Thursday, March 15, 2018

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; 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 84)

Jerry Jeff Walker (ne Ronald Clyde Crosby) born in Oneonta, New York, 1942 (now 76)
Ray Benson of Asleep at the Wheel born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1951 (now 67)
Tim O'Brien born in Wheeling, West Virginia, 1954 (now 64)
Stan Thorn of Shenandoah born in Kenosha, Wisconsin, 1959 (now 59)
Ronnie McCoury born in York County, Pennsylvania, 1967 (now 51)
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 75)
Paul Overstreet (NS 03) born in Newton, Mississippi, 1955 (now 63)
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 88)
Charley Pride (CM 00) born in Sledge, Mississippi, 1934 (now 84)
Margie Bowes born in Roxboro, North Carolina, 1941 (now 77)
James McMurty born in Fort Worth, Texas, 1962 (now 56)
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 81)
Douglas B. Green (Ranger Doug) of Riders in the Sky and the Time Jumpers born in Great Lakes, Illinois, 1946 (now 72)
Jim Seales of Shenandoah born in Hamilton, Alabama, 1954 (now 64)

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 76)
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 73)
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 71)
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:

Bonnie Guitar born in Seattle, Washington, 1923 (now 95)
Robbie Fulks born in York, Pennsylvania, 1963 (now 55)

Shad Cobb born in Hazel Dale, Washington, 1973 (now 45)
Natchee the Indian (ne Lester Vernon Storer) born in Peebles, Ohio, 1916 (died 1970)
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 78)

Vicki Lawrence born in Inglewood, California, 1949 (now 69). 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 68)
Michael Bonagura of Baillie & the Boys born in Newark, New Jersey, 1953 (now 65)
Dean Dillon (NS 02) born in Lake City, Tennessee, 1955 (now 62)
Charly McClain born in Jackson, Tennessee, 1956 (now 62)

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:

Roy Dean Webb (BG 09) of the Dillards born in Independence, Missouri, 1937 (now 81)
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.
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 83)

Brady Seals of Little Texas born in Hamilton, Ohio, 1969 (now 49)
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)

March 30:

Bobby Wright born in Charleston, West Virginia, 1942 (now 76)
Connie Cato born in Carlinville, Illinois, 1955 (now 63)

March 31:

Greg Martin of the Kentucky Headhunters born in Louisville, Kentucky, 1954 (now 64)

Phil Leadbetter born in Knoxville, Tennessee, 1962 (now 56)
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)

Monday, March 12, 2018

Walk, Don't Run

Category: Obituary

Nokie Edwards, one of the most influential guitarists in rock and roll history, has died.

Edwards, a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame "surf guitar" group the Ventures, died today (3/12) after a long illness. 

So why is a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer being memorialized here?  The answer to that question is simple: Buck Owens.

Nole Floyd Edwards was born in Oklahoma in 1935.  He began playing guitar at the age of five.  By the time he enlisted in the Army Reserves in 1956 he was making over $300 a week playing concerts in the Pacific northwest.

He was living in Tacoma when a country singer showed up in the area.  That singer was Buck Owens.  As Owens related in the taped interviews used for his autobiography Buck 'Em, "After those early singles flopped I'd left Bakersfield and gone up there (Tacoma) to work at a radio station, and to play in a band with a fellow by the name of Dusty Rhodes."  While Owens was there, he met Nokie Edwards, who would play guitar for Owens' live shows while the young Don Rich was featured exclusively on fiddle.

From there, Edwards met and worked with other country performers.  His web site's biography lists other greats such as Lefty Frizzell, Justin Tubb, Ferlin Husky, and Benny Martin as stars who utilized Edwards' talents.  Edwards was in Frizzell's final touring band in 1975.

But it was the formation of the Ventures with three other musicians from Washington that made Edwards legendary.  The band's first hit was a cover of the song "Walk, Don't Run," which was on a mid-50s Chet Atkins album.  

Their biggest success came with the CBS television series Hawaii Five-O, which used the Ventures' song as its theme music.  The single went to #1 on the pop charts and is still one of the most recognizable instrumentals and/or TV themes in history.

Edwards left the Ventures shortly after that success and launched his own solo career in music and acting (he was in the TV series Deadwood).  The Ventures reunited over the years, including for their 2008 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 

Over the past few years Edwards' health had been seriously declining, with a number of fundraisers taking place to help with his medical expenses.  He passed away early this morning.

Farewell to a giant in early rock and roll who also played with a number of country giants as well.

Nokie Edwards was 82.

Friday, March 02, 2018

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 64)
Sara Hickman born in Jacksonville, North Carolina, 1963 (now 55)
Clinton Gregory born in Martinsville, Virginia, 1966 (now 52)
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 59)

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)

March 3:

John Carter Cash born in Madison, Tennessee, 1970 (now 48)
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 79)

Willis Alan Ramsey born in Birmingham, Alabama, 1951 (now 67)
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 54)

Redd Volkaert born in Vancouver, British Columbia, 1958 (now 60)
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 72)

Jimmy Dormire of Confederate Railroad born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1960 (now 58)
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 82)
Jimmy Fadden of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band born in Long Beach, California, 1948 (now 70)

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 85)
Norman Blake born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, 1938 (now 80)
Johnnie Allan born in Rayne, Louisiana, 1938 (now 80)
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 63)
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 66)
James Taylor born in Belmont, Massachusetts, 1948 (now 70). 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 88)

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 73)
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:

D.J. Fontana born in Shreveport, Louisiana, 1931 (now 87)

Wayland Holyfield (NS 92) born in Malletttown, Arkansas, 1942 (now 76)
Gunilla Hutton of Hee Haw born in Goteborg, Sweden, 1946 (now 72)
Ry Cooder born in Los Angeles, California, 1947 (now 71)
Carl Smith (CM 03) born in Maynardville, Tennessee, 1927 (died 2010)
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."

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

It Is No Secret

Category: Obituary

You may be a little surprised to see a country music blog paying tribute to evangelist Billy Graham, but this is actually one of the best places to mention the late minister.

Dr. Graham died this morning (2/21) at his home in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Friends who appeared on TV station WCNC in Charlotte said that the minister had been in failing health, with "poor quality of life," for a number of years.

William Franklin Graham was born in 1918 Charlotte when Charlotte was more country than town.  He was raised on a dairy farm and knew hard work, growing up in the 1920s and into the Great Depression.  

He felt the calling into ministry and obeyed.  His first "crusade" was held in 1947 in Los Angeles, which is where his connection to country music also began.  Among the people attending his revival in a circus tent was Stuart Hamblin, who later wrote the country gospel classic "It Is No Secret."

Additionally, Graham appeared in a 1951 film, Mr. Texas, which he billed as "the first Christian western" movie.  The film co-starred Hall of Fame songwriter Cindy Walker.

As the popularity of television rose in the 50s and 60s Graham's multi-night crusades were carried on numerous television stations.  Among the country legends who frequently guested on the shows were Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash, Charlie Daniels, and Ricky Skaggs.  Cash, much like President George W. Bush, credited Graham's friendship with helping him overcome his addictions.

Billy Graham was 99.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Dates of Note in Country Music, February 16-28

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 inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)

February 16:

Jimmy Wakely born in Mineola, Arkansas, 1914 (died 1982)
Jo-Walker Meador (CM 95) born in Orlinda, Tennessee, 1924 (died 2017)
Smiley Burnette (NS 71) died in Encino, California (leukemia), 1967 (was 55)

February 17:

Johnny Bush born in Houston, Texas, 1935 (now 83)
Buck Trent born in Spartanburg, South Carolina, 1938 (now 80)
Jon Randall born in Dallas, Texas, 1969 (now 49)
Bryan White born in Shellman, Georgia, 1974 (now 44)
Billy Byrd born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1920 (died 2001)
Gene Pitney born in Hartford, Connecticut, 1940 (died 2006). The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer recorded two albums of duets with George Jones.
Uncle Jimmy Thompson died in Laguardo, Tennessee (natural causes), 1931 (was 82)
Eck Robertson died in Borger, Texas (natural causes), 1975 (was 87)
Gus Hardin died near Claremore, Oklahoma (car wreck), 1996 (was 50)

February 18:

Juice Newton born in Lakehurst Naval Station, New Jersey, 1952 (now 66)
Dudley Connell born in Scheer, West Virginia, 1956 (now 62)
Julius Frank "Pee Wee" King (ne Kuczynski) (CM 74, NS 70) born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1914 (died 2000)
Tootsie Bess, owner of Tootsie's Orchid Lounge, died in Nashville, Tennessee (cancer), 1978 (was 61)
Johnny Paycheck died in Nashville, Tennessee (emphysema), 2003 (was 64)

February 19:

Lorianne Crook born in Wichita, Kansas, 1957 (now 61)
Cedric Rainwater (real name: Howard Watts) (BG 07) born in Monticello, Florida, 1913 (died 1970)
Lowell Blanchard died in Knoxville, Tennessee (heart attack), 1968 (was 57)
Grandpa Jones (CM 78) died in Nashville, Tennessee (stroke), 1998 (was 84)
Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton officially break up their act, 1974

February 20:

Kathie Baillie of Baillie & the Boys born in Morristown, New Jersey, 1951 (now 67)
Claire Lynch born in Albany, New York, 1954 (now 64)

February 21:

Mary-Chapin Carpenter born in Princeton, New Jersey, 1958 (now 60)
Don Reno (BG 92) born in Spartanburg, South Carolina, 1926 (died 1984)
Carl T. Sprague died in Bryan, Texas (unknown cause), 1979 (was 83)

Ray Whitley (NS 81) died in California (unknown cause), 1979 (was 77)

February 22:

Del Wood born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1920 (died 1989)
George Younce of the Cathedrals (SG 98) born in Patterson, North Carolina, 1930 (died 2005)
Sonny James (CM 06) died in Nashville, Tennessee (natural causes), 2016 (was 87)
Johnny Cash asked June Carter to marry him onstage during a concert in London, Ontario, 1968

February 23:

Rusty Young of Poco born in Long Beach, California, 1946 (now 72)
Buck Griffin born in Corsicana, Texas, 1923 (died 2009)
Penny DeHaven died in Atlanta, Georgia (cancer), 2014 (was 65)
Minnie Pearl married Henry Cannon, 1947

February 24:

Little Roy Lewis of the Lewis Family (BG 06) born in Lincoln County, Georgia, 1942 (now 76)
Don Law (CM 01) born in London, England, 1902 (died 1982)
Webb Pierce (CM 01) died in Nashville, Tennessee (cancer), 1991 (was 69)
Goldie Hill Smith died in Nashville, Tennessee (cancer), 2005 (was 72)
Dinah Shore died in Beverly Hills, California (ovarian cancer), 1994 (was 77). The legendary pop singer and TV hostess was part of the family of live performers on WSM radio.

February 25:

Dr. Ralph Stanley (BG 92) born in Stratton, Virginia, 1927 (died 2016)
Faron Young (CM 00) born in Shreveport, Louisiana, 1932 (died 1996)

February 26:

Billy Jack Wills born in Hall County, Texas, 1926 (died 1991)
Johnny Cash (CM 80, NS 77, RR 92) born in Kingsland, Arkansas, 1932 (died 2003)
Jan Crutchfield born in Paducah, Kentucky, 1936 (died 2012)
Tim Wilson died in Commerce, Georgia (heart failure), 2014 (was 52)

February 27:

Chuck Glaser of the Glaser Brothers born in Spalding, Nebraska, 1936 (now 82)
Joe Carson died in Wichita Falls, Texas (car wreck), 1964 (was 27)
Walter Bailes died in Sevierville, Tennessee (various health problems), 2000 (was 80)

February 28:

Jim Denny (CM 66) born in Silver Point, Tennessee, 1911 (died 1963)
Audrey Williams born in Banks, Alabama, 1923 (died 1975)
Don Helms born in New Brockton, Alabama, 1927 (died 2008)
Joe South (NS 79) born in Atlanta, Georgia, 1940 (died 2012)
Fiddlin' Arthur Smith died (unknown causes), 1971 (was 72)

Leap Day, February 29:

Dinah Shore born in Winchester, Tennessee, 1916 (died 1994)
Vaughn Horton (NS 71) died in New Port Ritchey, Florida (heart attack), 1988 (was 76)

Monday, February 12, 2018

Daryle Singletary Dies

Category: News/Obituary 

Daryle Singletary, a "maverick" in that he dared to be true to country music in an era when most were moving toward a pop/rock feel in the 90s, has died.

Singletary died unexpectedly this morning (2/12) at his home in suburban Nashville.  He had performed in Louisiana over the weekend.

Born in Georgia in 1971, Daryle Singletary held fast to the traditions of country music at a time when it was difficult to do so.  In 2002 he released an album titled That's Why I Sing This Way, paying tribute to (and featuring) many of his music heroes such as Johnny Paycheck, George Jones, and Merle Haggard.

After years of struggling Singletary finally scored a hit in the mid-90s with "I Let Her Lie," which was a throwback to the more traditional country songs that had been swept aside.  Singletary didn't change his style once he became successful, continuing with other hits such as "Amen Kind of Love" (his highest-charting single) and "The Note," echoing greats of the past such as Lefty Frizzell and Keith Whitley.

Although he hadn't had a charted record since 2002 Singletary continued to record and perform, remaining a favorite with traditionalists and fans.  Last year he recorded a duet album with bluegrass queen Rhonda Vincent, American Grandstand.  Vincent told No Depression in an interview about the collaboration, "Daryle is one of the greatest singers, and I love to sing with him whenever I have the opportunity."

Survivors include Singletary's wife, four children, and his parents.  Plus, a lot of country music fans.

Daryle Singletary was just 46.

Daryle and Rhonda performing "After the Fire is Gone":

Friday, February 09, 2018

I Don't Have to Hang My Head Over Things I Wish I'd Said

Category: Personal

If you've noticed, I haven't been the busiest beaver on this blog in the past year or so.  There's a reason:  my dad's health began taking the inevitable downward spiral that those in their late 80s face.  

Today (2/9) that downward spiral ended at about 2 AM, peacefully in a southern Indiana nursing home.  (Ironically, he was scheduled to be released later today.)  He had so many issues, from dementia to renal failure to congestive heart failure, that it would be difficult for me as a layperson to guess a cause of death.

Samuel Raizor gave me more than an unusual last name and a big brother whom I still admire with that kid sister hero-worship mentality.  Born in the early part of the Depression, in 1930, my dad grew up knowing hard work.  As a child, I remember taking trips to his dad's and brother's farms to hang tobacco (this is Kentucky, remember), quite the laborious chore.  As I came along he put up chain link fences as his primary job.  He was also in the Kentucky National Guard.

What I have firmly engrained in my DNA from my father is a love of country music.  And I mean country music.  If you notice on the bi-monthly list of birthdays and death dates, there's hardly a newer mainstream country act listed.  That's because my dad would have told you that their music, in the words of Bob at the Country Bunker in The Blues Brothers, "ain't no Hank Williams song!"  And I heartily concur.

Dad got to see all the big acts who came through Louisville in the 40s and 50s, when they'd play at the old Armory.  He saw a raw Faron Young, he told me once, and said he knew almost immediately that Faron would become big.  

Our relationship, admittedly, was -- as the Facebook status says -- complicated.  Certainly it wasn't anything on the order of what the great songwriter Rodney Crowell detailed in his book Chinaberry Sidewalks, but we had our moments.  Fences were broken and the bridges were burned more than once in our lives, and yet love and time allowed new bridges and new fences.  Despite the fact that we had "issues" (and it's a rare person in this world who doesn't have them with one or both parents at one point in their lives), I can sit here today and thank God that I never feared some of the horrible things that fathers do to their children (daughters especially) these days.

I also thank God that we did have the opportunities to mend those fences and rebuild those bridges.  As Crowell wrote in "Things I Wish I'd Said," the touching song about his father's death:

And I thank my lucky stars
We had a chance to heal our scars
Now I don't have to hang my head
Over things I wish I'd said.

Samuel Raizor was 87.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Dates of Note in Country Music, February 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; OTF=Old Time Fiddler; RR=also in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)

February 1:

Don Everly (CM 01, NS 01, RR 86, GLA 97) born in Brownie, Kentucky, 1937 (now 81)
Ray Sawyer of Dr. Hook born in Chicksaw, Alabama, 1937 (now 81)
Del McCoury (BG 11) born in Bakersville, North Carolina, 1939 (now 79)

Tom Gray of the Country Gentlemen (BG 96) born in Chicago, Illinois, 1941 (now 77)
Lisa Marie Presley born in Memphis, Tennessee, 1968 (now 50)

Jason Isbell born in Green Hill, Alabama, 1979 (now 39)
Scotty Wiseman (NS 71) died in Gainesville, Florida (heart attack), 1981 (was 71)

February 2:

Howard Bellamy of the Bellamy Brothers born in Darby, Florida, 1946 (now 72)
Emmett Miller born in Macon, Georgia, 1900 (died 1962)
Lester McFarland of Mac & Bob born in Gray, Kentucky, 1902 (died 1984)

Glenn Barber born in Hollis, Oklahoma, 1935 (died 2008)
Rusty Kershaw born in Tiel Ridge, Louisiana, 1938 (died 2001)
Jimmie Crawford (StG 00) died in Nashville, Tennessee (unknown cause), 2005 (was 69)
Louise Scruggs (BG 10) died in Nashville Tennessee, 2006 (was 78)

February 3:

Dave Rich born in Briar Creek, Kentucky, 1936 (now 82). Ernest Tubb heard a recording of Rich's and hounded friend Ray Price throughout a game of golf to record the song. The song? "City Lights."
Matraca Berg (NS 08) born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1964 (now 54)
Betty Foley, daughter and one-time duet partner of Red Foley, born in Chicago, Illinois, 1933 (died 1990)
Jiles Perry "J.P." Richardson ("The Big Bopper") died near Clear Lake, Iowa (plane crash), 1959 (was 28)
Buddy Holly (NS 94, RR 86; GLA 97) died near Clear Lake, Iowa (plane crash), 1959 (was 22)
James Blackwood of the Blackwood Brothers Quartet (SG 97) died in Memphis, Tennessee (stroke), 2002 (was 83). He was the last original member of the legendary quartet.

February 4:

Clint Black born in Long Branch, New Jersey, 1962 (now 56)
Chris McDaniel of Confederate Railroad born in Rock Springs, Georgia, 1965 (now 53)
Vic McAlpin (NS 70) born in Defeated Creek, Tennessee, 1918 (died 1980)
Kenneth "Jethro" Burns (CM 01) died in Evanston, Illinois (prostate cancer), 1989 (was 68)
Tom Brumley (StG 92) of Buck Owens' Buckaroos died in San Antonio, Texas (heart ailment), 2009 (was 62)

February 5:

Sara Evans born in Boonville, Missouri, 1971 (now 47)

Shelby David "Tex" Atchison born in Rosine, Kentucky, 1912 (died 1982)
Claude King born in Shreveport, Louisiana, 1923 (died 2013)
Henson Cargill born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 1941 (died 2007)
Eddy Noack died (cerebral hemorrhage), 1978 (was 47)

February 6:

Dale Reno of the Reno Brothers born in Roanoke, Virginia, 1961 (now 57)
Richie McDonald of Lonestar born in Lubbock, Texas, 1962 (now 56)
Anita Cochran born in Pontiac, Michigan, 1967 (now 51)

Jim Bowles (OTF) born in Rock Bridge, Kentucky, 1903 (died 1993)
Violet Koehler of the original Coon Creek Girls born in Wilton, Wisconsin, 1916 (died 1973)

Merle Kilgore (NS 98) died in Nashville, Tennessee (cancer), 2005 (was 70)
Frankie Laine died in San Diego, California (complications from hip replacement surgery), 2007 (was 93)

February 7:

Tony Booth born in Tampa, Florida, 1943 (now 75)
Garth Brooks (CM 12, NS 11) born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, 1962 (now 56)
Wilma Lee Cooper born in Valley Head, West Virginia, 1921 (died 2011)
Warren Smith born in Humphreys County, Mississippi, 1933 (died 1980)
Ambrose Allen of the Allen Brothers born in Sewanee, Tennessee, 1901 (died 1959)
Dale Evans died in Happy Valley, California (congestive heart failure), 2001 (was 88)
Molly Bee died in Oceanside, California (complications of a stroke), 2009 (was 68)
Patsy Cline's last recording session, Nashville, 1963. The last song she recorded was a cover of Moon Mullican's "I'll Sail My Ship Alone."
Jim Reeves recorded "Four Walls" in Nashville, 1957. This song is said by many to be the beginning of the "Nashville Sound."

February 8:

Don Wayne Reno of the Reno Brothers born in Roanoke, Virginia, 1963 (now 55)
Pappy Daily born in Yoakum, Texas, 1902 (died 1987)
Bob Dunn (StG 92) born in Fort Gibson, Oklahoma, 1908 (died 1971). Dunn is credited as being the first country musician to use amplification for his instrument.

Dan Seals born in McCamey, Texas, 1948 (died 2009)
Merle Watson born in Deep Gap, North Carolina, 1949 (died 1985)
Lulu Belle Wiseman died (Alzheimer's disease), 1999 (was 84)

Pauline "Mom" Lewis of the Lewis Family (BG 06) died in Washington, Georgia (illness), 2003 (was 92)
Keith Knudsen of Southern Pacific died in California (chronic pneumonia), 2005 (was 56)

February 9:

Joe Ely born in Amarillo, Texas, 1947 (now 71)
Travis Tritt born in Marietta, Georgia, 1963 (now 55)
Ernest Tubb (CM 65, NS 70) born in Crisp, Texas, 1914 (died 1984)

Red Lane (NS 93) born in Zona, Louisiana, 1939 (died 2015)
Charles K. Wolfe (BG 09) died in Murfreesboro, Tennessee (complications of diabetes), 2006 (was 62)

February 10:

George York of the York Brothers born in Louisa, Kentucky, 1910 (died 1974)

Arthur Satherley (CM 71) died in Fountain Valley, California (natural causes), 1986 (was 96)
Kendall Hayes died in Louisville, Kentucky (cancer), 1995 (was 59)
Jim Varney died in White House, Tennessee (lung cancer), 2000 (was 50)

February 11:

Wayma "Pee Wee" Whitewing (StG 02) born in Reichert, Oklahoma, 1934 (now 84)

Wesley Rose (CM 86) born in Chicago, Illinois, 1918 (died 1980)
Kim Williams (NS 12) died in Panama City, Florida (unknown cause), 2016 (was 68)

February 12:

Moe Bandy born in Meridian, Mississippi, 1944 (now 74)
Stephen Sholes (CM 67) born in Washington, DC, 1911 (died 1968)
Harley "Red" Allen (BG 05) born in Pigeon Roost, Kentucky, 1930 (died 1993)
Lorne Greene born in Ottawa, Ontario, 1915 (died 1987). The legendary actor hit the Billboard top 40 country charts in 1964 with "Ringo."

Barney Isaacs Jr. (StG 99) died (unknownd cause), 1996 (was 69)
Sammi Smith died in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (emphysema), 2005 (was 61)

Mosie Lister (SG 97) died in Spring Hill, Tennessee (natural causes), 2015 (was 93)

February 13:

David McLaughlin of the Johnson Mountain Boys born in Washington, DC, 1958 (now 60)
Tennessee Ernie Ford (CM 90) born in Bristol, Tennessee, 1919 (died 1991)
Boudleaux Bryant (CM 91, NS 72) born in Shellman, Georgia, 1920 (died 1987)
Jim McReynolds of Jim & Jesse (BG 93) born in Coeburn, Virginia, 1927 (died 2003)
Charlie Moore born in Piedmont, South Carolina, 1935 (died 1979)
Buddy Lee died in Nashville, Tennessee (cancer), 1998 (was 65)
Waylon Jennings (CM 01, NS 95) died in Chandler, Arizona (complications of diabetes), 2002 (was 64)

February 14:

Tom Bradshaw (StG 06) born in Skiatook, Oklahoma, 1935 (now 83)

Razzy Bailey born in Five Points, Alabama, 1939 (now 79)
Bill Nowlin (BG 16), co-founder of Rounder Records, born in Boston, Massachusetts, 1945 (now 73)
Harry Stone born in Jacksonville, Florida, 1898 (died 1968)
Lonnie Glosson born in Judsonia, Arkansas, 1908 (died 2001)
Buck Griffin died in Oklahoma (heart failure), 2009 (was 85)

February 15:

Wally Fowler born in Adairsville, Georgia, 1917 (died 1994)

Hank Locklin born in McLellan, Florida, 1918 (died 2009)
Louise Scruggs (BG 10) born in Lebanon, Tennessee, 1927 (died 2006)
Dorris Macon died (suicide), 1981 (was 71)
Nat "King" Cole died in Santa Montica, California (lung cancer), 1965 (was 45). The legendary pop crooner hit #1 on the Billboard country charts in 1944 (with the King Cole Trio) with the song "Straighten Up and Fly Right."

Monday, January 15, 2018

Dates of Note in Country Music, January 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; OTF=Old Time Fiddler; GLA=Grammy Lifetime Achievement recipient; RR=also inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)

January 16:

Ronnie Milsap (CM 14) born in Robbinsville, North Carolina, 1943 (now 75)
Jim Stafford born in Eloise, Florida, 1944 (now 74)
Sandy Pinkard of Pinkard & Bowden born in Abbeville, Louisiana, 1947 (now 71)

Roy Lanham born in Corbin, Kentucky, 1923 (died 1991)
Ruby Falls born in Jackson, Tennessee, 1946 (died 1986)

Dizzy Dean born in Lucas, Arkansas, 1910 (died 1974). The legendary baseball player is credited with dubbing Roy Acuff "King of Country Music."
Carl Smith (CM 03) died in Nashville, Tennessee (stroke), 2010 (was 82)
Bill Monroe seriously injured in a car wreck, 1953. Monroe was away from performing for six months while recovering.

Jimmy Buffett's private plane was shot at by Jamaican authorities, 1996.  The Jamaican police mistook Buffett's plane for one belonging to a drug kingpin.  No one on board Buffett's plane was injured.

January 17:

Steve Earle born in Fort Monroe, Virginia, 1955 (now 63)

Amanda Wilkinson of the Wilkinsons born in Belleville, Ontario, 1982 (now 36)
Walter Bailes of the Bailes Brothers born in Kanawha County, West Virginia, 1920 (died 2000)
Grady Martin born in Marshall County, Tennessee, 1929 (died 2001)
Cliffie Stone (CM 89) died in his home in Saugus, California (heart attack), 1998 (was 80)
Frank "Hylo" Brown died in Mechanicsburg, Ohio (natural causes), 2003 (was 81)
The street in front of Graceland renamed "Elvis Presley Boulevard," 1972

January 18:

Hargus "Pig" Robbins (CM 12) born in Spring City, Tennessee, 1938 (now 80)
Mark Collie born in Waynesboro, Tennessee, 1956 (now 62)

Linda Parker of the Cumberland Ridge Runners born in Covington, Kentucky, 1912 (died 1935)
Bobby Edwards born in Aniston, Alabama, 1926 (died 2012)
Eddie Hill (DJ 75) died (long-term illness), 1994 (was 74)
Glenn Frey died in New York, New York (pneumonia/complications of ulcerative colitis surgery), 2016 (was 67)

January 19:

Stu Phillips born in Montreal, Quebec, 1933 (now 85)
Dolly Parton (CM 99, NS 86; GLA 11) born in Locast Ridge, Tennessee, 1946 (now 72)
Stephanie Davis born in Bridger, Montana, 1958 (now 60)
Dennie Crouch of the Nashville Bluegrass Band born in Strawberry, Arkansas, 1967 (now 41)
Leo Soileau born in Ville Platte, Louisiana, 1904 (died 1980)
Ken Nelson (CM 01) born in Caledonia, Minnesota, 1911 (died 2008)

Oscar Sullivan born in Edmonton, Kentucky, 1919 (died 2012)
Charlie Waller of the Country Gentlemen (BG 96) born in Joinerville, TX, 1935 (died 2004)
Phil Everly (CM 01, NS 01; RR 86; GLA 97) born in Chicago, Illinois, 1939 (died 2014)
Ralph Peer (CM 84) died in Los Angeles, California (pneumonia), 1960 (was 67)
Vic McAlpin (NS 70) died in Nashville, Tennessee (unknown cause), 1980 (was 61)
Carl Perkins (NS 85; RR 87) died in Jackson, Tennessee (complications of stroke/throat cancer), 1998 (was 65)

James O'Gwynn died in Hattiesburg, Mississippi (long-term illness), 2011 (was 82)
George Jones' first recording session (for Starday), 1954

January 20:

John Michael Montgomery born in Danville, Kentucky, 1965 (now 53)

Huddie "Leadbelly" Leadbetter (NS 80; RR 88) born in Mooringsport, Louisiana, 1889 (died 1949).  The year of Leadbelly's birth is open for debate, as is the actual day, with numerous sources citing January 20, January 21, or January 23, and years of 1888 or 1889.
George Burns born in New York, New York, 1896 (died 1996). The legendary comedian and actor had a top 20 country song in 1980 with "I Wish I Was Eighteen Again."
Slim Whitman born in Tampa, Florida, 1924 (died 2013)
Larry Butler died in Pensacola, Florida (natural causes), 2012 (was 69)

January 21:

Mac Davis (NS 00) born in Lubbock, Texas, 1942 (now 76)
Jim Ibbottson of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1947 (now 71)

Cedric Rainwater (BG 07) died in Nashville, Tennessee (heart attack), 1970 (was 56)
Jim Anglin died in Nashville, Tennessee (cancer), 1987 (was 73)
Colonel Tom Parker died in Las Vegas, Nevada (stroke), 1997 (was 87). In addition to Elvis, Parker managed Eddy Arnold, Hank Snow, and Minnie Pearl early in their careers.
Patsy Cline appeared on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts and won the talent show,1957

January 22:

J.P. Pennington of Exile born in Berea, Kentucky, 1949 (now 69)

Teddy Gentry (CM 05) born in Fort Payne, Alabama, 1952 (now 66)
Dickie McBride of Cliff Bruner's Texas Wanderers born in New Baden, Texas, 1914 (died 1971)
Jimmy Day died in Buda, Texas (cancer), 1999 (was 65)
Janette Carter, the last surviving member of the Carter Family, died in Kingsport, Tennessee (Parkinson's disease/illness), 2006 (was 82)

January 23:

Etta May born in Bald Knob, Arkansas, 1962 (now 56)
Johnny Russell (NS 01) born in Sunflower County, Mississippi, 1940 (died 2001)
T. Texas Tyler died in Springfield, Missouri (stomach cancer), 1972 (was 55)

Rev. Thomas A. Dorsey (NS 79; SG 13) died in Chicago, Illinois (Alzheimer's disease), 1993 (was 93)
Art Stamper died in Louisville, Kentucky (throat cancer), 2005 (was 71)
Johnny Carson died in Hollywood, California (emphysema), 2005 (was 79). Carson had a number of country artists on The Tonight Show, including over two dozen appearances by Homer and Jethro, who Carson considered among his favorite guests.

Curtis Potter died in Abilene, Texas (pneumonia), 2016 (was 75)
The Winter Dance Party began in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1959. Three of the headliners, Buddy Holly, J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson, and Ritchie Valens, would die 11 days later.

January 24:

Doug Kershaw born in Tiel Ridge, Louisiana, 1936 (now 82)
Jack Scott born in Windsor, Ontario, 1936 (now 82)
Ray Stevens (NS 80) born in Clarksdale, Georgia, 1939 (now 79)
Becky Hobbs born in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, 1950 (now 68)
Keech Rainwater of Lonestar born in Plano, Texas, 1963 (now 55)

Warren Zevon born in Chicago, Illinois, 1947 (died 2001).  The folk-rock singer wrote "Poor Poor Pitiful Me," which was a hit on the country charts by both Linda Ronstadt and Terri Clark.  Zevon also had Dwight Yoakam on two albums and appeared in South of Heaven, West of Hell, which Yoakam directed and starred in.
Shot Jackson died in Nashville, Tennessee (complications of stroke), 1991 (was 70)
Justin Tubb died in Nashville, Tennessee (aortic aneurysm), 1998 (was 62)

January 25:

Claude Gray born in Henderson, Texas, 1932 (now 86)
Farrell "Rusty" Draper born in Kirksville, Missouri, 1923 (died 2003)
Speedy West (StG 80) born in Springfield, Missouri, 1924 (died 2003)
Cactus Jack Call died in Kansas City, Missouri (car wreck), 1963 (was 39).  A benefit concert for the disc jockey five weeks later would be the final performances by Patsy Cline, Hawkshaw Hawkins, and Cowboy Copas.

Buddy Charleton (StG 93) died in Austin, Texas (lung cancer), 2011 (was 72)

January 26:

Dave Rowland of Dave & Sugar born in Sanger, California, 1942 (now 76)
Lucinda Williams born in Lake Charles, Louisiana, 1953 (now 65)

James O'Gwynn born in Winchester, Mississippi, 1928 (died 2011)
Clayton McMichen born in Allatoona, Georgia, 1900 (died 1970)
Goebel Reeves died in Long Beach, California (heart attack), 1959 (was 59)

Charlie Louvin (CM 01, NS 79) died in Wartrace, Tennessee (pancreatic cancer), 2011 (was 83)
Hillary Clinton 
disparagingly invoked Tammy Wynette's "Stand By Your Man" during an interview, 1992

January 27:

Lee Carroll of Exile born in Glasgow, Kentucky, 1953 (now 65)
Cheryl White of the Whites born in Wichita Falls, Texas, 1955 (now 63)
Richard Young of the Kentucky Headhunters born in Glasgow, Kentucky, 1955 (now 63)
Tracy Lawrence born in Atlanta, Texas, 1968 (now 50)
Joe Callahan of the Callahan Brothers born in Madison County, North Carolina, 1910 (died 1971)

Buddy Emmons (SG 81) born in Mishawaka, Indiana, 1937 (died 2015)
Claude Akins died in Altadena, California (cancer), 1994 (was 67). Among the actor's roles was Sonny on the TV series Movin' On, which featured the title song performed by Merle Haggard.

January 28:

Greg Cook of Ricochet born in Vian, Oklahoma, 1965 (now 53)
Bill Phillips born in Canton, North Carolina, 1936 (died 2010)

Harlow Wilcox born in Norman, Oklahoma, 1943 (died 2002)
Skeeter Willis died in Nashville, Tennessee (lymph cancer), 1976 (was 58)
Al Dexter (NS 71) died in Denton, Texas (heart attack), 1984 (was 78)

Jim Bowles (OTF) died in Kentucky (pneumonia), 1993 (was 89)
Jimmy Fortune joined the Statler Brothers, 1982

January 29:

Patsy Sledd born in Falcon, Missouri, 1944 (now 74)
Irlene Mandrell of the Mandrell Sisters born in Corpus Christi, Texas, 1957 (now 61)

Lloyd Perryman of the Sons of the Pioneers born in Ruth, Arkansas, 1917 (died 1977)
Little Jimmy Sizemore born in Paintsville, Kentucky, 1928 (died 2014)

January 30:

Jeanne Pruett born in Pell City, Alabama, 1937 (now 81)
Norma Jean ("Pretty Miss Norma Jean") born in Wellston, Oklahoma, 1938 (now 80)
Harold Morrison born in High Lonesome, Missouri, 1931 (died 1993)
Melvin Endsley born in Drasco, Arkansas, 1934 (died 2004)
Ott Devine died in Nashville, Tennessee (unknown cause), 1994 (was 83)

January 31:

Lynwood Lunsford of Lost & Found born in Roxboro, North Carolina, 1962 (now 54)
Warren Smith died in Longview, Texas (heart attack), 1981 (was 47)

Doc Williams died in Wheeling, West Virginia (natural causes), 2011 (was 96)