Saturday, April 13, 2019

Dates of Note in Country Music, April 16-30

Category: News

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


April 16:

Dusty Springfield born in London, England, 1939 (died 1999). The legendary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame singer hit the country charts in 1962 as part of the Springfields with "Silver Threads and Golden Needles."

April 17:

Craig Anderson of Heartland born in Huntsville, Alabama, 1973 (now 46)
Eddie Cochran died in Bath, England (injuries from an April 16 car wreck), 1960 (was 21). The rockabilly pioneer co-wrote "Summertime Blues," which Alan Jackson covered in country.
Dorsey Dixon died in Plant City, Florida (heart attack), 1968 (was 70)
Hank Penny died in Camarillo, California (heart failure), 1992 (was 73)
Linda McCartney died in Tuscon, Arizona (breast cancer), 1998 (was 56). Linda and husband Sir Paul McCartney's band, Wings, hit the country charts in 1974 with "Sally G."
Glenn Sutton (NS 99) died in Nashville, Tennessee (heart attack), 2007 (was 69)
Randy Scruggs died in Nashville, Tennessee (short illness), 2018 (was 64)

April 18:

Walt Richmond of the Tractors born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, 1947 (now 72)
Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown born in Vinton, Louisiana, 1924 (died 2005)
Curtis Potter born in Cross Plains, Texas, 1940 (died 2016)
Your blogger born in Louisville, Kentucky, 19(?!!??!) (21 again...and again...and again....)

Milton Brown died in Fort Worth, Texas (pneumonia resulting from injuries in an April 13 car wreck), 1936 (was 32)

April 19:

Jody Carver (StG 04) born in Brooklyn, New York, 1929 (now 90)
Bill Rice (NS 94) born in Datto, Arkansas, 1939 (now 80)
Gary Brewer born in Louisville, Kentucky, 1965 (now 54)
Bobby Russell (NS 94) born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1941 (died 1992)
Earl Bolick of the Blue Sky Boys died in Tucker, Georgia (unknown cause), 1998 (was 78)
Levon Helm died in New York, NY (throat cancer), 2012 (was 71)
The "National Barn Dance" debuted on WLS, Chicago, 1924

April 20:

Johnny Tillitson born in Jacksonville, Florida, 1939 (now 80)
Doyle Lawson (BG 12) born in Ford Town, Tennessee, 1944 (now 75)
Wade Hayes born in Bethel Acres, Oklahoma, 1969 (now 50)
Frank "Hylo" Brown born in River, Kentucky, 1922 (died 2003)
Benny Hill found dead in his London flat (coronary thrombosis), 1992 (was 68). The British comedian's Benny Hill Show featured Boots Randolph's "Yakety Sax" as its theme song.

April 21:

Wade Mainer born in Buncombe, North Carolina, 1907 (died 2011)
Ira Louvin (CM 01, NS 79) born in Section, Alabama, 1924 (died 1965)
Carl Belew born in Salina, Oklahoma, 1931 (died 1990)
Paul Davis (NS 10) born in Meridian, Mississippi, 1948 (died 2008)
Neal Matthews Jr. (CM 01) died in Nashville, Tennessee (heart attack), 2000 (was 70)

April 22:

Pat Enright of the Nashville Bluegrass Band born in Huntington, Indiana, 1945 (now 74)
Cleve Francis born in Jennings, Louisiana, 1945 (now 74)
Larry Groce born in Dallas, Texas, 1948 (now 71). The Mountain Stage host had one charted record, 1977's "Junk Food Junkie," which was a minor country hit.
Reuben Gosfield of Asleep at the Wheel born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1951 (now 68)
Heath Wright of Ricochet born in Vian, Oklahoma, 1967 (now 52)
Glen Campbell (CM 05, LAG 12) born in Delight, Arkansas, 1936 (died 2017)
Ray Griff born in Vancouver, British Columbia, 1940 (died 2016)
Steve Sholes (CM 67) died in Nashville, Tennessee (heart attack), 1968 (was 57)
Felice Bryant (CM 91, NS 72) died in Nashville, Tennessee (cancer), 2003 (was 77)
Paul Davis (NS 10) died in Meridian, Mississippi (heart attack), 2008 (was 60)
Richard Nixon died in New York, New York (stroke), 1994 (was 81). The former president's political troubles were chronicled in Tom T. Hall's song "Watergate Blues." Nixon also appeared on the Grand Ole Opry during its first night at the Opry House in 1974.
Hazel Dickens (BG 17) died in Washington, DC (pneumonia), 2011 (was 85)

April 23:

Roland White of the Nashville Bluegrass Band born in Madawaska, Maine, 1938 (now 81)
Roy Orbison (NS 87, LAG 98) born in Vernon, Texas, 1936 (died 1988)
Kent Robbins (NS 98) born in Mayfield, Kentucky, 1947 (died 1997)

April 24:

Rebecca Lynn Howard born in Salyersville, Kentucky, 1979 (now 40)
Shirley Boone born in Chicago, Illinois, 1934 (died 2019). Pat Boone's wife was also the daughter of Red Foley.
Harry McClintock died in San Francisco, California (unknown cause), 1957 (was 74). His greatest success would come decades after his death when his recording of "Big Rock Candy Mountain" began the film O Brother, Where Art Thou.
Bobby Garrett (StG 95) died in Tyler, Texas (cancer), 1999 (was 64)
Bonnie Owens died in Bakersfield, California (Alzheimer's disease), 2006 (was 73)

April 25:

Larry Robbins of the Johnson Mountain Boys born in Dickerson, Maryland, 1945 (now 74)
Karl Farr (CM 80) born in Rochelle, Texas, 1909 (died 1961)
Cliff Bruner born in Texas City, Texas, 1915 (died 2000)
Vassar Clements born in Kinard, South Carolina, 1928 (died 2005)
O.B. McClinton born in Senatobia, Mississippi, 1940 (died 1987)
The musical Big River opened on Broadway, 1985. It won a "Best Musical" Tony for songwriter Roger Miller, making him, to date, the only country performer to ever win a Tony Award.

April 26:

Duane Eddy born in Corning, New York, 1938 (now 81)
Fiddlin' Doc Roberts born in Richmond, Kentucky, 1897 (died 1978)
Cecil Null born in East War, West Virginia, 1927 (died 2001)
Johnny Mosby born in Fort Smith, Arkansas, 1933 (died 2018)
Tim Spencer (CM 80) died in Apple Valley, California (long illness), 1974 (was 65)
Wesley Rose (CM 86) died in Nashville, Tennessee (unknown cause), 1990 (was 72)
George Jones (CM 92, LAG 12) died in Nashville, Tennessee (respiratory failure), 2013 (was 81)

April 27:

Herb Pedersen of the Dillards and Desert Rose Band born in Berkley, California, 1944 (now 75)
Sydney Nathan (BG 06; RR 97) born in Cincinnati, Ohio, 1904 (died 1968)
Maxine Brown of the Browns (CM 15) born in Campti, Louisiana, 1931 (died 2019)
Jimmie Skinner born in Blue Lick, Kentucky, 1909 (died 1979)

April 28:

Dale Potter born in Puxico, Missouri, 1929 (died 1996)
Tommy Caldwell of the Marshall Tucker Band died in Spartanburg, South Carolina (injuries from an April 21 car wreck), 1980 (was 30)
Ken Curtis died in Clovis, California (heart attack), 1991 (was 74). The Gunsmoke star was also a one-time member of the Sons of the Pioneers.

April 29:

Duane Allen of the Oak Ridge Boys (CM 15) born in Taylortown, Texas, 1943 (now 76)
Karen Brooks born in Dallas, Texas, 1954 (now 65)
Billy Mize born in Arkansas City, Kansas, 1929 (died 2017)
Eddie Noack born in Houston, Texas, 1930 (died 1978)
Wayne Secrest of Confederate Railroad born in Alton, Illinois, 1950 (died 2018)
Vern Gosdin died in Nashville, Tennessee (stroke), 2009 (was 74)
Kenny Roberts died in Alton, Massachusetts (natural causes), 2012 (was 85)

April 30:

Fuzzy Owen born in Conway, Arkansas, 1929 (now 90)
Willie Nelson (CM 93, NS 73, LAG 00) born in Abbott, Texas, 1933 (now 86)
Darrell McCall born in New Jasper, Ohio, 1940 (now 79)
Johnny Farina (StG 02) born in Brooklyn, New York, 1941 (now 78)
Robert Earl Reynolds of the Mavericks born in Kansas City, Missouri, 1962 (now 57)
Johnny Horton born in Los Angeles, California, 1930 (died 1960)
Curly Chalker (StG 85) died in Hendersonville, Tennessee (brain cancer), 1998 (was 66)
WLS airs the final broadcast of the National Barn Dance, 1960, after 36 years on the air.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Dates of Note in Country Music, April 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[s] enshrined.  CM=Country Music; BG=Bluegrass; NS=Nashville Songwriter SG=Southern Gospel; StG=Steel Guitar; GLA= Grammy Lifetime Achievement recipient; PMF= Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient; RR=country performer also in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)

April 1:

Jules Verne Allen born in Waxahachie, Texas, 1883 (died 1945)
Arthur "Guitar Boogie" Smith born in Clinton, South Carolina, 1921 (died 2014)
Jimmy Logsdon born in Panther, Kentucky, 1922 (died 2001)
Jim Ed Brown (CM 15) born in Sparkman, Arkansas, 1934 (died 2015)
Paul Cohen (CM 76) died in Nashville, Tennessee (cancer), 1970 (was 71)
Rachel Veach joined Roy Acuff's Smoky Mountain Boys, 1939. Her presence gave rise to Pete Kirby's nickname "Bashful Brother Oswald:" a woman traveling with a group of men was scandalous, so Kirby was billed as Veach's "bashful brother" to quell any rumors.
The original Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum opened, 1967

April 2:

Warner Mack born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1938 (now 81)
Sonny Throckmorton (NS 87) born in Carlsbad, New Mexico, 1941 (now 78)
Emmylou Harris (CM 08) born in Birmingham, Alabama, 1947 (now 72)
Dean Townson of Pirates of the Mississippi born in Battle Creek, Michigan, 1959 (now 60)
Billy Dean born in Quincy, Florida, 1962 (now 57)
Mose Rager born in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, 1911 (died 1986). The guitarist was a significant influence on the thumbpicking style of another guitarist from the region, Merle Travis.

Cliff Carlisle died in Lexington, Kentucky (unknown cause), 1983 (was 78)
Former Country Gentleman Doyle Lawson formed Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, 1979

April 3:

Richard Thompson born in Notting Hill, London, 1949 (now 70).  The legendary folk-rock singer/songwriter and guitarist wrote and originally recorded "1952 Vincent Black Lightning," later a bluegrass hit for Del McCoury, as well as Jo-El Sonnier's biggest hit, "Tear-Stained Letter" (which was also covered by Faith Hill).
Curtis Stone of Highway 101 (and son of Cliffie Stone) born in North Hollywood, California, 1950 (now 69)
Hank Newman of the Georgia Crackers born in Cochran, Georgia, 1905 (died 1978)
Don Gibson (CM 01, NS 73) born in Shelby, North Carolina, 1928 (died 2003)
Billy Joe Royal born in Valdosta, Georgia, 1942 (died 2015)
Ella Mae Cooley murdered, 1961. Her husband, self-proclaimed "King of Western Swing" Spade Cooley, was convicted of her murder and sentenced to life in prison.
David Keli'i (StG 90) died in Honolulu, Hawaii (unknown cause), 1983 (was 68)
Harley "Red" Allen (BG 05) died in Dayton, Ohio (cancer), 1993 (was 63)
Starday Records owner Don Pierce died in Nashville, Tennessee (heart attack), 2005 (was 89)
Arthur "Guitar Boogie" Smith died in Charlotte, North Carolina (natural causes), 2014 (was 93)
The 
Louisiana Hayride debuted on KWKH, Shreveport, Louisiana, 1948. Among the artists who performed on the radio show were Elvis Presley, Hank Williams, Claude King, Johnny Horton, and one-time emcee Jim Reeves.

April 4:

Steve Gatlin of the Gatlin Brothers born in Olney, Texas, 1951 (now 67)
Cy Coben (ne Cohen)  born in Jersey City, New Jersey, 1919 (died 2006)
Norro Wilson (NS 96) born in Scottsville, Kentucky, 1938 (died 2017)
Troy Gentry of Montgomery Gentry born in Lexington, Kentucky, 1967 (died 2017)
Red Sovine died in Nashville, Tennessee (heart attack while driving), 1980 (was 61)

April 5:

Bill Clifton (BG 08) (ne William August Marburg) born in Riverwood, Maryland, 1931 (now 88). In addition to being a bluegrass performer, Clifton is also credited with starting the bluegrass festival, when he organized a July 4, 1961 show in Luray, Virginia.
June Stearns born in Alpha, Kentucky, 1939 (now 80)
Tommy Cash born in Dyess, Arkansas, 1940 (now 79)
Bob McDill (NS 85) born in Beaumont, Texas, 1944 (now 75)
Pat Green born in San Antonio, Texas, 1972 (now 47)

Lewis Phillips of the Lewis Family (BG 06) born in Washington, GA, 1972 (now 47)
Laura Rogers of the Secret Sisters born in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, 1986 (now 33)
Jack Clement (CM 13, NS 73) born in Whitehaven, Tennessee, 1931 (died 2013)
Charlie Collins of Roy Acuff's Smoky Mountain Boys born in Caryville, Tennessee, 1933 (died 2012)
Frenchy "Stoney" Edwards died in Oklahoma (stomach cancer), 1997 (was 67)
Gene Pitney (RR 02) died in Cardiff, Wales (heart disease), 2006 (was 65). In addition to his rock hits, Pitney recorded two albums of duets with George Jones.

April 6:

Vernon Dalhart (CM 81, NS 70) (ne Marion Try Slaughter) born in Marion County, Texas, 1883 (died 1948)
Dick Kaihue McIntire (StG 82) born in Honolulu, Hawaii, 1902 (died 1951)
Wade Ray born in Griffin, Indiana, 1913 (died 1998)
Merle Haggard (CM 94, NS 77, GLA 06) born in Bakersfield, California, 1937 (died 2016)
Tammy Wynette (CM 98, NS 09) died in Nashville, Tennessee (heart failure attributed to blood clot), 1998 (was 55)
Merle Haggard (CM 94, NS 77, GLA 06) died in Palo Cedro, California (pneumonia), 2016 (79th birthday) 
Grand Ole Opry shows were canceled due to rioting in the wake of Martin Luther King's assassination earlier in the week, 1968

April 7:

Bobby Bare (CM 13) born in Ironton, Ohio, 1935 (now 84)
John Dittrich of Restless Heart born in New York, New York, 1951 (now 68)
Leon "Pappy" Selph born in Houston, Texas, 1914 (died 1999)
Cal Smith born in Gans, Oklahoma, 1932 (died 2013)
Clyde Moody died in Nashville, Tennessee (unknown cause), 1989 (was 73)
Henry Glover died in St. Albans, New York (heart attack), 1991 (was 69)
Jeff Newman (StG 99) died in Watertown, Tennessee (plane crash), 2004 (was 62)
George Shuffler (BG 11) died in Valdese, North Carolina (long illness), 2014 (was 88)

April 8:

John Schneider born in Mount Kisco, New York, 1960 (now 59)
Jimmie Osborne born in Winchester, Kentucky, 1923 (died 1957)

April 9:

Margo Smith born in Dayton, Ohio, 1942 (now 77)
Con Hunley born in Fountain City, Tennessee, 1945 (now 74)
Hal Ketchum born in Greenwich, New York, 1953 (now 66)
Mark Roberts of the Red Clay Ramblers born in Wareham, Massachusetts, 1957 (now 62)
Dave Innis of Restless Heart born in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, 1959 (now 60)
Carl Perkins (NS 85, RR 87) born in Tiptonville, Tennessee, 1932 (died 1998)
Darrell Glenn died in Fort Worth, Texas (cancer), 1990 (was 54)
Mae Boren Axton died in Nashville, Tennessee (natural causes), 1997 (was 82)
Tut Taylor died in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina (natural causes), 2015 (was 91)

April 10:

Fiddlin' Arthur Smith born in Bold Spring, Tennessee, 1898 (died 1971)
Sheb Wooley born in Enick, Oklahoma, 1921 (died 2003)
DeWitt "Scotty" Scott (StG 92) born in Amarillo, Texas, 1932 (died 2015)
Weldon Myrick (StG 97) born in Jayton, Texas, 1938 (died 2014)
Former home of Johnny and June Cash destroyed by fire, 2007. Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees owned the house at the time of the fire.  In 2010 the Gatlin Brothers referenced the fire in a song titled "Johnny Cash is Dead and His House Burned Down."

April 11:

Jim Lauderdale born in Troutman, North Carolina, 1957 (now 62)
Harty Taylor of Karl & Harty born in Mount Vernon, Kentucky, 1905 (died 1963)
Millie Good of the Girls of the Golden West born in Mount Carmel, Illinois, 1913 (died 1993)
George Shuffler (BG 11) born in Valdese, North Carolina, 1925 (died 2014)
Eddie Miller died in Nashville, Tennessee (unknown cause), 1977 (was 83). In addition to writing a number of songs, including "I've Loved and Lost Again" which was recorded by Patsy Cline during her stint on Four Star, Miller co-founded the Nashville Songwriters' Association International.
Lighnin' Chance died in Nashville, Tennessee (cancer/Alzheimer's), 2005 (was 79)
Jerry Byrd (StG 78) died in Honolulu, Hawaii (complications of Parkinson's disease), 2005 (was 85)

April 12:

Ron Elliott (StG 09) born in Salisbury, Maryland, 1936 (now 83)
Vince Gill (CM 07, NS 05) born in Norman, Oklahoma, 1957 (now 62)
Ernie Lee born in Berea, Kentucky, 1916 (died 1991)
Ned Miller born in Raines, Utah, 1925 (died 2016)
Judy Lynn born in Boise, Idaho, 1936 (died 2010)
Lewis Crook of the Crook Brothers died in Nashville, Tennessee (natural causes), 1997 (was 87)
Boxcar Willie died in Branson, Missouri (leukemia), 1999 (was 67)

April 13:

Sam Bush born in Bowling Green, Kentucky, 1952 (now 67)
Bob Nolan (CM 80, NS 71) of the Sons of the Pioneers born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, 1908 (died 1980)
Guy Willis of the Willis Brothers died in Nashville, Tennessee (unknown cause), 1981 (was 65)
Johnny Dollar died in Nashville, Tennessee (suicide), 1986 (was 53)

April 14:

Loretta Lynn (CM 88, NS 83, GLA 10, PMF 13) born in Butcher Holler, Kentucky, 1932 (now 87)
Stuart Duncan of the Nashville Bluegrass Band born in Quantico, Virginia, 1964 (now 55)
Vito Pelletteri died in Nashville, Tennessee (complications from a stroke), 1977 (was 87)
Burl Ives died in Anacortes, Washington (throat cancer), 1995 (was 85)

April 15:

Chris Stapleton born in Lexington, Kentucky, 1978 (now 41)
J.L. Frank (CM 67) born in Limestone County, Alabama, 1900 (died 1952)
Roy Clark (CM 09) born in Meherrin, Virginia, 1933 (died 2018)
Bob Luman born in Nacogdoches, Texas, 1937 (died 1978)
Junior Barnard of Bob Wills' Texas Playboys died (car wreck), 1951 (was 30)
Rose Maddox died in Ashland, Oregon (kidney failure), 1998 (was 72)
Otto Kitsinger died in Nashville, Tennessee (heart attack), 1998 (was 54). Kitsinger was the historian and writer for CMT's Opry Backstage.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Wanda Jackson Retires

 Category: News

Country and rockabilly legend Wanda Jackson has retired.

The 81-year-old performer announced via a press release posted on her official Facebook page earlier today (3/26) that she's retiring, effective immediately.  "Wanda will not be making appearances at the Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend nor the Nashville Boogie Vintage Weekender," the announcement stated.

The press release said that Jackson's retirement after over 60 years on the road "is solely based on health and safety."

Discovered by Hank Thompson in the early 50s, Jackson's early sound was pure country.  Her early recordings included the first rendition of "Silver Threads and Golden Needles," later made famous by the Springfields, Linda Ronstadt, and many others.  Elvis Presley convinced her to try her hand at "rockabilly," so she did, setting the music world on fire with her dynamite voice.

After the rockabilly era ended Jackson returned to country music with the 1961 crossover hit "Right or Wrong."  Other country hits followed, including "Tears Will Be the Chaser for Your Wine" and "My Big Iron Skillet." 

Later in her career Jackson expressed her faith by recording a number of gospel albums.  In 2009 she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the "Early Influence" category.  Her husband and manager, Wendall Goodman, passed away in May 2017. 

I got to see Jackson at the Midnight Jamboree five years ago.  Her voice was strong as ever, and she knocked the walls down as she covered her career with gospel, country, and rockabilly hits.

Thank you so much for all the great music, Wanda.  Have a long, happy, and healthy retirement!

Monday, March 18, 2019

The Hall of Fame's New Inductees

Category: News

The Country Music Hall of Fame's "class of 2019" was announced today at a ceremony in the Hall of Fame rotunda in Nashville.

Joining the over 100 plaques already on the wall, celebrating the legends of country music, will be the following three people.

JERRY BRADLEY (Rotating/Non-Performer Category).  Bradley becomes the third member of the Bradley family in the Country Music Hall of Fame, joining his father, Owen and uncle, Harold.  Jerry Bradley is inducted as an executive after serving as the head of RCA Victor Records during the "outlaw" era, where he spearheaded the signings of future Hall of Famers Alabama and Ronnie Milsap, along with many others.  After leaving RCA he worked for 16 years as the head of the Opryland Music Group.

BROOKS & DUNN (Modern Era):  Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn are the first inductees of the 90s, with their career beginning with "Brand New Man" in 1991.  With over 25 ACM awards and 18 CMA awards, the duo clearly was one of the most popular acts of the 90s and early 00s.

RAY STEVENS (Veterans Era): Can I get an amen from the crowd?!  Internationally-known funny man who is also a talented multi-instrumentalist, Stevens' induction seems long overdue.  His 1974 hit "The Streak" marks the only time a country comedian has hit #1 on the pop charts, and it was only the second country comedy gold record ever (behind Homer & Jethro's "How Much Is That Hound Dog in the Window").  Interestingly enough, Stevens' Grammy awards came for his serious work: "Everything Is Beautiful" and "Misty."

There are your new Hall of Famers!

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Dates of Note in Country Music, March 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; WS=Western Swing; GLA=Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award; RR=country performer also inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.)


March 16:


Ray Walker of the Jordanaires (CM 01) born in Centerville, Mississippi, 1934 (now 85)

Jerry Jeff Walker (ne Ronald Clyde Crosby) born in Oneonta, New York, 1942 (now 77)
Ray Benson of Asleep at the Wheel (WS 94) born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1951 (now 68)
Tim O'Brien born in Wheeling, West Virginia, 1954 (now 65)
Stan Thorn of Shenandoah born in Kenosha, Wisconsin, 1959 (now 60)
Ronnie McCoury born in York County, Pennsylvania, 1967 (now 52)
Robert Whitstein born in Colfax, Louisiana, 1944 (died 2001)

Carlton Haney (BG 98) died in Greensboro, North Carolina (stroke), 2011 (was 82)
Plane crash at Otay Mountain near San Diego, California kills Reba McEntire band members Chris Austin, Kirk Capello, Joey Cigainero, Paula Kaye Evans, Terry Jackson, Michael Thomas, and Tony Saputo, 1991

March 17:

Jim Weatherly (NS 06) born in Pontotoc, Mississippi, 1943 (now 76)
Paul Overstreet (NS 03) born in Newton, Mississippi, 1955 (now 64)
Dick Curless born in Fort Fairfield, Maine, 1932 (died 1995)
Hugh Farr (CM 80) died in Casper, Wyoming (unknown causes), 1980 (was 77)
Jimmy Gately died in Madison, Tennessee (unknown causes), 1985 (was 53)
Sammy Pruett died in Birmingham, Alabama (unknown causes), 1988 (was 61)
Terry Stafford died in Amarillo, Texas (liver failure), 1996 (was 55)
Bill Carlisle (CM 02) died in Nashville, Tennessee (natural causes), 2003 (was 94)

Ferlin Husky (CM 10) died in Nashville, Tennessee (congestive heart failure/colon cancer), 2011 (was 85)
Steve Young died in Nashville, Tennessee (complications from a fall), 2016 (was 73)
Chuck Berry (NS 82, RR 86) died in Wentzville, Missouri (heart attack), 2017 (was 90)

March 18:

Billy Armstrong born in Streator, Illinois, 1930 (now 89)
Charley Pride (CM 00, GLA 17) born in Sledge, Mississippi, 1934 (now 85)
Margie Bowes born in Roxboro, North Carolina, 1941 (now 78)
James McMurty born in Fort Worth, Texas, 1962 (now 57)
Smiley Burnette (NS 71) born in Summum, Illinois, 1911 (died 1967)

Dennis Linde (NS 05) born in Abilene, Texas, 1943 (died 2006)
John Phillips of the Mamas and Papas died in Los Angeles, California (heart failure), 2001 (was 65). His solo hit, "Mississippi," was a country hit in 1971.

Ned Miller died in Medford, Oregon (natural causes), 2016 (was 90)

March 19:

Henry "Friendly Henry" Maddox born in Boaz, Alabama, 1928 (died 1974)
Speck Rhodes died in Nashville, Tennessee (natural causes), 2000 (was 84)
Randall Hylton died in Nashville, Tennessee (brain aneurysm), 2001 (was 55)
Tootsie's Orchid Lounge opened in Nashville, 1960

March 20:

Tommy Hunter born in London, Ontario, 1937 (now 82)
Douglas B. Green (Ranger Doug) of Riders in the Sky and the Time Jumpers born in Great Lakes, Illinois, 1946 (now 73)
Jim Seales of Shenandoah born in Hamilton, Alabama, 1954 (now 65)

Jerry Reed (CM 17, NS 05) born in Atlanta, Georgia, 1937 (died 2008)
Ralph Mooney (StG 83) died in Kennedale, Texas (kidney cancer), 2011 (was 82)

March 21:

Carol Lee Cooper born in West Virginia, 1942 (now 77)
Tommy Hill died in Nashville, Tennessee (liver and heart ailments), 2002 (was 72)

March 22:

Charlie Poole born in Randolph County, North Carolina, 1892 (died 1931)
Hoyle Nix of the West Texas Cowboys born in Azel, Texas, 1918 (died 1985)

Bobby Garrett (Steel Guitar 95) born in Dallas, Texas, 1935 (died 1999)
Uncle Dave Macon (CM 66) died in Murfreesboro, Tennessee (illness), 1952 (was 81)
Stoney Cooper died in Nashville, Tennessee (heart attack), 1977 (was 59)
Carl Perkins injured in automobile accident near Wilmington, Delaware, 1956

March 23:


David Grisman born in Passaic, New Jersey, 1945 (now 74)
Fiddlin' John Carson born in Fannin County, Georgia, 1868 (died 1949)
Jim Anglin born in Franklin, Tennessee, 1913 (died 1987)
Smokey Rogers born in McMinnville, Tennessee, 1917 (died 1993)
J.D. Miller died in Crowley, Louisiana (complications from heart bypass surgery), 1996 (was 73)
James Roy "Pop" Lewis (BG 06) of the Lewis Family died in Lincoln County, Georgia (natural causes), 2004 (was 98)
Cindy Walker (CM 97, NS 70) died in Mexia, Texas (natural causes), 2006 (was 88)

March 24:

Peggy Sue Webb born in Butcher Hollow, Kentucky, 1947 (now 72)
Carson Robison (NS 71) died in Poughkeepsie, New York (unknown causes), 1957 (was 66)
Howard Dixon died in East Rockingham, North Carolina (unknown - possible work accident), 1961 (was 57)

Maggie Cavender (NS 89) died in Nashville, Tennessee (stroke), 1996 (was 77)
Henson Cargill died in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (complications from surgery), 2007 (was 66)

March 25:

Robbie Fulks born in York, Pennsylvania, 1963 (now 56)

Shad Cobb born in Hazel Dale, Washington, 1973 (now 46)
Natchee the Indian (ne Lester Vernon Storer) born in Peebles, Ohio, 1916 (died 1970)
Bonnie Guitar born in Seattle, Washington, 1923 (died 2019)
Hoyt Axton born in Duncan, Oklahoma, 1938 (died 1999)
Jack Kapp died in New York, New York (cerebral hemorrhage), 1949 (was 47)
Buck Owens (CM 96, NS 96) died in Bakersfield, California (heart attack), 2006 (was 76)

March 26:

John Starling of the Seldom Scene (BG 14) born in Durham, North Carolina, 1940 (now 79)

Vicki Lawrence born in Inglewood, California, 1949 (now 70). The Carol Burnett Show actress had one hit, "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia," which made both the pop and country charts.
Ronnie McDowell born in Fountain Head, Tennessee, 1950 (now 69)
Michael Bonagura of Baillie & the Boys born in Newark, New Jersey, 1953 (now 66)
Dean Dillon (NS 02) born in Lake City, Tennessee, 1955 (now 63)
Charly McClain born in Jackson, Tennessee, 1956 (now 63)

Bud Isaacs (StG 84) born in Bedford, Indiana, 1928 (died 2016)
Julian Tharpe (StG 08) born in Skipperville, Alabama, 1937 (died 1994)

March 27:

Bill Callahan of the Callahan Brothers born in Madison County, North Carolina, 1912 (died 2002)

Don Warden (StG 08) born in Mountain Grove, Missouri, 1929 (died 2017)
David Rogers born in Houston, Texas, 1936 (died 1993)

March 28:

Charlie McCoy (CM 09) born in Oak Hill, West Virginia, 1941 (now 77)
Reba McEntire (CM 11) born in Chockie, Oklahoma, 1955 (now 63)

Jay Livingston born in McDonald, Pennsylvania, 1915 (died 2001). The pop songwriter's many hits include "Silver Bells," which has been recorded by many country performers.
Dean Webb (BG 09) of the Dillards born in Independence, Missouri, 1937 (died 2018)
W.C. Handy (NS 83) died in New York, New York (bronchial pneumonia), 1958 (was 84)
Farrell "Rusty" Draper died in Bellevue, Washington (heart disease/throat cancer), 2003 (was 80)
Glenn Barber died in Gallatin, Tennessee (heart ailment), 2008 (was 73)

Earl Scruggs (CM 85, BG 91, NS 07) died in Nashville, Tennessee (natural causes), 2012 (was 88)

March 29:

Paul Humphrey (BG 09) of the Lonesome Pine Fiddlers born in Wytheville, Virginia, 1935 (now 84)

Brady Seals of Little Texas born in Hamilton, Ohio, 1969 (now 50)
Moon Mullican (NS 76) born in Corrigan, Texas, 1909 (died 1967)
Jerry Byrd (StG 78) born in Lima, Ohio, 1920 (died 2005)
Texas Ruby died in Nashville, Tennessee (house fire), 1963 (was 54)
Opry announcer Hal Durham died in Nashville, Tennessee (unknown cause), 2009 (was 77)

Kenny O'Dell (NS 96) died in Nashville, Tennessee (natural causes), 2018 (was 73)

March 30:

Bobby Wright born in Charleston, West Virginia, 1942 (now 77)
Connie Cato born in Carlinville, Illinois, 1955 (now 64)

March 31:

Greg Martin of the Kentucky Headhunters born in Louisville, Kentucky, 1954 (now 65)

Phil Leadbetter born in Knoxville, Tennessee, 1962 (now 57)
Howdy Forrester born in Vernon, Tennessee, 1922 (died 1987)
Tommy Jackson born in Birmingham, Alabama, 1926 (died 1979)

Hoyt Hawkins (CM 01) of the Jordanaires born in Paducah, Kentucky, 1927 (died 1982)
William O. "Lefty" Frizzell (CM 82, NS 72) born in Corsicana, Texas, 1928 (died 1975)
Anita Carter born in Maces Springs, Virginia, 1933 (died 1999)

John D. Loudermilk (NS 76) born in Durham, North Carolina, 1934 (died 2016)
Skeets McDonald died in Inglewood, California (heart attack), 1968 (was 52)

Carl Story (BG 07) died in Greer, South Carolina (complications from heart bypass surgery), 1995 (was 78)
Mel McDaniel died in Hendersonville, Tennessee (lung cancer), 2011 (was 68)

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Dates of Note in Country Music, March 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[s] enshrined.  CM=Country Music; BG=Bluegrass; NS=Nashville Songwriter SG=Southern Gospel; StG=Steel Guitar; GLA=Grammy Lifetime Achievement recipient; RR=country act also in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)


March 1:


Janis Oliver of Sweethearts of the Rodeo born in Manhattan Beach, California, 1954 (now 65)
Sara Hickman born in Jacksonville, North Carolina, 1963 (now 56)
Clinton Gregory born in Martinsville, Virginia, 1966 (now 53)
Cliffie Stone (CM 89) born in Stockton, California, 1917 (died 1998)
Pearl Butler died in Nashville, Tennessee (unknown cause), 1988 (was 61)
RCA Victor debuted a new record format -- the 45 RPM, 1949

Johnny Cash and June Carter Smith Nix married in Franklin, Kentucky, 1968
California governor Ronald Reagan issued a full pardon to Merle Haggard, 1972


March 2:


Larry Stewart born in Paducah, Kentucky, 1959 (now 60)

Doc Watson (BG 00) born in Deep Gap, North Carolina, 1923 (died 2012)
Dottie Rambo (NS 07, SG 97) born in Madisonville, Kentucky, 1934 (died 2008)
Lonnie Glosson died in Searcy, Arkansas (natural causes), 2001 (was 93)

Ronnie Prophet died in Tavares, Florida (multiple organ failure), 2018 (was 80)

March 3:


John Carter Cash born in Madison, Tennessee, 1970 (now 49)
Jimmy Heap born in Taylor, Texas, 1922 (died 1977)
Kyle Bailes died (unknown cause), 1996 (was 80)
Harlan Howard (CM 97, NS 73) died in Nashville, Tennessee (heart attack), 2002 (was 74)
Ernie Ashworth died in Hartsville, Tennessee (heart attack), 2009 (was 80)
Benefit concert for the family of DJ "Cactus" Jack Call held in Kansas City, Missouri, 1963. Among those performing: Roy Acuff, Patsy Cline, Hawkshaw Hawkins, Cowboy Copas, Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper, George Jones, and Billy Walker.

March 4:


Betty Jack Davis born in Corbin, Kentucky, 1932 (died 1953)
John Duffey (BG 96, BG 14) born in Washington, DC, 1934 (died 1996)
Scotty Stoneman died in Nashville, Tennessee (overdose of prescription medication), 1973 (was 40)
Minnie Pearl (CM 75) died in Nashville, Tennessee (complications from stroke), 1996 (was 83)
Eddie Dean died in Los Angeles, California (emphysema), 1999 (was 91)

Joey Feek died in Alexandria, Indiana (cervical cancer), 2016 (was 40)

March 5:


Raymond Fairchild born in Cherokee, North Carolina, 1939 (now 80)

Willis Alan Ramsey born in Birmingham, Alabama, 1951 (now 68)
Jimmy Bryant born in Moultrie, Georgia, 1925 (died 1980)
Patsy Cline (CM 73; GLA 95) died near Camden, Tennessee (plane crash), 1963 (was 30)
Cowboy Copas died 
near Camden, Tennessee (plane crash), 1963 (was 59)
Hawkshaw Hawkins died near Camden, Tennessee (plane crash), 1963 (was 41)
Randy Hughes died near Camden, Tennessee (plane crash), 1963 (was 34). Hughes was Patsy Cline's manager and Cowboy Copas' son-in-law as well as the pilot of the ill-fated plane.
Syd Nathan (BG 06, RR 97) died in Miami, Florida (heart disease/pneumonia), 1968 (was 63). The Cincinnati record store owner founded King Records in 1943, making it the first all-country music record label in history.
Anna Carter Davis (SG 05), original member of the Chuck Wagon Gang and widow of Jimmie Davis, died in Fort Worth, Texas (complications following a fall), 2004 (was 87)
Elvis Presley honorably discharged from the Army, 1960

March 6:


Skip Ewing born in Red Lands, California, 1964 (now 55)

Redd Volkaert born in Vancouver, British Columbia, 1958 (now 61)
Cliff Carlisle born in Mount Eden, Kentucky, 1904 (died 1983)
Bob Wills (CM 68, NS 70, RR 99; GLA 07) born in Turkey, Texas, 1905 (died 1975)
Jean Chapel of the Coon Creek Girls born in Neon, Kentucky, 1925 (died 1995)

Don Stover (BG 02) born in Ameagle, West Virginia, 1928 (died 1996)
Red Simpson born in Higley, Arizona, 1934 (died 2016)
Doug Dillard (BG 09) of the Dillards born in East St. Louis, Missouri, 1937 (died 2012)
Elmer "Buddy" Charleton (StG 93) born in New Market, Virginia, 1938 (died 2011)
George Jones critically injured in single-vehicle accident, 1999
The siege of the Alamo ended, 1836. Davy Crockett, subject of the legendary song, was among those who died during the battle. Johnny Cash would memorialize the fight in his song "Remember the Alamo."

March 7:


Townes Van Zandt
 (NS 16) born in Fort Worth Texas, 1944 (died 1997)
Jack Anglin died in Nashville, Tennessee (car wreck), 1963 (was 46). Anglin was on his way to Patsy Cline's memorial service at the time of his accident.
Pee Wee King (CM 74, NS 70) died in Louisville, Kentucky (heart attack), 2000 (was 86)

Charlie Lamb died in Nashville, Tennessee (pneumonia), 2012 (was 90)
Claude King died in Shreveport, Louisiana (natural causes), 2013 (was 90)

March 8:


Randy Meisner of Poco and the Eagles born in Scotts Bluff, Nebraska, 1946 (now 73)

Jimmy Dormire of Confederate Railroad born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1960 (now 59)
Johnny Dollar born in Kilgore, Texas, 1933 (died 1986)
Jimmy Stoneman of the Stoneman Family born in Washington, DC, 1937 (died 2002)

Stuart Hamblen (NS 70) died in Santa Monica, California (brain tumor), 1989 (was 80)
Hank Locklin died in Brewton, Alabama (natural causes), 2009 (was 90)

March 9:


Mickey Gilley born in Natchez, Mississippi, 1936 (now 83)
Jimmy Fadden of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band born in Long Beach, California, 1948 (now 71)

Jerry Byrd (StG 78) born in Lima, Ohio, 1920 (died 2005)
Ralph Sloan of the Ralph Sloan Dancers born in Wilson County, Tennessee, 1925 (died 1980)

Glen Sherley born in Oklahoma, 1936 (died 1978)
George Burns died in Beverly Hills, California (cardiac arrest), 1996 (was 100). The legendary comedian and actor had a country hit with "I Wish I Was Eighteen Again."
Chris LeDoux died in Casper, Wyoming (bile duct cancer), 2005 (was 56)

Wayne Kemp (NS 99) died in Lafayette, Tennessee (various illnesses), 2015 (was 73)
Ray Griff died in Canada (post-operative pneumonia), 2016 (was 75)
Final Saturday night Grand Ole Opry at the Ryman before the opening of the new Opry House, 1974

March 10:


Ralph Emery (CM 07) born in McEwen, Tennessee, 1933 (now 86)
Norman Blake born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, 1938 (now 81)
Johnnie Allan born in Rayne, Louisiana, 1938 (now 81)
Kenneth "Jethro" Burns (CM 01) born in Conasauga, Tennessee, 1920 (died 1989)
Daryl Singletary born in Wigham, Georgia, 1971 (died 2018)
Soul singer James Brown guested on the Grand Ole Opry at the request of Porter Wagoner, 1979

March 11:


Jimmy Fortune (CM 08) born in Williamsburg, Virginia, 1955 (now 64)
W. Lee "Pappy" O'Daniel of the Light Crust Doughboys born in Malta, Ohio, 1890 (died 1969)
Jim Boyd of the Cowboy Ramblers died (unknown cause), 1993 (was 78)

Don Warden (StG 08) died (natural causes), 2017 (was 87)

March 12:


Marshall Wilborn of the Johnson Mountain Boys and the Lynn Morris Band born in Austin, Texas, 1952 (now 67)
James Taylor born in Belmont, Massachusetts, 1948 (now 71). The legendary pop/folk superstar wrote "Bartender's Blues" and sang with George Jones on Jones' recording of the tune.

Lew DeWitt (CM 08) born in Roanoke, Virginia, 1938 (died 1990)  
Ralph Sloan died in Nashville, Tennessee (unknown illness), 1980 (was 55)

March 13:


Jan Howard born in West Plains, Missouri, 1930 (now 89)

Liz Anderson born in Roseau, Minnesota, 1930 (died 2011) 
Benny Martin (BG 05) died in Nashville, Tennessee (nerve disorder/illness), 2001 (was 72)

Jack Greene died in Nashville, Tennessee (Alzheimer's disease), 2013 (was 83)
Ezra Carter married Maybelle Addington, 1926

March 14:


Michael Martin Murphy born in Oak Cliff, Texas, 1945 (now 74)
Doc Pomus died in New York, New York (lung cancer), 1991 (was 65)
Dale Potter died in Puxaco, Missouri (cancer), 1996 (was 66)
Tommy Collins (NS 99) died in Ashland City, Tennessee (emphysema), 2000 (was 69)

Bill Bolick of the Blue Sky Boys died in Hickory, North Carolina (natural causes), 2008 (was 90)

March 15:

Wayland Holyfield (NS 92) born in Malletttown, Arkansas, 1942 (now 77)
Gunilla Hutton of Hee Haw born in Goteborg, Sweden, 1946 (now 73)
Ry Cooder born in Los Angeles, California, 1947 (now 72)
Carl Smith (CM 03) born in Maynardville, Tennessee, 1927 (died 2010)
D.J. Fontana born in Shreveport, Louisiana, 1931 (died 2018)
The final performance of the Friday Night Opry at the Ryman, 1974. The final song was the Opry cast singing "Will the Circle Be Unbroken."

Sunday, February 24, 2019

'Tis Sweet to Be Remembered

Category: News/Obituary

In less than two months the Country Music Hall of Fame has lost its fourth member.  Mac Wiseman, the legendary singer, dubbed "Voice With a Heart," died Sunday (2/24).  He had been suffering from kidney failure in the last weeks of his life.

Malcom Bell Wiseman was born in 1925 in Virginia.  Stricken with polio as a child, he learned to play guitar, and music became his primary interest.  His first appearance on record came as the bass player on Molly O'Day's classic "The Tramp on the Street" in 1946.

Wiseman also worked in radio, where he would sing and play records.  Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs heard him on the radio and asked him to join their band.  From there he later became a member of Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys before striking out on his own in 1951.

Although usually considered "bluegrass" Wiseman had a number of songs on the singles chart.  His highest charting song was the classic "Jimmy Brown the Newsboy," although he also had a top 40 country hit with the novelty Cy Coben-penned song "Johnny's Cash and Charley's Pride" (with lyrics that were puns of country singers' names: "If I had Johnny's paycheck Charlie'd walk'er home from work no more").

In addition to his decades of work as a recording artist, Wiseman was also very active behind the scenes.  In 1958 he became the first treasurer of the Country Music Association, the organization that would later create the Country Music Hall of Fame.  He was inducted in  2014.  Additionally, he helped charter the International Bluegrass Music Association.  His close association with bluegrass throughout his career led him to be part of the third class of inductees into the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame.

People have often asked me what my favorite concert was.  It came in 1995, at MerleFest.  It was hardly a "concert" in the traditional sense (as anyone who's ever been to MerleFest, or any bluegrass festival, will attest), but it was the memorable thing I've ever witnessed in music.  Mac Wiseman was on a stage in a tent near the main grounds, entertaining the Saturday pre-lunch crowd.  One of the individuals enjoying Wiseman's wonderful voice was Doc Watson, the founder of the festival.  After Wiseman left the stage he sat down on a stool next to Watson, and the two spent the next 45 minutes swapping stories and songs, passing Wiseman's guitar between them.  Totally impromptu, totally unscripted, and totally mesmerizing.

The song that's probably most closely tied to Mac Wiseman is "'Tis Sweet to Be Remembered."  That sweet voice will always be remembered.

Mac Wiseman was 93.