Saturday, September 29, 2007

A Loving Tribute

Category: Review

One listen to most of the songs on Charlie Louvin's eponymous new album and it is painfully obvious that his voice is way past its prime. Louvin must be aware of this, as he has enlisted a number of artists as diverse as George Jones and Elvis Costello to help him through eleven old songs, most of them Louvin Brothers classics such as "When I Stop Dreaming" (where Costello shines and proves that he could have had a great career in country music) and "Must You Throw Dirt in My Face."

The other major problem with the new CD is that a number of these songs have been on every album Louvin has released in the past 20 years. "When I Stop Dreaming" has appeared on Louvin's last four releases, including two back-to-back albums he did with Charles Whitstein. Louvin has commented on a number of occasions that he feels he, not Ira, should've handled lead vocal chores on the Louvin Brothers' 1955 breakthrough hit, and apparently he's out to reissue the song on every album for the rest of his life in an attempt to prove his point. (Louvin first recorded a solo version of "When I Stop Dreaming" in 1967 on I'll Remember Always.)

With all its flaws, Charlie Louvin contains an absolute gem: "Ira," the only new song on the CD. On this song, Charlie pays tribute to his late brother (as he did on the title track of I'll Remember Always). In this case, his frail voice actually enhances the song. The old man singing the song is looking back on a long life, better of half of which has been spent without his only brother (the Louvin Brothers were the only two boys out of a family of seven children). The memories obviously haunt him ("Your voice is strong even though you're gone, 'cause I still hear your part"), and he sings as though he's getting a weight off his shoulders. This is obviously something Charlie had to sing, a mixture of praise for his late brother ("You had a way of writing songs from the heart") and acknowledgement that his own career is nearing its end ("One day soon I'll sing with you and the angels"). Charlie Louvin has been nominated for Grammy awards and his solo career generated better sales than the Louvin Brothers enjoyed during their career; however, he has never had a moment in his solo life to equal this.

For all the weak versions of Louvin Brothers classics on the CD Charlie Louvin, the song "Ira" is an must-hear. It is a loving memorial to one of the greatest singers and songwriters country music has known, performed by the only person who could deliver it with such emotion and heart.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Dates of Note in Country Music, October 1-15

Category: News

October 1:

Skeets McDonald born in Greenway, Arkansas, 1915 (died 1968)
Bonnie Owens born in Blanchard, Oklahoma, 1932 (died 2006)
Kelly Willis born in Lawton, Oklahoma, 1968 (now 39)

October 2:

Jo-El Sonnier born in Rayne, Louisiana, 1946 (now 61)
Tammy Sullivan born in Wagarville, Alabama, 1964 (now 43)
Chris LeDoux born in Biloxi, Mississippi, 1948 (died 2005)
Chubby Wise born in Lake City, Florida, 1915 (died 1996)
Gene Autry died (lymphoma), 1998 (was 91). The "Singing Cowboy" owned the Anaheim Angels, who dedicated their 2002 World Series victory to his memory.
Elvis Presley played the Grand Ole Opry, 1954

October 3:

Joe Allison born in McKinney, Texas, 1924 (died 2002)
Woody Guthrie died (Huntington's disease), 1967 (was 55). Among the folk singer's compositions were the Maddox Brothers and Rose's hit "Philadelphia Lawyer."
Del Wood died (stroke), 1989 (was 69)

October 4:

Leroy Van Dyke born in Spring Fork, Missouri, 1929 (now 78)
Larry Collins of the Collins Kids born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, 1944 (now 63)
Greg Hubbard of Sawyer Brown born in Orlando, Florida, 1960 (now 47)
Jerry Rivers died (cancer), 1996 (was 68)
A.L. "Doodle" Owens died (heart attack), 1999 (was 68)
Tammy Wynette claimed to have been kidnapped and beaten, 1978

October 5:

Radio station WSM born in Nashville at 650 on the AM dial, 1925 (now 82)
Margie Singleton born in Coushatta, Louisiana, 1935 (now 72)
Johnny Duncan born in Dublin, Texas, 1938 (died 2006)

October 6:

Kendall Hayes born in Perryville, Kentucky, 1935 (died 1995)
Tim Rushlow of Little Texas born in Arlington, Texas, 1966 (now 41)
Ted Daffan died (natural causes), 1996 (was 84)

October 7:

Dale Watson born in Birmingham, Alabama, 1962 (now 45)
Uncle Dave Macon 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)
Jim Halsey born in Independence, Kansas, 1930 (now 77)
Kieran Kane born in Queens, New York, 1949 (now 58)
Johnny Darrell died (diabetes complications), 1997 (was 57)
Jimmie Logsdon died (unknown cause), 2001 (was 79)

October 8:

Ricky Lee Phelps of the Kentucky Headhunters born in Paragould, Arkansas, 1953 (now 54)
Susan Raye born in Eugene, Oregon, 1944 (now 63)
Lynn Morris born in Lamesa, Texas, 1948 (now 59)
Jackie Frantz of Dave & Sugar born in Sidney, Ohio, 1950 (now 57)
Pete Drake born in Atlanta, Georgia, 1932 (died 1988)

October 9:

Goebel Reeves born in Sherman, Texas, 1899 (died 1969)

October 10:

John Prine born in Maywood, Illinois, 1946 (now 60)
Tanya Tucker born in Seminole, Texas, 1958 (now 49)

October 11:

Gene Watson born in Palestine, Texas, 1943 (now 64)
Paulette Carlson of Highway 101 born in Northfield, Minnesota, 1952 (now 55)
Dottie West born in McMinnville, Tennessee, 1932 (died 1991)
Rex Griffin died (tuberculosis), 1958 (was 46)
Tex Williams died (cancer), 1985 (was 68)
T. Tommy Cutrer died (heart attack), 1998 (was 74)

October 12:

Shane McAnally born in Mineral Wells, Texas, 1974 (now 33)
John Denver died (plane crash), 1997 (was 53)

October 13:

Rhett Akins born in Valdosta, Georgia, 1969 (now 38)
Lacy J. Dalton born in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, 1946 (now 61)
Anita Kerr born in Memphis, Tennessee, 1927 (now 80)
John Wiggins born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1962 (now 45)
Hoarce Lee Logan died (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."

October 14:

Kenny Roberts born in Lenoir City, Tennessee, 1926 (now 81)
Melba Montgomery born in Iron City, Tennessee, 1938 (now 69)
Bing Crosby died (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 ("Pistol Packin' Mama," 1944).

October 15:

Dean Miller born in Los Angeles, California, 1965 (now 42)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Sick Call: Hairl Hensley

Category: News

I read in Sista Smiff's blog that Hairl Hensley, Sirius Roadhouse host and former afternoon DJ and "Early Bird Gets the Bluegrass" host on Nashville's WSM-AM, is recovering from a heart attack and subsequent bypass surgery. My prayers certainly go out for a speedy recovery.

Hairl Hensley has a very warped sense of humor. One of my favorite tales about him is a slight re-write he did of tractor maker Massey-Ferguson's commercials on the Grand Ole Opry. He didn't mean any harm, he just did an abbreviation. Massey-Ferguson officials reportedly weren't that appreciative to hear Hairl saying, "Make sure you stop by your local M.F. dealer." Not the best way to sell a tractor, perhaps, but very funny.

I've met Hairl a few times. He's a fun and funny, gracious gentleman who is a treasure chest of country music knowledge. Here's hoping he's back on Sirius Roadhouse (channel 62, or 6062 on Dish TV satellite) soon!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Kentucky's Music

Category: Tourism/Opinion

You take a K and an E,
An N and a T, a U and a C-K-Y,
That spells "Kentucky"
But it means paradise
--Merle Travis, "Kentucky Means Paradise"

Kentucky is probably not destination number one in a music travelogue. That's a shame, and I blame our tourism department for failing to acknowledge the vast and varied contributions this state has made to the world of music. They are making strides, but it's going to take some time for Kentucky's tourism to crow about Central City and Van Lear the way Tennessee boasts about Nashville and Memphis.

Bluegrass music should be hyped to no end in Kentucky. After all, Bill Monroe could have named them the "Hoosier Boys" instead of the "Bluegrass Boys" (his festival was in Bean Blossom, Indiana, after all). Sad to say, local bluegrass shows are not well attended. A three-day "Bluegrass On the Ohio" (BOTO) festival held in 2006 was cancelled in 2007 (lack of funds according to their web site, which usually means "bad ticket sales"). That makes me want to cry. People will travel from all over the world to attend a bluegrass show (the International Bluegrass Music Association's annual convention and Fan Fest were held in Louisville from 1997 through 2003, and people did travel from all over the world to attend), but people in the state that gave the world the "Father of Bluegrass" cannot drive five miles to support the music. IBMA's Museum and Hall of Honor is also in Kentucky, located in Owensboro. The city was the one-time home of IBMA's offices and the original home of the IBMA convention and Fan Fest. Everything except the museum has since moved to Nashville.

Thankfully, the eastern Kentucky region, which has provided so many country greats, has taken great strides to promote the region and the stars who came from there. US Highway 23 has been renamed "Country Music Highway." Eastern Kentucky is the home of Loretta Lynn, Crystal Gayle, Dwight Yoakam, Ricky Skaggs, the Osborne Brothers, Hylo Brown, Keith Whitley, the Judds, Patty Loveless, Billy Ray Cyrus, and Gary Stewart. (Tom T. Hall is from nearby Olive Hill, Kentucky; however, Route 23 does not run through that city, so he is not included in the road markers.) Good for eastern Kentucky!

The western region of Kentucky could do something similar. Merle Travis and the Everly Brothers are from the same part of Kentucky (the area John Prine immortalized in "Paradise"), not too far from where Bill Monroe was born. In the same region is Madisonville, where the famed Southern Gospel great group the Happy Goodmans was formed. Niagara, Kentucky (in Henderson County) is the birthplace of Grandpa Jones.

Then there's the largest city in Kentucky. According to Randy Atcher's biography, Louisville rivaled Nashville in the 30s for country music supremacy. Pee Wee King was headquartered here. Randy and his brother Bob, regulars on WLS's "National Barn Dance" throughout the 30s, were Louisville natives (and Randy returned to the Derby City after his stint in the service during World War II to become a local legend). The local television program Hayloft Hoedown (which Atcher hosted on WASH television) featured numerous national country performers. Even as late as the 1960s, Opry star Stu Phillips taped his syndicated television show at the studios of WAVE.

And I've not mentioned Skeeter Davis (born in Dry Ridge), Stringbean (Annville), John Conlee (Versailles -- yes, we have a Versailles here; also Paris, London, and Brandenburg!), folk singer Mary Travers of Peter, Paul and Mary (Louisville), Vince Gill's first band, the Bluegrass Alliance (Louisville), Red Foley (Berea), the late Boots Randolph (Paducah), and George Clooney's aunt, Rosemary (Maysville), who did a very good version of Carl Smith's hit "If Teardrops Were Pennies" (in fact, Porter and Dolly's version is closer in arragement to her upbeat rendition than Smith's original).

We now have a Kentucky Music Hall of Fame, located in Renfro Valley. The Hall of Fame and Museum is young, a work in progress, but it is a welcome -- and long overdue -- acknowledgement of the vast wealth of musical talent that has emerged from the Bluegrass State.

Three cheers for Kentucky, a definite vacation spot for fans of country and bluegrass music. Maybe one day you'll drive past Rosine on the Bill Monroe Parkway or get off I-65 to head to western Kentucky on the Everly Brothers Parkway. Right now, those parkways are all named for state politicians, but perhaps one day the politicians will stop patting themselves on the back and name these highways for the legends who took their talents to the world and, in the process, put "the dearest land outside of Heaven to me" (as Karl Davis wrote in the song "Kentucky") on the musical map.

International Bluegrass Music Museum/Hall of Honor Site

Kentucky Music Hall of Fame and Museum site

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Bluegrass Musician Larry Fuller Dies

Category: News

Bluegrass musician Larry Fuller, well-known in Kentucky and throughout bluegrass, was killed Saturday (9/22) when fire engulfed his tour bus. He was 58.

The fire broke out on Fuller's tour bus, which was parked next to his home in Richmond, Kentucky, about 2 AM Saturday morning. He was scheduled to play in Williamstown, Kentucky Saturday evening. Flames spread to his house, but no one in the house was injured.

Fuller was inducted into the George D. Hay Hall of Fame in Arkansas last year in honor of a career that began in the 1970s while Fuller was a coal miner. A mining injury left him unable to work in the mines any longer but also allowed him to pursue music full-time.

Richmond Register story

WTVQ Lexington story

WKYT story

Larry Fuller's web site

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Who is Bobby Braddock and Why Am I Saying All These Nice Things About Him?

Category: Personal

The chorus of an old Freddie Hart song sums up how I feel about this past Saturday: "I just took a trip to heaven, I didn't even have to die."

Sharon Cobb asked me to cover Bobby Braddock's appearance at the Country Music Hall of Fame's Ford Theater for her blog (which I did). The experience was beyond description. Braddock, a Nashville Songwriters Hall of Famer, discussed his autobiography Down in Orburndale: A Songwriter's Youth in Old Florida (published by LSU press, 2007) and many of the songs he has written. If you have listened to country music in the past 40 years, you've heard a Braddock composition. In fact, he has contributed two songs to pop culture, songs that people who don't even know or care about country music have heard (or at least heard of): "D-I-V-O-R-C-E" by Tammy Wynette and "He Stopped Loving Her Today" by George Jones. Other Braddock hits: "Her Name Is...." (Jones), "I Wanna Talk About Me" (Toby Keith), "Time Marches On" (Tracy Lawrence), "Bleep You" (Cal Smith), and "(We're Not) The Jet Set" (Jones and Wynette), a song that's become part of a Chevy commercial (with Dale Earnardt Jr. driving in a convertible singing along to the song's punch line, "We're not the jet set, we're the old Chevrolet [pronounced shev-ro-LET] set, but ain't we got love").

This was a two-for-one special, as I found myself sitting right behind another living songwriting legend, John D. Loudermilk (who wrote "Waterloo," "Abilene," "Break My Mind," 2003 bluegrass song of the year "Blue Train [of the Heartbreak Line]," "Talk Back Trembling Lips," and a list of songs longer than Braddock's only because he had a ten-year jump on Braddock). Bob McDill (writer of "Amanda," one of the most beautiful love songs you'll ever hear, "Catfish John," and a few hundred others) was also in attendance, as was cult singer/songwriter Marshall Chapman (author of the title track from Jimmy Buffett's album Last Mango in Paris). When songwriters show up on a beautiful late summer afternoon to listen to "one of their own," it speaks volumes to the respect Bobby Braddock has in the Nashville community.

As well he should have. Appearing almost shy and, by his own admission, a little nervous, he performed five of his songs ("I Lobster and Never Flounder," "Time Marches On," "I Wanna Talk About Me," "The Nerve," and "He Stopped Loving Her Today") and shared stories of his life as a songwriter, band member (his Nashville career began playing piano for Marty Robbins, and Robbins was the first to record a Braddock composition), and now author and producer (he produces Blake Shelton's albums and can be seen in two of his videos, "Ol' Red" and "Some Beach"). He talked for over an hour and a half, dosing out a healthy amount of humor. (The funniest moment was Braddock recounting a program director being offended by Braddock's song "Dolly Parton's Hits" ["bouncing up the charts" as the lyrics say] and telling him so, to which Braddock replied [complete with self-editing], "Well, perhaps you'll like my next song. It's called 'Porter Wagoner's blank.'")

While the Ford Theater only held about 200 people (it was full), this should have been held at Adelphia Stadium -- with the stadium filled to capacity. Bobby Braddock, although still relatively young (he just turned 67 in August, and certainly looks much younger than his years), is a certified legend in country music. While he joked that he was "always open to getting things I don't deserve," in truth he deserves the attention. "I Wanna Talk About Me" hitting #1 made Braddock one of the very few songwriters to have #1 hits in five decades. Unless things change, we're not likely to see that quality and quantity of songwriter in country music again.

Thanks, Sharon, for asking me to cover the event; and thank you, Bobby Braddock, for all those incredible songs.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

An Exhibit or a Taste of Things to Come?

Category: Opinion

This weekend I went to the Country Music Hall of Fame for the first time since the day the new location opened in 2001. A scary sight greeted me: a Ray Charles exhibit. Something tells me this is a lobbying effort of sorts to get Charles inducted into the Hall of Fame, as I have heard people asking for Charles to be inducted for at least ten years. With every fiber in my country-loving soul, I beg those anonymous voters: DON'T DO IT!!!!

Ray Charles was an absolute certified legend. NO question. Anyone who thinks otherwise simply does not know music. That is not my concern, lest anyone think otherwise.

No, my issue is that the great Ray Charles is not a country legend. Oh, yes, he recorded Don Gibson's "I Can't Stop Loving You" on his landmark 1962 album Modern Sounds in Country Music. One album or song, however, does not a Hall of Famer make.

First, Ray Charles was not the first non-country performer to do a country song. In fact, the very first song to top the Billboard "Hillbilly and Western" singles chart in 1944 was Bing Crosby and the Andrew Sisters' rendition of Al Dexter's "Pistol Packin' Mama." That's right, a pop cover hit #1 before Dexter's own version. Crosby was also referenced in Hank Thompson's "Wake Up, Irene" ("Even Crosby too, with his boo-boo-ba-boopty-doo / Tried to get Irene to hit the hay"). Neither of these facts makes Bing Crosby Country Music Hall of Fame material.

Other non-country acts have done country albums or performed duets with country artists. Gene Pitney did two albums of duets with George Jones (and a third country duets album with Melba Montgomery). Elvis Costello has performed with everyone from Ricky Skaggs to Charlie Louvin, and Johnny Cash has covered his songs. Costello's Almost Blue album would be banned by modern country radio for being TC (Too Country). None of this makes them worthy of induction (although if one wants to put a rocker in, Costello is most qualified).

Second, Ray Charles was not country. Check out his show-stopping "Shake a Tail Feather" in The Blues Brothers, and if you think that's country I'll eat your cowboy hat at Hank Williams' grave. Good? Without question. That number and Aretha Franklin's "Think" are worth the price of admission alone. But COUNTRY? Not even by today's standards.

Third, other halls of fame do not induct people outside the genre unless there is a legitimate reason to do so. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, for instance, has inducted a number of country artists -- as early influences on rock and roll. Only Johnny Cash (a rockabilly pioneer) has been inducted as a performer. I don't see the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame tripping over themselves to induct Don Gibson because he wrote "I Can't Stop Loving You." And, you know what? They shouldn't. Yes, Gibson made the pop charts (he had four top 40 hits, the biggest in terms of chart success being "Oh, Lonesome Me" in 1958), but that doesn't make him a rock and roll legend. It takes a career, not a flash.

Fourthly, there are numerous people who cannot by any stretch of the imagination be considered anything except country who have yet to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Al Dexter, Pop Stoneman, Ferlin Husky, Jean Shepard, and Hank Locklin are long overdue for induction. It's bad enough that Elvis Presley was inducted before these people (even though there is far greater a legitimate argument for Presley's inclusion than for the induction of Ray Charles). Let's get the country people in first, then we can debate people like Ray Charles, Gram Parsons, and Bob Dylan and whether they belong.

Finally, consider public perception. The only hall of fame that wants you laughing as you leave is the Comedy Hall of Fame. When you mention Ray Charles to the overwhelming majority of people, they associate him with R&B or rock and roll, not country. (Sure, he did a duet with Willie Nelson, but who hasn't? If a duet with Willie Nelson makes one "country," the Hall of Fame needs to start setting up the Julio Iglesias exhibit!) People would scratch their head over a Ray Charles Country Music Hall of Fame induction the same way they would -- and rightfully so -- if a jazz hall of fame inducted Danny Davis and the Nashville Brass or Barry Manilow was put in a heavy metal hall of fame.

I mentioned in an earlier piece ("SIRIUS Problems") that people seem determined to redefine country music in ways that the people they're trying to redefine as country never imagined. I pointed out that some people today consider Lynyrd Skynyrd "country," while the band themselves never considered themselves anything but a rock and roll band. Ray Charles is an R&B legend and an American treasure. What he is not was Country Music Hall of Fame material.

Dates of Note in Country Music, September 16-30

Category: News

September 16:

Ralph Mooney born in Duncan, Oklahoma, 1928 (now 79)
David Bellamy of the Bellamy Brothers born in Darby, Florida, 1950 (now 57)
Sheb Wooley died (leukemia), 2003 (was 82)

September 17:

Hank Williams born in Mount Olive, Alabama, 1923 (died 1953)
John 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 born, 1931

September 18:

Ervin T. Rouse born in Craven County, North Carolina, 1917 (died 1981)
Priscilla Mitchell born in Marietta, Georgia, 1941 (now 66)
Carl Jackson born in Louisville, Mississippi, 1953 (now 54)

September 19:

Clyde Moody born in Cherokee, North Carolina, 1915 (died 1989)
Trisha Yearwood born in Monticello, Georgia, 1964 (now 43)
Red Foley died (heart attack), 1968 (was 58)
Gram Parsons died (drug overdose), 1973 (was 26)
Skeeter Davis died (cancer), 2004 (was 72)
Slim Dusty ("Australian king of country music") died (cancer), 2003 (was 76)

September 20:

Pearl Butler born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1927 (died 1988)
Karl Farr died (heart attack), 1961 (was 52)
Steve Goodman died (leukemia), 1983 (was 36). The folk singer/songwriter was posthumously awarded a Grammy for "Best Country Song" for Willie Nelson's version of "City of New Orleans."

September 21:

Faith Hill born in Jackson, Mississippi, 1967 (now 40)
Dickey Lee born in Memphis, Tennessee, 1936 (now 71)
Ronna Reeves born in Big Spring, Texas, 1966 (now 41)
Ted Daffan born in Beauregard Parish, Louisiana, 1912 (died 1996)
Walter Brennan died (emphysema), 1974 (was 80). Among the actor's charted hits were "Old Rivers" and a version of Bill Anderson's "Mama Sang a Song."
Kenny Starr born in Topeka, Kansas, 1952 (now 55)

September 22:

Debby Boone born in Hackensack, New Jersey, 1956 (now 51). The "You Light Up My Life" singer is Red Foley's granddaughter.

September 23:

Roy Drusky died (emphysema), 2004 (was 74)
Bradley Kincaid died (natural causes), 1989 (was 94)
O.B. McClinton died (cancer), 1987 (was 45)
Jimmy Wakely died (emphysema), 1982 (was 68)

September 24:

Rosalie Allen died (congestive heart failure), 2003 (was 79)

September 25:

Royce Kendall born in St. Louis, Missouri, 1934 (died 1998)
Larry Sparks born in Lebanon, Ohio, 1947 (now 60)

September 26:

Marty Robbins born in Glendale, Arizona, 1925 (died 1982)
David Frizzell born in El Dorado, Arkansas, 1941 (now 66)
Lynn Anderson born in Grand Forks, North Dakota, 1947 (now 60)
Carlene Carter born in Madison, Tennessee, 1955 (now 52)
Doug Supernaw born in Bryan, Texas, 1960 (now 47)

September 27:

Uncle Josh Graves born in Tellico Plains, Tennessee, 1928 (died 2006)
Charlie Monroe died (cancer), 1975 (was 72)

September 28:

Johnny Mathis born in Maud, Texas, 1933 (now 64). Because of the rise of a pop singer by the same name, Mathis became known as "Country Johnny Mathis."
Jerry Clower born in Liberty, Mississippi, 1926 (died 1998)
Ronnie Reno born in Buffalo, South Carolina, 1947 (now 60)
Tommy Collins born in Bethany, Oklahoma, 1930 (died 2000)
Mandy Barnett born in Crossville, Tennessee, 1975 (now 32)
Joseph Falcon born in Rayne, Louisiana, 1900 (died 1965). Falcon is credited with the first Cajun recording (1928).
Jim Boyd (of Bill Boyd and the Cowboy Ramblers) born in Fannin County, Texas, 1914 (died 1993)
Laurie Lewis born in Long Beach, California, 1950 (now 57).
Johnny Horton married Billie Jean Williams (widow of Hank Williams), 1953

September 29:

Jerry Lee Lewis born in Ferriday, Louisiana, 1935 (now 72)
Gene Autry 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 (natural causes), 2003 (was 85)
Mickey Newbury died (lung disease), 2002 (was 62)

September 30:

Richard Bowden born in Linden, Texas, 1945 (now 62)
Deborah Allen born in Memphis, Tennessee, 1953 (now 54)
Marty Stuart born in Philadelphia, Mississippi, 1958 (now 49)
Mary Ford died (diabetes complications), 1977 (was 53)
Billboard magazine changed the name of the "Hillbilly and Western" chart to the "Country and Western" chart, 1950. Ernest Tubb is considered by many to be responsible for this, claiming that "hillbilly" was a derogatory term.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Dates of Note in Country Music, September 1-15

Category: News

September 1

Boxcar Willie 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 born in Friars Point, Mississippi, 1933 (died 1993)

September 2

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)

September 3

Tompall Glaser born in Spalding, Nebraska, 1933 (now 74)
Jimmy Riddle born in Dyersburg, Tennessee, 1918 (now 89)
Hank Thompson born in Waco, Texas, 1925 (now 82)

September 4

Shot Jackson born in Wilmington, North Carolina, 1920 (died 1991)
Dottie West died (injuries from a car wreck), 1991 (was 58)
Carl Butler died (heart attack), 1992 (was 65)

September 5

The Country Music Association was founded, 1958

September 6

Mark Chesnutt born in Beaumont, Texas, 1963 (now 44)
David Allan Coe born in Akron, Ohio, 1939 (now 68)
Jeff Foxworthy born in Atlanta, Georgia, 1958 (now 49)
Mel McDaniel born in Checotah, Oklahoma, 1942 (now 65)
Zeke Clements born in Warrior, Alabama, 1911 (died 1994)
Ernest Tubb died (complications from emphysema), 1984 (was 70)
Autry Inman died (unknown cause), 1988 (was 59)
Roy Huskey Jr. died (cancer), 1997 (was 41)

September 7

Ronnie Dove born in Herndon, Virginia, 1940 (now 67)
Hubert Long died (brain tumor), 1972 (was 48)

September 8

Milton Brown born in Stephenville, Texas, 1903 (died 1936)
Patsy Cline born in Winchester, Virginia, 1932 (died 1963)
Harlan Howard born in Lexington, Kentucky, 1929 (died 2002)
Jimmie Rodgers born in Meridian, Mississippi, 1897 (died 1933)

September 9

Freddy Weller born in Atlanta, Georgia, 1947 (now 60)
Rodger Dale Tubb died (car wreck), 1938 (was 7 weeks old)
Bill Monroe died (stroke), 1996 (was 84)

September 10

Tommy Overstreet born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 1937 (now 70)
Rosie Flores born in San Antonio, Texas, 1956 (now 51)
Luke Wills born in Memphis, Texas, 1920 (died 2000)

September 11

Jimmie Davis born in Beech Springs, Louisiana, 1899 (died 2000)
Randy Hughes born in Gum, Tennessee, 1928 (died 1963)
Lorne Greene died (pneumonia), 1987 (was 72). The actor's recitation "Ringo" was a top 25 country hit in 1964.
Leon Payne died (heart attack), 1969 (was 52)

September 12

George Jones born in Saratoga, Texas, 1931 (now 76)
Helen Carter born in Maces Springs, Virginia, 1927 (died 1998)
Rod Brasfield died (heart failure), 1958 (was 48)
Johnny Cash died (Shy-Drager syndrome complications, diabetes, lung disease), 2003 (was 71)
John Ritter died (heart ailment), 2003 (was 54). The actor was the son of Western legend Tex Ritter.

September 13

Bill Monroe born in Rosine, Kentucky, 1911 (died 1996)
Bobbie Cryner born in Woodland, California, 1961 (now 46)
U.S. Postal Service issues a Roy Acuff postage stamp, 2003

September 14

John Berry born in Aiken, South Carolina, 1959 (now 48)
Mae Boren Axton born in Bardwell, Texas, 1914 (died 1997)
Don Walser born in Brownfield, Texas, 1934 (died 2006)
Vernon Dalhart died (heart attack), 1948 (was 65)

September 15

Roy Acuff born in Maynardsville, Tennesssee, 1903 (died 1992)