Sunday, November 19, 2017

If Only They Could Read Between the Lines

Category: News/Obituary

We've lost Mel Tillis.

The legendary Hall of Fame singer and Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame songwriter died early this morning (11/19) in an Ocala, Florida hospital from respiratory failure.

Lonnie Melvin Tillis was born in Florida (in Tampa).  Her served in the US Air Force before embarking on a career that would see him write some of the most iconic songs in country (and pop) music.  Among his classics:  "I Ain't Never," "Detroit City," "(Sweet) Mental Revenge," and "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town." As a singer, he also made the charts with his own songs, and with songs from the pens of others.

Known for his stuttering (his autobiography was titled Stutterin' Boy), Tillis wrote in the liner notes of the posthumous Jim Reeves album Missing You that Reeves had offered to pay for Mel's speech therapy when Tillis was a newcomer to Nashville.  The speech impediment was real, although diminished (thanks to therapy).

Tillis had been in declining health for years.  In 2016 he underwent intestinal surgery and developed complications.  The complications may have contributed to his death.

The lyrics Mel Tillis has given us over the years will continue to amaze and inspire.  Consider how he detailed the paralyzed and impotent Vietnam veteran begging his wife not to cheat on him in "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town," or the heartbreak from the homesick and lonely man in "Detroit City": 

From the letters that I write they think I'm fine
But by day I make the cars, by night I make the bars
If only they could read between the lines

No need to "read between the lines" here.  Mel Tillis was a remarkable songwriter and talent, and he will be sorely missed.

Mel Tillis was 85.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

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; GLA=Grammy Lifetime Achievement recipient; RR=country singer also in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)


November 16:


Troy Seals (NS 88) born in Bill Hill, Kentucky, 1938 (now 79)

Larry Cordel born in Cordell, Kentucky, 1949 (now 68)
Will Goleman of the Cactus Brothers born in Shreveport, Louisiana, 1963 (now 54)
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)
Mentor Williams died in Taos, New Mexico (unknown cause), 2016 (was 70)

November 17:


Gordon Lightfoot born in Orilla, Ontario, Canada, 1938 (now 79). 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)
Ramona Jones died in Goodlettesville, Tennessee (heart attack), 2015 (was 91)

November 18:


John McFee of Southern Pacific born in Santa Cruz, California, 1953 (now 64)

Jessi Alexander born in Jackson, Tennessee, 1976 (now 41)
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 82)

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:


Roger Murrah (NS 05) born in Athens, Alabama, 1946 (now 71)
George Grantham of Poco and Ricky Skaggs' band born in Cordell, Oklahoma, 1947 (now 70)
Josh Turner born in Hannah, South Carolina, 1977 (now 40)
Eck Robertson born in Madison County, Arkansas, 1897 (died 1975)
Judy Canova born in Starke, Florida, 1913 (died 1983)
Curly Putman (NS 76) born in Princeton, Alabama, 1930 (died 2016)
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 (died 2016)
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)
Ted Harris (NS 90) died in Lewisburg, Tennessee (unknown cause), 2015 (was 78)
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 68)

Charlie Sizemore born in Richmond, Kentucky, 1960 (now 57)
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, GLA 87) 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 77)

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:


Amy Grant born in Augusta, Georgia, 1960 (now 57)
Eddie Stubbs (DJ 12) born in Gaithersburg, Maryland, 1961 (now 56)
Biff Collie born in Little Rock, Arkansas, 1926 (died 1992)
Kayton Roberts (StG 12) born in Ona, Florida, 1933 (died 2017)
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 92)

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 79)

Jody Miller born in Phoenix, Arizona, 1941 (now 76)
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 85)

Jeannie Kendall born in St. Louis, Missouri, 1954 (now 63)
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)

Friday, November 10, 2017

Ten-Hut! Salute Country Music's 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.


Every year 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.  The list increases every year, thanks to friends who notify me of others who should be on the list (or sadly, because their military service was mentioned in their obituary).   It remains one of my most popular posts, for which I am very grateful.  


Here are the musicians in country, bluegrass, and country-rock that served in the military:


Army:


Jules Verne Allen (World War I)

Jack Anglin (World War II)
Bob Atcher (World War II)
Bobby Bare
Dr. Humphrey Bate (Spanish-American War)
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
Jim Croce
Sonny Curtis
Jim Dickson
Tommy Duncan (World War II)
Jim Eanes (World War II)
Bob Ferguson (also served in the Marines)
John Fogerty
David Frizzell
Johnny Gimble
Jack Greene
Tom T. Hall
Bill Harrell 
Esco Hankins (World War II)
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)
Sonny James (Korea)
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)
Joe Maphis (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
Charley Pride
John Prine
Boots Randolph
Jerry Reed
Don Reno (World War II)
J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson
John Shuffler (Korea)
Shel Silverstein
Arthur "Red" Smiley (World War II)
Cal Smith
James "Hal" Smith (World War II)
Carl Sprague
Ralph Stanley (World War II)
Jack Stapp (World War II)
John Starling
Henry "Redd" Stewart (World War II)
George Strait
Nat Stuckey (Korea)
Robert "Tut" Taylor (World War II) (also served in the Navy)
Floyd Tillman
Conway Twitty
T. Texas Tyler (David Myrick) (World War II)
Leroy Van Dyke
Charlie Walker (World War II)
Roland White
Doyle Wilburn (Korea)
Teddy Wilburn (Korea)
Don Williams
Bob Wills (World War II)
Faron Young

Navy:


Hoyt Axton

Kenny Baker (World War II)
Archie Campbell (World War II)
Jerry Clower (World War II)
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)
Claude Gray (Korea)
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)
Claude King (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
Red Simpson (Korea)
Arthur "Guitar Boogie" Smith (World War II)
Carl Smith
Carl Story (World War II)
Robert "Tut" Taylor (World War II) (also served in the Army)
Hank Thompson (World War II)
Billy Edd Wheeler
Ray Whitley
Slim Whitman (World War II)
Ray Winkler (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
Jerry Chesnut (Korea)
Jimmy Dean
Tennessee Ernie Ford (World War II)
Kendall Hayes
Tommy Jackson (World War II)
Red Lane
Jimmie Logsdon (World War II)
Charlie Louvin (World War II, was in the Army in Korea)
O.B. McClinton
Willie Nelson
Mike Nesmith
Mickey Newberry
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)
Jamey Johnson
George Jones
Ned Miller (World War II)
Bobby Osborne (Korea)
Ray Price (World War II)
Merle Travis (World War II)
Charles Whitstein
Robert Whitstein (Vietnam)


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

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

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; GLA=Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award; RR=country performer also in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)



November 1:

Bill Anderson (CM 01, NS 75) born in Columbia, South Carolina, 1937 (now 80)

Keith Stegall born in Wichita Falls, Texas, 1954 (now 63)
Lyle Lovett born in Klein, Texas, 1957 (now 60)
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)

Jan Crutchfield died in Nashville, Tennessee (unknown cause), 2012 (was 74)

November 2:

John David Souther born in Detroit, Michigan, 1945 (now 72)

Earl Yager of the Johnson Mountain Boys born in Gordonsville, Virginia, 1953 (now 64)
k.d. lang born in Consort, Alberta, 1961 (now 56)
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)
Tommy Overstreet died in Hillsboro, Oregon (heart disease/lung disease), 2015 (was 78)

November 3:

Ray Edenton born in Mineral, Virginia, 1926 (now 91)

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)
Kay Starr died in Beverly Hills, California (Alzheimer's disease), 2016 (was 94)
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 57)
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:

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)
Billy Sherrill (CM 10, NS 84) born in Phil Campbell, Alabama, 1936 (died 2015)
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)
Roy Acuff Jr. died in Nashville, Tennessee (unknown cause), 2015 (was 72)
My favorite country music fan, my dad, born in Louisville, Kentucky, 1930 (now 87)

November 6:

Stonewall Jackson born in Emerson, North Carolina, 1932 (now 85)
Guy Clark (NS 04) born in Monahan, Texas, 1941 (died 2016)
Doug Sahm born in San Antonio, Texas, 1941 (died 1999)
Glenn Frey of the Eagles born in Detroit, Michigan, 1948 (died 2016)
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 64)
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)
Charlie Dick died in Nashville, Tennessee (natural causes), 2015 (was 81)

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 77)
Pat Severs of Pirates of the Mississippi born in Elmira, New York, 1952 (now 65)
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 79)

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 67)

Jerry Kilgore born in Tillamook, Oregon, 1964 (now 53)
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 71)

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:


Gretchen Peters (NS 14) born in Bronxville, New York, 1957 (now 60)

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 89)

Jack Ingram born in Houston, Texas, 1970 (now 47)
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)
Holly Dunn died in Albuquerque, New Mexico (ovarian cancer), 2016 (was 59)

Sunday, October 15, 2017

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; GLA=Grammy Lifetime Achievement recipient; RR=also inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)


October 16:

Jim Ed Norman born in Ft. Myers, Florida, 1948 (now 69)
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 76)
Alan Jackson (CM 17, NS 11) born in Newman, Georgia, 1958 (now 59).  Jackson is one of the members of the "class of 2017" Country Music Hall of Fame inductees.
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:

Keith Knudsen of Southern Pacific born in Ames, Iowa, 1952 (now 65)
Chuck Berry (NS 82, RR 86; GLA 84) born in San Jose, California, 1926 (died 2017)
Harty Taylor of Karl & Harty died (stroke), 1963 (was 58)
Don Hecht died in Miami, Florida (heart attack), 2002 (was 72)
Paul Craft (NS 14) died in Nashville, Tennessee (illness), 2014 (was 76)
Hank Williams married Billie Jean Jones in Minden, Louisiana, 1952. After Williams' death, she would marry Johnny Horton.

October 19:


Ebo Walker (ne Harry Shelor) of Bluegrass Alliance and New Grass Revival born in Louisville, Kentucky, 1941 (now 76)
Jeannie C. Riley born in Anson, Texas, 1945 (now 72)
Charlie Chase born in Rogersville, Tennessee, 1952 (now 65)
Arthur E. "Uncle Art" Satherley (CM 71) born in Bristol, England, 1889 (died 1986)
Don Parmley of the Bluegrass Cardinals born in Oliver Springs, Tennessee, 1933 (died 2016)
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 80)
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 76)
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 49)
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 61)
Junior Bryant of Ricochet born in Pecos, Texas, 1968 (now 49)
Eric Gibson of the Gibson brothers born in Clinton, New York, 1970 (now 47)
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 and roots music event known as "MerleFest."
Rusty Kershaw died in New Orleans, Louisiana (heart attack), 2001 (was 63)
Jeanne Black died in Orem, Utah (Alzheimer's disease), 2014 (was 77)

October 24:

Sanger D. Shafer (NS 89) born in Whitney, Texas, 1934 (now 83)
John Bettis (NS 11) born in Long Beach, California, 1946 (now 71)
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."
Mark Gray of Exile born in Vicksburg, Mississippi, 1952 (died 2016)
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:

Mark Miller of Sawyer Brown born in Dayton, Ohio, 1958 (now 59)
Cousin Minnie Pearl (Sarah Ophelia Colley Canon) (CM 75) born in Grinders Switch (actually, Centerville), Tennessee, 1912 (died 1996)
Jeanne Black born in Pomona, California, 1937 (died 2014)
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 78)
Lee Greenwood born in Southgate, California, 1942 (now 75)
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 moved 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 88)
Charlie Daniels (CM 16) born in Wilmington, North Carolina, 1936 (now 81)

Brad Paisley born in Glen Dale, West Virginia, 1972 (now 45)
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 80)
Charlie Monk born in Noma, Florida, 1938 (now 79)

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 70)
T. Graham Brown born in Atlanta, Georgia, 1954 (now 63)
Patsy Montana (nee Ruby Rose Blevins) (CM 96) born in Hope, Arkansas, 1908 (died 1996)
Billy Bowman (StG 89) born in Johnson City, Tennessee, 1928 (died 1989)
Clifton Clowers born in Wolverton Mountain, Conway County, Arkansas, 1891 (died 1994)
Ron Davies died in Nashville, Tennessee (heart attack), 2003 (was 57)
Curly Putman (NS 76) died in Lebanon, Tennessee (long illness), 2016 (was 85)
Kitty Wells and Johnnie Wright wed, 1937 

October 31:

Anita Kerr born in Memphis, Tennessee, 1927 (now 90)
Richard "Kinky" Friedman born in Chicago, Illinois, 1944 (now 73)

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)