (World War II, was in the Army in Korea)
O.B. McClinton
Willie Nelson
Mike Nesmith
Del Reeves
Charlie Rich
Carter Stanley (World War II)
Mel Tillis

Marines:

Red Allen
Wendy Bagwell (World War II)
Jack Clement
Bill Clifton
Tommy Collins (Leonard Sipes)
Don Everly
Phil Everly
Freddy Fender (Baldemar Huerta)
Bob Ferguson (Korea) (also served in the Army)
Josh Garcin
Wayne Hancock
Freddie Hart (World War II)
George Jones
Ned Miller 
Bobby Osborne
Ray Price (World War II)
Merle Travis (World War II)
Charles Whitstein
Robert Whitstein (Vietnam)

I would also like to recognize a couple of performers who tried to serve.  Chet Atkins was medically disqualified from serving in World War II because of asthma, and Jim Reeves failed his World War II Army physical because of a heart condition.

Thank you for your music; more importantly, thank you for your service.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Dates of Note in Country Music, November 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=Country Disc Jockey; NS=Nashville Songwriter; SG=Southern Gospel; StG=Steel Guitar; WS=Western Swing)


November 1:

Bill Anderson (CM 01, NS 75) born in Columbia, South Carolina, 1937 (now 77)
Keith Stegall born in Wichita Falls, Texas, 1954 (now 60)
Lyle Lovett born in Klein, Texas, 1957 (now 57)
Lew Childre born in Opp, Alabama, 1901 (died 1961)
Buddy Killen died in Nashville, Tennessee (cancer), 2006 (was 73)
Jack Reno died in Florence, Kentucky (brain cancer), 2008 (was 72)


November 2:

John David Souther born in Detroit, Michigan, 1945 (now 69)
Earl Yager of the Johnson Mountain Boys born in Gordonsville, Virginia, 1953 (now 61)
k.d. lang born in Consort, Alberta, 1961 (now 53)
Charlie Walker born in Copeville, Texas, 1926 (died 2008)
Elaine Tubb, former wife of Ernest Tubb and subject of the song "Blue-Eyed Elaine," died in Nashville, Tennessee, 2001 (was 85)

November 3:

Ray Edenton born in Mineral, Virginia, 1926 (now 88)
Fabor Robison born in Beebe, Arkansas, 1911 (died 1986)
Leon Huff born in Whitesboro, Texas, 1912 (died 1952)
John Maddox of the Maddox Brothers & Rose born in Boaz, Alabama, 1915 (died 1968)
The first inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame -- Jimmie Rodgers, Fred Rose, and Hank Williams -- announced, 1961
Merle Haggard paroled from San Quentin prison, 1960

November 4:

Kim Forrester born in Oglethorpe, Georgia, 1960 (now 54)
Will Rogers born near Oologah, Oklahoma, 1879 (died 1935)
Audrey Williams died in Nashville, Tennessee (illness), 1975 (was 52)
Dale Noe died in Phoenix, Arizona (unknown cause), 2004 (was 76)

November 5:

Billy Sherrill (CM 10, NS 84) born in Phil Campbell, Alabama, 1936 (now 78)
Lowell Blanchard born in Palmer, Illinois, 1910 (died 1968). Blanchard was the program director at WNOX in the 1930's and began the Midday Merry-Go-Round.
Roy Rogers (ne Leonard Slye) (CM 80 and 88) born in Cincinnati, Ohio, 1911 (died 1998)
Roy Horton (CM 82) born in Broad Top, Pennsylvania, 1914 (died 2003)
Gram Parsons born in Winter Haven, Florida, 1946 (died 1973)
Johnny Horton died in Milano, Texas (car wreck), 1960 (was 35)
Jimmie Davis (CM 72, NS 71) died in Baton Rouge, Louisiana (natural causes), 2000 (was 101)
Dorothy Southworth Ritter died in Woodland Hills, California (natural causes), 2003 (was 88)
Author/biographer Patsi Bale-Cox died in Nashville, Tennessee (emphysema), 2011 (was 66)
My favorite country music fan, my dad, born in Louisville, Kentucky, 1930 (now 84)

November 6:

Stonewall Jackson born in Emerson, North Carolina, 1932 (now 82)
Guy Clark (NS 04) born in Monahan, Texas, 1941 (now 73)
Glenn Frey of the Eagles born in Detroit, Michigan, 1948 (now 66)
Doug Sahm born in San Antonio, Texas, 1941 (died 1999)
Hank Thompson (CM 89, NS 97) died in Fort Worth, Texas (lung cancer), 2007 (was 82)
Elvis Presley became a member of Louisiana Hayride, 1954


November 7:

Robin Lee born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1953 (now 61)
Red Ingle born in Toledo, Ohio, 1906 (died 1965)

Archie Campbell born in Bull's Gap, Tennessee, 1914 (died 1987)
Howard "Happy" Goodman (SG 98) born in northeast Alabama, 1921 (died 2002)
A.P. Carter (CM 70, NS 70) died in Kingsport, Tennessee (heart ailment), 1960 (was 68)
Gene Wooten died in Nashville, Tennessee (cancer), 2001 (was 49)
Red Foley's daughter, Shirley, married Pat Boone, 1953
Marty Robbins participated in his final NASCAR race, 1982

November 8:

Patti Page (Clara Fowler) born in Claremore, Oklahoma, 1927 (died 2013)
Scotty Wiseman (NS 71) born in Ingalls, North Carolina, 1909 (died 1981)
Ivory Joe Hunter died in Memphis, Tennessee (lung cancer), 1974 (was 60). A number of the R&B singer/songwriter's songs were turned into country hits by Sonny James, including "Since I Met You, Baby" and "Empty Arms."
Bobby Caldwell (StG 10) died in St. Louis, Missouri (cancer), 2009 (was 68)

November 9:

George D. Hay (CM 66) born in Attica, Indiana, 1895 (died 1968)
Curly Fox born in Graysville, Tennessee, 1910 (died 1995)
James "Spider" Rich, co-writer of "Yakety Sax," died (unknown cause), 2003 (was 80)

November 10:

Donna Fargo (Yvonne Vaughn) born in Mount Airy, North Carolina, 1940 (now 74)
Pat Severs of Pirates of the Mississippi born in Elmira, New York, 1952 (now 62)
Paul Cohen (CM 76) born in Chicago, Illinois, 1908 (died 1970)
Buford Abner of the Swanee River Boys (SG 02) born in Lineville, Alabama, 1917 (died 2011)
Onie Wheeler born in Senath, Missouri, 1921 (died 1984)
Dave "Stringbean" Akeman died in Ridgetop, Tennessee (murdered), 1973 (was 58)
Arnim "Curly" Fox died in Graysville, Tennessee (natural causes), 1995 (was 85)
The Edmund Fitzgerald sank in Lake Superior, killing all 29 aboard, 1975. The shipwreck inspired Gordon Lightfoot's 1976 pop/country/folk hit "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald."

November 11:

Narvel Felts born near Keiser, Arkansas, 1938 (now 76)
Hank "Sugarfoot" Garland born in Cow Pens, South Carolina, 1930 (died 2004)
Don Stover (BG 02) died in Brandywine, Maryland (cancer), 1996 (was 68)
Wade Ray died in Sparta, Illinois (illness), 1998 (was 85)

Mary Reeves Davis, widow of Jim Reeves and manager of Jim Reeves Enterprises and the Jim Reeves Museum, died in Nashville, Tennessee (Alzheimer's disease), 1999 (was 70)

November 12:

Barbara Fairchild born in Lafe, Arkansas, 1950 (now 64)
Jerry Kilgore born in Tillamook, Oregon, 1964 (now 50)
Jo Stafford born in Coalinga, California, 1917 (died 2008). The pop singer was the girl singer on Red Ingle & Natural Seven's hit "Tem-Tay-Shun."
John Lair, Renfro Valley Barn Dance founder, died in Mount Vernon, Kentucky (natural causes), 1985 (was 91)
Homer and Jethro's legendary live album At the Country Club recorded in Nashville, 1959

Groundbreaking ceremonies held for construction of the Grand Ole Opry House (current home of the Opry), 1971
The IRS confiscated Willie Nelson's belongings as payment for his tax bill, 1990

November 13:

Ray Wylie Hubbard born in Soper, Oklahoma, 1946 (now 68)
Jack Guthrie born in Olive, Oklahoma, 1915 (died 1948)
Buddy Killen born in Florence, South Carolina, 1932 (died 2006)
Jerry Lee Lewis Jr. died near Hernando, Mississippi (car wreck), 1973 (was 20)
Steve Nelson (NS 73) died (unknown cause), 1981 (was 73)
Alvin "Junior" Samples died in Cumming, Georgia (heart attack), 1983 (was 57)

November 14:

Ken Carson born in Coalgate, Oklahoma, 1914 (died 1994)
Noel Boggs (StG 81) born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 1917 (died 1974)
Robert Whitstein died in Colfax, Louisiana (heart attack), 2001 (was 57)

November 15:

William Fries (C.W. McCall) born in Audubon, Iowa, 1928 (now 86)
Jack Ingram born in Houston, Texas, 1970 (now 44)
Albert E. Brumley (NS 70, SG 97) died in Powell, Missouri (unknown cause), 1977 (was 72)

Speedy West (StG 81) died in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma (unknown cause), 2003 (was 79)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Dates of Note in Country Music, October 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=Country Disc Jockey; NS=Nashville Songwriter; SG=Southern Gospel; StG=Steel Guitar; WS=Western Swing)

October 16:

Jim Ed Norman born in Ft. Myers, Florida, 1948 (now 66)
Stoney Cooper born in Harman, West Virginia, 1918 (died 1977)
Doyle Wilburn died in Nashville, Tennessee (cancer), 1982 (was 52)
Don Reno (BG 92) died in Charlottesville, Virginia(post-operative complications), 1984 (was 58)
Danny Dill (NS 75) died in Nashville, Tennessee (unknown cause), 2008 (was 84)
Naomi Judd retired from touring because of health issues, 1990

Ralph Stanley Museum opened, 2004

October 17:

Earl Thomas Conley born in Portsmouth, Ohio, 1941 (now 73)
Alan Jackson (NS 11) born in Newman, Georgia, 1958 (now 56)
Tennessee Ernie Ford (CM 90) died in Reston, Virginia (liver disease), 1991 (was 72)
Jay Livingston died in Los Angeles, California (pneumonia), 2001 (was 86). Among the songwriter's many credits were "Bonanza!," which Johnny Cash recorded, and "The Hanging Tree," which Marty Robbins recorded.
Bashful Brother Oswald (Beecher Ray Kirby) died in Nashville, Tennessee (cancer), 2002 (was 90)

October 18:

Chuck Berry (NS 82) born in San Jose, California, 1926 (now 88)
Keith Knudsen of Southern Pacific born in Ames, Iowa, 1952 (now 62)
Harty Taylor of Karl & Harty died (stroke), 1963 (was 58)
Don Hecht died in Miami, Florida (heart attack), 2002 (was 72)
Hank Williams married Billie Jean Jones in Minden, Louisiana, 1952. After Williams' death, she would marry Johnny Horton.

October 19:

Don Parmley of the Bluegrass Cardinals born in Oliver Springs, Tennessee, 1933 (now 81)
Ebo Walker (ne Harry Shelor) of Bluegrass Alliance and New Grass Revival born in Louisville, Kentucky, 1941 (now 73)
Jeannie C. Riley born in Anson, Texas, 1945 (now 69)
Charlie Chase born in Rogersville, Tennessee, 1952 (now 62)
Arthur E. "Uncle Art" Satherley (CM 71) born in Bristol, England, 1889 (died 1986)
Grant Turner (CM 81) died in Nashville, Tennessee (heart failure), 1991 (was 79)
The first CMA Awards were held in Nashville, 1967. The awards show was not televised.

October 20:

Wanda Jackson born in Maud, Oklahoma, 1937 (now 77)
Stuart Hamblin (NS 70) born in Kellyville, Texas, 1908 (died 1989)
Louis "Grandpa" Jones (CM 78) born in Niagara, Kentucky, 1913 (died 1998)
Merle Travis (CM 77, NS 70) died in Tahlequah, Oklahoma (heart attack), 1983 (was 65)
Leon Ashley died in Hendersonville, Tennessee (illness), 2013 (was 77)
Rounder Records founded by Ken Irwin, Bill Nowlin, and Marian Leighton, 1970. Mr. Nowlin says this "birth" of Rounder is based on the date of their first invoice.

October 21:

Steve Cropper (NS 10) born in Willow Springs, Missouri, 1941 (now 73)
Owen Bradley (CM 74) born in Westmoreland, Tennessee, 1915 (died 1998)
Bill Black died in Memphis, Tennessee (brain tumor), 1965 (was 39)
Mel Street born in Grundy, Virginia, 1933 (died 1978)
Mel Street died in Hendersonville, Tennessee (suicide), 1978 (45th birthday)
Sonny Burns died in Nacogdoches, Texas (unknown cause), 1992 (was 62)
Leona Johnson Atkins, member of WLW's Johnson Twins and widow of Chet Atkins, died in Nashville, Tennessee (illness), 2009 (was 85)

October 22:

Shelby Lynn born in Quantico, Virginia, 1968 (now 46)
Curly Chalker (StG 85) born in Enterprise, Alabama, 1931 (died 1998)
Leon Chappelear died in Gladewater, Texas (suicide), 1962 (was 53)
Dorothy Shay, the "Park Avenue Hillbillie," died in Santa Monica, California (heart attack), 1978 (was 57)

October 23:

Dwight Yoakam born in Pikeville, Kentucky, 1956 (now 58)
Junior Bryant of Ricochet born in Pecos, Texas, 1968 (now 46)
Eric Gibson of the Gibson brothers born in Clinton, New York, 1970 (now 44)
Mother Maybelle Carter (CM 70, BG 01) died in Nashville, Tennessee (respiratory arrest), 1978 (was 69)
Merle Watson died in Caldwell County, North Carolina (tractor accident), 1985 (was 36). His father Doc's long-lasting tribute to his late son is the annual bluegrass event known as "MerleFest."
Rusty Kershaw died in New Orleans, Louisiana (heart attack), 2001 (was 63)

October 24:

Sanger D. Shafer (NS 89) born in Whitney, Texas, 1934 (now 80)
John Bettis (NS 11) born in Long Beach, California, 1946 (now 68)
Mark Gray of Exile born in Vicksburg, Mississippi, 1952 (now 62)
Jiles Perry "The Big Bopper" Richardson born in Sabine Pass, Texas, 1930 (died 1959). Among his songwriter credits are "White Lightnin'" by friend George Jones and Hank Snow's "Beggar to a King."
Kirk McGee died in Nashville, Tennessee (natural causes), 1983 (was 83)
Gene Sullivan (NS 71) died in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (unknown cause), 1984 (was 70)
Rosey Nix Adams, daughter of June Carter Cash, died in Montgomery County, Tennessee (carbon monoxide poisoning), 2003 (was 45)

October 25:

Jeanne Black born in Pomona, California, 1937 (now 77)
Mark Miller of Sawyer Brown born in Dayton, Ohio, 1958 (now 56)
Cousin Minnie Pearl (Sarah Ophelia Colley Canon) (CM 75) born in Grinders Switch (actually, Centerville), Tennessee, 1912 (died 1996)
Johnnie Lee Willis died (heart ailment), 1984 (was 72)
Roger Miller (CM 95, NS 73) died in Los Angeles, California (throat cancer), 1992 (was 56)
Earl "Joaquin" Murphey (StG 80) died in Los Angeles, California (cancer), 1999 (was 75)
Johnny Cash's last concert performance, Flint Michigan, 1997

October 26:

Neal Matthews Jr. (CM 01) born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1929 (died 2000)
Hoyt Axton died in Victor, Montana (heart attack), 1999 (was 62)
Statler Brothers' final concert in their hometown of Salem, Virginia, 2002

October 27:

Dallas Frazier (NS 76) born in Spiro, Oklahoma, 1939 (now 75)
Lee Greenwood born in Southgate, California, 1942 (now 72)
Snuffy Jenkins born in Harris, North Carolina, 1908 (died 1990)
Floyd Cramer (CM 03) born in Campti, Louisiana, 1933 (died 1997)
Ruby Wright born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1939 (died 2009)
Allan "Rocky" Lane died in Woodland Hills, California (cancer), 1973 (was 72). He is mentioned in the Statler Brothers' "Whatever Happened to Randolph Scott."
Hoyt Hawkins (CM 01) died in Nashville, Tennessee (heart attack), 1982 (was 55)
Grand Ole Opry moves to the Hillsboro Theater, 1934
The Anaheim Angels won game seven of the World Series and their first (and to date, only) World Series title, 2002.  The Angels were owned by Gene Autry until his death, and the team dedicated the championship to his memory.

October 28:

Mitchell Torok born in Houston, Texas, 1929 (now 85)
Charlie Daniels born in Wilmington, North Carolina, 1936 (now 78)

Brad Paisley born in Glen Dale, West Virginia, 1972 (now 42)
Bill Bolick of the Blue Sky Boys born in Hickory, North Carolina, 1917 (died 2008)
Jimmy Skinner died in Nashville, Tennessee (heart attack), 1979 (was 70)
Mel Foree died (cancer), 1990 (age unknown)
Marijohn Wilkin (NS 75) died in Nashville, Tennessee (heart disease), 2006 (was 86)
Porter Wagoner (CM 02) died in Nashville, Tennessee (lung cancer), 2007 (was 80)

October 29:

Sonny Osborne (BG 94) born in Hyden, Kentucky, 1937 (now 77)
Charlie Monk born in Noma, Florida, 1938 (now 76)

Albert E. Brumley (NS 70) born in Spiro, Oklahoma, 1905 (died 1977)
Ramblin' Jimmie Dolan born in Gardena, California, 1916 (died 1994)
Fred Maddox died in Fresno, California (heart disease), 1992 (was 73)

October 30:

Timothy B. Schmit of Poco and the Eagles born in Sacramento, California, 1947 (now 67)
T. Graham Brown born in Atlanta, Georgia, 1954 (now 60)
Patsy Montana (nee Ruby Rose Blevins) (CM 96) born in Hope, Arkansas, 1908 (died 1996)
Billy Bowman (Steel Guitar 89) born in Johnson City, Tennessee, 1928 (died 1989)
Clifton Clowers born in Wolverton Mountain, Conway County, Arkansas, 1891 (died 1994)
Kitty Wells and Johnnie Wright wed, 1937 

October 31:

Anita Kerr born in Memphis, Tennessee, 1927 (now 87)
Richard "Kinky" Friedman born in Chicago, Illinois, 1944 (now 70)

Dale Evans born in Uvalde, Texas, 1912 (died 2001)
Tom Morrell (Steel Guitar 01) born in Dallas, Texas, 1938 (died 2007)
Carl Belew (NS 76) died in Salina, Oklahoma (cancer), 1990 (was 59)
Bob Atcher died in Prospect, Kentucky (unknown causes), 1993 (was 79)

Stringbean's Murderer Granted Parole

CATEGORY:   News

Almost 41 years to the day when he murdered a beloved country entertainer, John Brown will leave a Tennessee prison.

Brown, 64, has served 40 years of a 198-year prison sentence for the November 10, 1973 murders of David and Estelle Akeman during a robbery.  He and his cousin (who died in prison in 2003) waited at the Akemans' residence for Dave, best-known as the clawhammer banjo-playing comedian Stringbean, to finish his appearance on the Grand Ole Opry.

Akeman, who was a teenager during the Great Depression, was notorious for not trusting banks.  As a result, he always received his Opry pay in cash.  He was known to carry large sums of money, and the assumption (which later proved correct when his house was torn down:  over $20,000 was found in the walls of the fireplace) was that he had plenty of money hidden at his home.

When String, as he was commonly called by his friends, and wife Estelle returned home from the Opry the Brown cousins were waiting.  According to the news reports, Akeman was shot dead when he refused to surrender his Opry pay.  Estelle ran for her life but was quickly caught.  On her knees, pleading for her life, she was shot in the back of the head.  

Louis "Grandpa" Jones, a longtime friend of his fellow Kentuckian, found the bodies the next morning when he arrived to pick Stringbean up for a planned day of fishing.


The graves of Stringbean and Estelle
in Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens,
Goodlettesville, TN
c. 2014 K.F. Raizor
In John Fogerty's song "I Saw It on TV" he stated that, in the aftermath of Kennedy's assassination in 1963, "They buried innocence that year."  What JFK's death did for the world Stringbean's murder did to Nashville.  Prior to the murders Nashville was considered, more or less, a "big small town."  A number of country performers became frightened for their lives after the murders (and the subsequent robbery/murder of one of Hank Snow's band members the same month).  Roy Acuff had a home built on the Opryland USA property.  Grandpa and Ramona Jones moved to Arkansas.  The friendliness of country singers waving to tour buses as they went past a home was replaced with high walls, steel gates, and security systems.

Brown had been up for parole six times and denied each of the six previous times.  When he appeared before the parole board in 2011 he was reported to be ineligible for parole again until 2017.  Apparently that was erroneous. 

The late, great historian Dr. Charles K. Wolfe concluded his chapter on Stringbean in his book Kentucky Country by saying, "When he died, it was as if a long Kentucky summer had ended."  That's more or less how I felt.  I was 13 when this happened, and I was numb from the news as it broke on Monday morning.  I remember standing in the my junior high school yard, in tears as if a friend had died.  In a way, a friend had died -- senselessly murdered by opportunistic robbers.  

Reports state that Brown has found God and has a spotless prison record.  These statements apparently persuaded the parole board more than the pleas from Opry performers such as Jean Shepard and Jan Howard to keep Stringbean's murderer behind bars.  

I cannot help but think of that line from Lyle Lovett song where someone asks for forgiveness and is told, "God will, but I won't."  God forgive me. 

And God help us.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Farewell to a Bluegrass Patriarch

CATEGORY:   Obituary

"Mom always says she took us off the bottle and put us on bluegrass," Rhonda Vincent told Heather Berry in a 2007 interview before the Sally Mountain Park Bluegrass Festival.  

The Vincent family has music in their souls.  It's obvious to the world thanks to the "Queen of Bluegrass," Rhonda Vincent, winner of countless awards in IBMA and SPBGMA, as well as her younger brother, Darrin, who is half of Dailey and Vincent (another multiple award-winning bluegrass act).  

People in Missouri knew it, too.  Johnny Vincent, the family patriarch, played banjo in a band called the Lazy River Boys with his dad and uncle.  Once Rhonda and Darrin were old enough to hold an instrument they played, too.  Johnny's wife, Carolyn, played bass in the family outfit.  The roots of the reigning "first family" of bluegrass were firmly planted and nurtured.

Johnny Vincent died this morning (10/5) after a long illness.

The elder Vincent was a frequent guest on his daughter's recordings.  He fulfilled his dream of hosting a bluegrass festival, which featured his famous children as headliners as well as the Vincent family band (Johnny and Carolyn, Rhonda, Darrin, and baby brother Brian) performing, as well as several top names in bluegrass music.




(Johnny Vincent on banjo plays with his children Brian [mandolin], Darrin [bass] and Rhonda on Rhonda's Grand Ole Opry debut)


Johnny Vincent's funeral will be held Wednesday.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Dates of Note in Country Music, October 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=Country Disc Jockey; NS=Nashville Songwriter; SG=Southern Gospel; StG=Steel Guitar; WS=Western Swing; RR=country performer also in Rock & Roll Hall of Fame)

October 1:

Kelly Willis born in Lawton, Oklahoma, 1968 (now 46)
Skeets McDonald born in Greenway, Arkansas, 1915 (died 1968)
Bonnie Owens (WS 87) born in Blanchard, Oklahoma, 1932 (died 2006)

October 2:

Leon Rausch (WS 87) born in Billings, Missouri, 1927 (now 87)
Jo-El Sonnier born in Rayne, Louisiana, 1946 (now 68)
Tammy Sullivan born in Wagarville, Alabama, 1964 (now 50)
Gillian Welch born in Manhattan, New York, 1967 (now 47)
Chris LeDoux born in Biloxi, Mississippi, 1948 (died 2005)
Chubby Wise (BG 98) born in Lake City, Florida, 1915 (died 1996)
Gene Autry (CM 69, WS 89) died in Studio City, California (lymphoma), 1998 (was 91). The "Singing Cowboy" also owned the California/Anaheim Angels, who dedicated their 2002 World Series victory to his memory.
Elvis Presley played the Grand Ole Opry, 1954. Opry manager Jim Denny critiqued his performance by telling him that he was going nowhere and to "go back to driving trucks."

October 3:

Joe Allison (NS 78; DJ 76) born in McKinney, Texas, 1924 (died 2002)
Woody Guthrie (NS 77) died in Queens, New York (Huntington's disease), 1967 (was 55)
Del Wood died in Nashville, Tennessee (stroke), 1989 (was 69)

October 4:

Leroy Van Dyke born in Spring Fork, Missouri, 1929 (now 85)
Lloyd Green (StG 88) born in Leaf, Mississippi, 1937 (now 77)
Larry Collins of the Collins Kids born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, 1944 (now 70)
Greg Hubbard of Sawyer Brown born in Orlando, Florida, 1960 (now 54)
Jerry Rivers died in Nashville, Tennessee (cancer), 1996 (was 69)
A.L. "Doodle" Owens (NS 99) died in Nashville, Tennessee (heart attack), 1999 (was 69)
Tammy Wynette's ordeal where she claimed to have been kidnapped and beaten began, 1978

October 5:

Radio station WSM born in Nashville at 650 on the AM dial, 1925 (now 89)
Margie Singleton born in Coushatta, Louisiana, 1935 (now 79)
Johnny Duncan born in Dublin, Texas, 1938 (died 2006)

October 6:

Tim Rushlow of Little Texas born in Arlington, Texas, 1966 (now 48)
Kendall Hayes born in Perryville, Kentucky, 1935 (died 1995)
Ted Daffan (NS 70, WS 94) died in Houston, Texas (cancer), 1996 (was 84)

October 7:

Jim Halsey born in Independence, Kansas, 1930 (now 84)
Kieran Kane born in Queens, New York, 1949 (now 65)
Dale Watson born in Birmingham, Alabama, 1962 (now 52)
Uncle Dave Macon (CM 66) born in Warren County, Tennessee, 1870 (died 1952)
Gordon Terry born in Decatur, Alabama, 1931 (died 2006)
Hugh Cherry born in Louisville, Kentucky, 1922 (died 1998)
Buddy Lee born in Brooklyn, New York, 1932 (died 1998)
Johnny Darrell died in Kennesaw, Georgia (diabetes complications), 1997 (was 57)
Jimmie Logsdon died in Louisville, Kentucky (unknown cause), 2001 (was 79)
Shelby Singleton died in Nashville, Tennessee (brain cancer), 2009 (was 77)
Jimmie Rodgers' first recording, "The Soldier's Sweetheart" / "Sleep Baby Sleep," released, 1927

October 8:

Susan Raye Wiggins born in Eugene, Oregon, 1944 (now 70)
Lynn Morris born in Lamesa, Texas, 1948 (now 66)
Jackie Frantz of Dave & Sugar born in Sidney, Ohio, 1950 (now 64)
Pete Drake (StG 87) born in Atlanta, Georgia, 1932 (died 1988)

October 9:

Goebel Reeves born in Sherman, Texas, 1899 (died 1969)
The Renfro Valley Barn Dance debuted on WLW, 1937

October 10:

John Prine (NS 03) born in Maywood, Illinois, 1946 (now 68)
Tony Arata (NS 12) born in Savannah, Georgia, 1957 (now 57)
Tanya Tucker born in Seminole, Texas, 1958 (now 56)
Don Pierce, founder of Starday Records, born in Ballard, Washington, 1915 (died 2005)
Cal Smith died in Branson, Missouri (unknown cause), 2013 (was 81)

October 11:

Gene Watson born in Palestine, Texas, 1943 (now 71)
Paulette Carlson of Highway 101 born in Northfield, Minnesota, 1952 (now 62)
Leigh Gibson of the Gibson Brothers born in Clinton, New York, 1971 (now 43)
Dottie West born in McMinnville, Tennessee, 1932 (died 1991)
Rex Griffin (NS 70) died in New Orleans, Louisiana (tuberculosis), 1958 (was 46)
Jack Rhodes (NS 72) died in Mineola, Texas (heart attack), 1968 (was 61)
Tex Williams (WS 85) died in Newhall, California (pancreatic cancer), 1985 (was 68)
T. Tommy Cutrer (DJ 80) died in Nashville, Tennessee (heart attack), 1998 (was 74)

October 12:

Shane McAnally born in Mineral Wells, Texas, 1974 (now 40)
John Denver died in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Pacific Grove, California (plane crash), 1997 (was 53)

October 13:

Anita Kerr born in Memphis, Tennessee, 1927 (now 87)
Lacy J. Dalton born in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, 1946 (now 68)
John Wiggins born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1962 (now 52)
Rhett Akins born in Valdosta, Georgia, 1969 (now 45)
Hoarce Lee Logan died in Victoria, Texas (respiratory disease), 2002. The founder of the Louisiana Hayride also coined one of the most oft-repeated phrases in American popular culture: trying to calm down an audience after one Louisiana Hayride performer wowed the crowd, Logan announced, "Elvis has left the building."
Acuff-Rose Publishing Company founded, 1942
While presenting the CMA "Entertainer of the Year" award Charlie Rich set fire to the envelope after announcing that John Denver had won the award, 1975

October 14:

Melba Montgomery born in Iron City, Tennessee, 1938 (now 76)
Kenny Roberts born in Lenoir City, Tennessee, 1926 (died 2012)
Bing Crosby died in Madrid, Spain (heart attack), 1977. The legendary pop crooner has the distinction of being the first artist to have a #1 single on Billboard magazine's Country and Western charts, with his rendition of Al Dexter's "Pistol Packin' Mama," January 8, 1944.

October 15:

Dean Miller born in Los Angeles, California, 1965 (now 49)