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)

Sick Call: Jim Ed Brown

Category:  News

Jim Ed Brown has lung cancer.

The 80-year-old country legend announced today (9/30) that he has been diagnosed with lung cancer and has been advised by his oncologists to take time off to receive treatment.

Here's the statement that he posted on his Facebook page today:

Some of you may have heard various rumors since I had to cancel a few shows over the past few weekends.  To clarify and put those rumors to bed, I wanted to just come out and explain what is going on.
Two weeks ago, I was diagnosed with lung cancer.  At that time, I was in shock and scared, as I didn't know what that really meant.  After testing, the doctors have asked me to take the next four months off from touring and to focus on chemotherapy and radiation treatments to shrink the cancer cells.
I will keep you all updated on the progress.  I am forever grateful for the love, support, and prayers during this time.


Keep this great gentleman and country superstar in your thoughts and prayers.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Priscilla Mitchell Dies

CATEGORY:  News/Obituary

Priscilla Hubbard, known professionally as Priscilla Mitchell has died, just days after her 73rd birthday.

Mitchell had a minor career in country music, only hitting the country top ten once.  That one time was a classic, however:  she sang the woman's part in the 1965 #1 hit "Yes, Mr. Peters" with Roy Drusky.   While recording country during that era she also recorded 60's rock on the Smash label under the pseudonym "Sadina."  Her song "I Want That Boy" was arranged by Ray Stevens.

Mitchell's country music life was more behind the scenes.  In 1959 she married a young guitarist/singer/songwriter named Jerry Reed Hubbard.  When he began recording he used his first and middle names professionally.  They were married until Reed's death from emphysema in 2008.

No cause of death was listed; however, the family requested donations in her memory to a Nashville Hospice.  

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

George Hamilton IV Dies

Category:  News/Obituary


I am terribly sad to report that George Hamilton IV has died.

The man known as "The International Ambassador of Country Music" died today (9/17) at St. Thomas Hospital in Nashville, four days after suffering a "serious" heart attack.

George Hege Hamilton IV (who is no relation to the actor George Hamilton) hailed from North Carolina, where he grew up around country music.  In the mid-50's he made his first record, "A Rose and a Baby Ruth," which was written by "Johnny Dee" (better known as John D. Loudermilk, who is also a native of North Carolina).  The success of that song allowed Hamilton to move to Nashville and sign with RCA Victor, where he had his greatest success.

Hamilton drew his material from the best songwriters around, including Harlan Howard (who wrote his 1961 hit "Three Steps to the Phone") and a young up-and-coming Canadian folk singer/songwriter named Gordon Lightfoot.  Hamilton scored country hits with covers of Lightfoot's songs "Canadian Pacific," "Steel Rail Blues," and "Early Morning Rain."  He also covered more Loudermilk songs, including the "Break My Mind" and 1963 tune that would prove to be his biggest hit, "Abilene."  The song was #1 for a month on country charts and hit the pop top 15.

Not content to just tour for the U.S. country fans, Hamilton made numerous trips overseas, earning him the nickname "The International Ambassador of Country Music."  He was the first U.S. country act to perform in the then-U.S.S.R. as well as then-Communist controlled Eastern Europe.  

Hamilton joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1960, and performed regularly until this past weekend, when he was stricken by a heart attack.

Sadly the words that Harlan Howard wrote in "Three Steps to the Phone" have come true:  "It's only eight steps to the door that you entered so many times, but you'll never walk in anymore."


George Hamilton IV, the International Ambassador of Country Music, was 77.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Dates of Note in Country Music, September 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; NS=Nashville Songwriter; SG=Southern Gospel; StG=Steel Guitar; RR=country performer also in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)

September 16:

David Bellamy of the Bellamy Brothers born in Darby, Florida, 1950 (now 64)
Bobby Randall of Sawyer Brown born in Midland, Michigan, 1952 (now 62)
Terry McBride of McBride & the Ride born in Austin, Texas, 1958 (now 56)
Ralph Mooney (Steel Guitar 83) born in Duncan, Oklahoma, 1928 (died 2011)
Sheb Wooley died in Nashville, Tennessee (leukemia), 2003 (was 82)

September 17:

Hank Williams (CM 61, NS 70, RR 87) born in Mount Olive, Alabama, 1923 (died 1953)
Jimmie Crawford (Steel Guitar 00) born in Obetz, Ohio, 1935 (died 2005)
John Ritter, son of Tex Ritter, born in Burbank, California, 1948 (died 2003)
Steve Sanders (William Lee Golden's one-time replacement in the Oak Ridge Boys) born in Richland, Georgia, 1952 (died 1998)
Bill Black born in Memphis, Tennessee, 1926 (died 1965)
RCA's 33 1/3 RPM "long-playing" (LP) record first appeared, 1931

September 18:

Priscilla Mitchell born in Marietta, Georgia, 1941 (now 73). In addition to her own singing career, she was married to Jerry Reed from 1959 until his death in 2008.
Carl Jackson born in Louisville, Mississippi, 1953 (now 61)
Lydia Rogers of the Secret Sisters born in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, 1988 (now 26)
Ervin T. Rouse born in Craven County, North Carolina, 1917 (died 1981)
Michael "Bea" Lilly (BG 02) died in Plymouth, Massachusetts (Alzheimer's disease), 2005 (was 83)

September 19:

Trisha Yearwood born in Monticello, Georgia, 1964 (now 50)
Clyde Moody born in Cherokee, North Carolina, 1915 (died 1989)
Danny Dill (NS 75) born in Carroll County, Tennessee, 1924 (died 2008)
Carlton Haney (BG 98) born in Rockingham County, North Carolina, 1928 (died 2011)
Clyde "Sonny' Burns born in Lufkin, Texas, 1930 (died 1992)
Red Foley (CM 67) died in Fort Wayne, Indiana (heart attack), 1968 (was 58)
Gram Parsons died in Joshua Tree, California (drug overdose), 1973 (was 26)
Skeeter Davis died in Nashville, Tennessee (cancer), 2004 (was 72)
Slim Dusty (ne David Kirkpatrick, the "Australian King of Country Music") died in St. Ives, New South Wales (cancer), 2003 (was 76)
Carl Smith married singer Goldie Hill, 1957

September 20:

Bob Miller (NS 70) born in Memphis, Tennessee, 1895 (died 1955)
Pearl Butler born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1927 (died 1988)
Karl Farr (CM 80) died in West Springfield, Massachusetts (heart attack), 1961 (was 52)
Jim Croce died in Natchitoches, Louisiana (plane crash), 1973 (was 30). The folk singer/songwriter's pop hit "I'll Have to Say I Love You in a Song" made the country charts a year after his death.
Steve Goodman died in Seattle, Washington (liver and kidney failure/leukemia), 1984 (was 36)
Hank Williams re-joined the Louisiana Hayride after being fired from the Grand Ole Opry, 1952

September 21:

Dickey Lee (NS 95) born in Memphis, Tennessee, 1936 (now 78)
Don Felder, former guitarist/steel guitarist for the Eagles, born in Gainesville, Florida, 1947 (now 67)
Kenny Starr born in Topeka, Kansas, 1952 (now 62)
Daryl Mosley of New Tradition born in Waverly, Tennessee, 1964 (now 50)
Ronna Reeves born in Big Spring, Texas, 1966 (now 48)
Ted Daffan (NS 70) born in Beauregard Parish, Louisiana, 1912 (died 1996)
Walter Brennan died in Oxnard, California (emphysema), 1974 (was 80). Among the actor's charted hits were "Old Rivers" and a version of Bill Anderson's "Mama Sang a Song."


September 22:

June Forester of the Forester Sisters born in Lookout Mountain, Georgia, 1952 (now 62)
Debby Boone born in Hackensack, New Jersey, 1956 (now 58). The "You Light Up My Life" singer is Red Foley's granddaughter.
James Roy "Pop" Lewis Sr. of the Lewis Family (BG 06) born in Pickens, South Carolina, 1905 (died 2004)

September 23:

Pat Alger (NS 10) born in Long Island City, New York, 1947 (now 67)
Don Herron Jr. of BR5-49 born in Steubenville, Ohio, 1962 (now 52)
Roy Drusky died in Nashville, Tennessee (emphysema), 2004 (was 74)
Bradley Kincaid (NS 71) died in Springfield, Ohio (natural causes), 1989 (was 94)
O.B. McClinton died in Nashville, Tennessee (abdominal cancer), 1987 (was 45)
Jimmy Wakely (NS 71) died in Mission Hills, California (emphysema), 1982 (was 68)
Roy Horton (CM 82) died in Nashville, Tennessee (diabetes/congestive heart failure), 2003 (was 88)
First recording session for Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys, 1935

September 24:

Rosalie Allen died in Palmdale, California (congestive heart failure), 2003 (was 79)
Jim Denny fired as Opry manager, 1956

September 25:

Ian Tyson born in Victoria, British Columbia, 1933 (now 81)
Larry Sparks born in Lebanon, Ohio, 1947 (now 67)
Shel Silverstein (NS 02) born in Chicago, Illinois, 1930 (died 1999)
Royce Kendall born in St. Louis, Missouri, 1934 (died 1998)
Little Jimmy Dickens became a member of the Grand Ole Opry, 1948.  Although his health has kept from performing most of this year, 2014 marks his 66th year as an Opry member, which is one of the longest tenures in the history of the show.

September 26:

David Frizzell born in El Dorado, Arkansas, 1941 (now 73)
Lynn Anderson born in Grand Forks, North Dakota, 1947 (now 67)
Carlene Carter born in Madison, Tennessee, 1955 (now 59)
Doug Supernaw born in Bryan, Texas, 1960 (now 54)
Marty Robbins (CM 82, NS 75) born in Glendale, Arizona, 1925 (died 1982)
The Beverly Hillbillies debuted on CBS, 1962. The program featured appearances by Roy Clark as Cousin Roy and Flatt and Scruggs as friends of the Clampetts, and the show was frequently sponsored by Kellogg's Corn Flakes with ads featuring Homer and Jethro.

September 27:

Beasley Smith (NS 83) born in McEwen, Tennessee, 1902 (died 1968)
Uncle Josh Graves (BG 97) born in Tellico Plains, Tennessee, 1928 (died 2006)
Charlie Monroe died in Reidsville, North Carolina (cancer), 1975 (was 72)
Johnnie Wright died in Madison, Tennessee (natural causes), 2011 (was 97)
Johnny Mathis died in Cornersville, Tennessee (pneumonia), 2011 (was 80)

September 28:

Ronnie Reno born in Buffalo, South Carolina, 1947 (now 67)
Laurie Lewis born in Long Beach, California, 1950 (now 64)
Mandy Barnett born in Crossville, Tennessee, 1975 (now 39)
Joseph Falcon born in Rayne, Louisiana, 1900 (died 1965). Falcon is credited with the first Cajun recording, "Allons a Lafayette," in 1928.
Jim Boyd (of Bill Boyd and the Cowboy Ramblers) born in Fannin County, Texas, 1914 (died 1993)
Jerry Clower born in Liberty, Mississippi, 1926 (died 1998)
Tommy Collins (ne Leonard Sipes) (NS 99) born in Bethany, Oklahoma, 1930 (died 2000)
Johnny Mathis born in Maud, Texas, 1930 (died 2011). Because of the rise of a pop singer by the same name in the mid 1950's, Mathis became known as "Country Johnny Mathis."
Glenn Sutton (NS 99) born in Hodge, Louisiana, 1937 (died 2007)
Johnny Horton married Billie Jean Williams (widow of Hank Williams), 1953

September 29:

Jerry Lee Lewis (RR 86) born in Ferriday, Louisiana, 1935 (now 79)
Gene Autry (CM 69, NS 70) born in Tioga Springs, Texas, 1907 (died 1998)
Bill Boyd born in Fannin County, Texas, 1910 (died 1977)
Tillman Franks born in Stamps, Arkansas, 1920 (died 2006)
Wesley Tuttle died in San Fernando, California (natural causes), 2003 (was 85)
Mickey Newbury (NS 80) died in Springfield, Oregon (emphysema), 2002 (was 62)

September 30:

Richard Bowden born in Linden, Texas, 1945 (now 69)
Johnny Burns born in Knoxville, Tennessee, 1948 (now 66).  The son of Jethro Burns is a singer/songwriter/guitarist on his own, and worked for many years with country-folk icon John Prine.
Deborah Allen born in Memphis, Tennessee, 1953 (now 61)
Marty Stuart born in Philadelphia, Mississippi, 1958 (now 56)
Mary Ford died in Arcadia, California (diabetes complications), 1977 (was 53)
Uncle Josh Graves (BG 97) died in Nashville, Tennessee (lengthy illness), 2006 (was 81)
Ruby Wright died in Nashville, Tennessee (heart disease), 2009 (was 69)
Billboard magazine changed the name of the "Hillbilly and Western" chart to the "Folk Country and Western" chart, 1950. Ernest Tubb is considered by many to be one of the people responsible for this, as he claimed that "hillbilly" was a derogatory term.