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.


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sick Call: George Hamilton IV

CATEGORY: News

Bill Anderson reported on his Facebook wall that fellow grand Ole Opry Star George Hamilton IV has suffered a heart attack.

The 77-year-old country singer, best-known for his 1963 crossover hit "Abilene" and numerous country hits including "Early Morning Rain" and "Break My Mind," is reported to be in a Nashville hospital tonight.  

None of the sites, from Anderson's to the Grand Ole Opry's to various Nashville TV stations', have word on Hamilton's condition.  Anderson did request prayers for his friend and the Hamilton family.

Monday, September 01, 2014

Dates of Note in Country Music, September 1-15

Category: News

(Hall of Fame members in bold on birth/death date, followed by hall[s] of fame in which they are enshrined and the year enshrined.  CM=Country Music; BG=Bluegrass; NS=Nashville Songwriter; SG=Southern Gospel; StG=Steel Guitar)

September 1

Steve Goetzman of Exile born in Louisville, Kentucky, 1950 (now 64)
Maggie Cavender (NS 89) born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1918 (died 1996)
Boxcar Willie (ne Lecil Travis Martin) born in Sterratt, Texas, 1931 (died 1999)
Johnny Mack Brown born in Dothan, Alabama, 1904 (died 1974). The western actor was the namesake of Lester "Roadhog" Moran and the Cadillac Cowboy's Live at the Johnny Mack Brown High School album.
Conway Twitty (CM 99, NS 93) born in Friars Point, Mississippi, 1933 (died 1993)
Delia "Mom" Upchurch, the "Den Mother to the Stars," died in Nashville, Tennessee (unknown cause), 1967 (was 85)

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

September 2

Paul Wylie Deakin of the Mavericks born in Miami, Florida, 1959 (now 55)
Johnny Lee Wills born in Jewell, Texas, 1912 (died 1984)
Charline Authur born in Henrietta, Texas, 1929 (died 1987)
Grady Nutt born in Amarillo, Texas, 1934 (died 1982)
Fabor Robinson, founder of Fabor Records, died in Minden, Louisiana (unknown cause), 1986 (was 74)


September 3

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

September 4

Kathy Louvin born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1957 (now 57)
Harold "Shot" Jackson (StG 86) born in Wilmington, North Carolina, 1920 (died 1991)
Dottie West died in Nashville, Tennessee (injuries from a car wreck), 1991 (was 58)
Carl Butler died in Franklin, Tennessee (heart attack), 1992 (was 65)

September 5

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


September 6

David Allan Coe born in Akron, Ohio, 1939 (now 75)
Buddy Miller born in Fairborn, Ohio, 1952 (now 62)
Jeff Foxworthy born in Atlanta, Georgia, 1958 (now 56)
Mark Chesnutt born in Beaumont, Texas, 1963 (now 51)
Zeke Clements (NS 71) born near Empire, Alabama, 1911 (died 1994)
Paul Yandell, C.G.P. born in Mayfield, Kentucky, 1935 (died 2011)
Mel McDaniel born in Checotah, Oklahoma, 1942 (died 2011)
Ernest Tubb (CM 64, NS 70) died in Nashville, Tennessee (complications from emphysema), 1984 (was 70)
Autry Inman died (unknown cause), 1988 (was 59)
Roy Huskey Jr. died in Nashville, Tennessee (cancer), 1997 (was 41)

September 7

Ronnie Dove born in Herndon, Virginia, 1940 (now 74)
Mark D. Sanders (NS 09) born in Los Angeles, California, 1950 (now 64)
Buddy Holly (NS 94) born in Lubbock, Texas, 1936 (died 1959)

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

September 8

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

September 9

Freddy Weller born in Atlanta, Georgia, 1947 (now 67)
Rodger Dale Tubb died in Fredericksburg, Texas (car wreck), 1938 (was 7 weeks old)
Tex Owens (NS 71) died in New Baden, Texas (unknown cause), 1962 (was 70)
Bill Monroe (CM 70, BG 91, NS 71) died in Nashville, Tennessee (stroke), 1996 (was 84)

September 10

Tommy Overstreet born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 1937 (now 77)
Rosie Flores born in San Antonio, Texas, 1956 (now 58)
Luke Wills born in Memphis, Texas, 1920 (died 2000)
Joe (ne Walter) Callahan of the Callahan Brothers died in Asheville, North Carolina (cancer), 1971 (was 61)


September 11

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

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

September 12

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

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

September 13

Bobbie Cryner born in Woodland, California, 1961 (now 52)
Bill Monroe (CM 70, BG 91, NS 71) born in Rosine, Kentucky, 1911 (died 1996)
Wilma Lee Cooper died in Nashville, Tennessee (natural causes), 2011 (was 90)
Roy Acuff postage stamp issued by the U.S. Postal Service, 2003

September 14

John Berry born in Aiken, South Carolina, 1959 (now 55)
Mae Boren Axton born in Bardwell, Texas, 1914 (died 1997)
Don Walser born in Brownfield, Texas, 1934 (died 2006)
Vernon Dalhart (CM 81, NS 70) died in Bridgeport, Connecticut (heart attack), 1948 (was 65)
Beasley Smith (NS 83) died in Nashville, Tennessee (cerebral hemorrhage), 1968 (was 66)
Hank Williams arrived in Nashville and met with Fred Rose to discuss a record or publishing deal, 1946

September 15

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

Friday, August 15, 2014

Dates of Note in Country Music, August 16-31

Category: News

(Hall of Fame members in bold on birth/death date, followed by hall[s] of fame in which they are enshrined and the year enshrined.  CM=Country Music; BG=Bluegrass; NS=Nashville Songwriter; SG=Southern Gospel, StG=Steel Guitar; RR=also inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)

August 16:

Billy Joe Shaver (NS 04) born in Corsica, Texas, 1939 (now 75)
Kathie Lee Gifford born in Paris, France, 1953 (now 61). Gifford began her career as one of the "Hee Haw honeys."
Emory Martin born in Hickman County, Tennessee, 1889 (died 2006). Martin was the one-armed banjo player at the Renfro Valley Barn Dance.
Elvis Presley (CM 98, RR 86) died at Graceland, Memphis, Tennessee (heart failure), 1977 (was 42)
Vassar Clements died in Nashville, Tennessee (lung cancer), 2005 (was 77)
Patsy Montana recorded "I Want to Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart," 1935. The song would become country music's first million-seller by a female.


August 17:

E.W. "Bud" Wendell (CM 98) born in Akron, Ohio, 1927 (now 87)
Wayne Raney (DJ 93) born in Wolf Bayou, Arkansas, 1920 (died 1993)

 
August 18:

Bob Koefer (StG 04) born in Clay Center, Kansas, 1928 (now 86)
Allen Reynolds (NS 00) born in North Little Rock, Arkansas, 1938 (now 76)
Hank Penny born in Birmingham, Alabama, 1918 (died 1992)
Molly Bee born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 1939 (died 2009)
Johnny Preston born in Port Arthur, Texas, 1939 (died 2011). Preston is best known for "Running Bear," the 1959 hit written by J.P. Richardson and featuring guitar work and backing vocals by George Jones.
Charlie Waller (BG 96) died in Gordonsville, Virginia (heart attack), 2004 (was 69)
The Louvin Brothers play their last official show as a duo (opening for Ray Price) in Watseka, Illinois, 1963. According to Charles Wolfe's biography, the duo that once commanded over $1,100 per show as headliners received $250 for the performance.

August 19:

Roger Cook (NS 97) born in Bristol, England, 1940 (now 74)
Eddy Raven born in Lafayette, Louisiana, 1944 (now 70)
Larry Sasser (StG 11) born in Gainesville, Georgia, 1947 (now 67)
Lee Ann Womack born in Jacksonville, Texas, 1966 (now 48)
Clay Walker born in Beaumont, Texas, 1969 (now 45)
Curly Ray Cline (BG 09) died in Rockhouse, Kentucky (illness), 1997 (was 74)


August 20:

Rudy Gatlin born in Olney, Texas, 1952 (now 62)
John Hiatt (NS 08) born in Indianapolis, Indiana, 1952 (now 62)
Ralph Stanley II born in Coeburn, Virginia, 1958 (now 55)
Jim Reeves born in Galloway, Texas, 1923 (died 1964)
"Sneaky Pete" Kleinow (StG 07) born in South Bend, Indiana, 1934 (died 2007)
Justin Tubb born in San Antonio, Texas, 1935 (died 1998)
Louis Innis died (heart attack), 1982 (was 63)
Leon McAuliffe (StG 78) died in Tulsa, Oklahoma (illness), 1988 (was 71)

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

 August 21:

Kenny Rogers (CM 13) born in Houston, Texas, 1938 (now 76)
Harold Reid (CM 08) born in Staunton, Virginia, 1939 (now 75)
Nick Kane of the Mavericks born in Jerusalem, Georgia, 1954 (now 60)
Sam McGee died in Williamson County, Tennessee (tractor accident on his farm), 1975 (was 81)
Murray "Buddy" Harman died in Nashville, Tennessee (congestive heart failure), 2008 (was 79)

August 22:

Rounder Records co-founder Marian Leighton-Levy born in Harrington, Maine, 1948 (now 66)
Holly Dunn born in San Antonio, Texas, 1957 (now 57)

Collin Raye born in DeQueen, Arkansas, 1959 (now 55)
Rod Brasfield (CM 87) born in Smithville, Arkansas, 1910 (died 1958)
Connie B. Gay (CM 80) born in Lizard Lick, North Carolina, 1914 (died 1989)
Horace "Aytchie" Burns died in Knoxville, Tennessee (heart attack), 1974 (was 56). Aytchie was a bass player at Knoxville's WNOX and on the Renfro Valley Barn Dance. He was also the older brother of Jethro Burns.
Elizabeth Haynes born in Greenville, Kentucky, 1920 (died 1976)
Elizabeth Haynes died in Hammond, Indiana (kidney disease), 1976 (56th birthday). The one-time bass player and "red-headed yodeling gal" on the Renfro Valley Barn Dance was the wife of Homer Haynes.
Leon Chappelear died in Gladewater, Texas (suicide [gunshot]), 1962 (was 53)
Mooney Lynn, the husband of Loretta Lynn, died in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee (heart failure/diabetes), 1996 (was 69)

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

August 23:

Rex Allen, Jr. born in Chicago, Illinois, 1947 (now 67)
Woody Paul of Riders in the Sky born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1949 (now 65)
Tex Williams born in Anvil, Illinois, 1917 (died 1985)
Leslie York of the York Brothers born in Louisa, Kentucky, 1917 (died 1984)

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

August 24:

Teea Goans born in Lowry City, Missouri, 1980 (now 34)
Fred Rose (CM 61, NS 70) born in Evansville, Indiana, 1897 (died 1954)
Jerry Clower died in Jackson, Mississippi (complications from heart surgery), 1998 (was 71)
Nat Stuckey died in Nashville, Tennessee (lung cancer), 1988 (was 54)

August 25:

Elvis Costello born in London, England, 1954 (now 60). The punk pioneer and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member has performed with numerous country legends including George Jones, Ricky Skaggs, Emmylou Harris, and Charlie Louvin. Johnny Cash recorded Costello's song "The Big Light" on Johnny Cash is Coming to Town.
Jo Dee Messina born in Holliston, Massachusetts, 1970 (now 44)
Jerry Rivers born in Miami, Florida, 1928 (died 1996)
Cliff Bruner died in Texas City, Texas (cancer), 2000 (was 85)

August 26:

Jimmy Olander of Diamond Rio born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1961 (now 53)
Don Bowman born in Lubbock, Texas, 1937 (died 2013)
Bob Miller (NS 70) died in Nyack, New York (unknown cause), 1955 (was 59)
Wilma Burgess died in Nashville, Tennessee (heart attack), 2003 (was 64)

August 27:
J.D. Crowe (BG 03) born in Lexington, Kentucky, 1937 (now 77)
Jeff Cook of Alabama (CM 05) born in Fort Payne, Alabama, 1949 (now 64)
Carter Stanley (BG 92) born in Dickenson County, Virginia, 1925 (died 1966)
Oliver "Mooney" Lynn, husband of Loretta Lynn, born in Butcher Holler, Kentucky, 1926 (died 1996)
Jimmy C. Newman born in Big Mamou, Louisiana, 1927 (died 2014)
Frances Preston (CM 92) born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1928 (died 2012)
'David "Bunny" Biggs of Jamup & Honey died in Nashville, Tennessee (unknown causes), 1948 (was 52)
Jim Denny (CM 66) died in Nashville, Tennessee (cancer), 1963 (was 52). For his Hall of Fame career, Denny may be most infamous for telling a guest artist after an appearance on the Grand Ole Opry, "You ain't goin' nowhere, son. You ought to go back to driving a truck." The person on the receiving end of Denny's criticism was Elvis Presley.

August 28:

LeAnn Rimes born in Jackson, Mississippi, 1982 (now 32)
Billy Grammer born in Benton, Illinois, 1925 (died 2011)
Archie Campbell died in Knoxville, Tennessee (post-operative complications following June heart attack), 1987 (was 67)

August 29:

Don Schlitz (NS 93) born in Durham, North Carolina, 1952 (now 62)

Dan Truman of Diamond Rio born in St. George, Utah, 1956 (now 58)
Grady Cole born in Lafayette, Georgia, 1909 (died 1981)


August 30:

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


August 31:

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