RFDTV is a blessing for fans of older country music, as they show The Porter Wagoner Show (with both Norma Jean and Dolly Parton as the featured "girl singer") and The Wilburn Brothers Show (their "girl singer" was a gal by the name of Loretta Lynn), as well as other shows featuring live performances.
At least RFDTV hasn't forgotten the Wilburn Brothers. It appears everyone else has.
CD Universe shows a whopping one Wilburn Brothers collection available. That's woeful for a duet that recorded with Webb Pierce and Ernest Tubb, had over thirty charted songs, started the career of Patty Loveless, and had their own highly successful syndicated television show. There are artists who've recorded less music in their entire career who have more CDs available than the Wilburn Brothers. That's downright pitiful.
Without question, Teddy and Doyle Wilburn were not the best-liked individuals in Nashville. Their reputations as SOBs (and that does not stand for "Southern Ohio Businessmen"!) is sadly well-known. Their Sure-Fire Music publishing company owned the rights to Loretta Lynn's songs, and for years she refused to perform her own self-written tunes so as to not give a penny to the company (and, by extension, the Wilburns). The Wilburns and Lynn played a game of suit/countersuit in the early 70s. There's nary a mention of them in the biopic Coal Miner's Daughter.
However, much the same can be said of Webb Pierce. Pierce had a nasty habit of claiming half songwriter's credit for changing an article in a song or a note. It was no coincidence that, even though there was ample opportunity for the CMA to honor him during his lifetime, Pierce died without being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. (In fact, a cancer-stricken Pierce admitted in an interview in the summer of 1990 that he was hoping to live to see the CMA awards in October, certain that he was going to be the Hall of Fame recipient [no doubt based on the "dead and dying" notion -- die (e.g., Patsy Montana, Tammy Wynette) or have serious health problems (e.g., Marty Robbins, Tennessee Ernie Ford) and your chances for induction increase dramatically]; however, the 1990 inductee was another seriously ill performer, Tennessee Ernie.) Pierce was not inducted for ten years after his death despite having more #1 hits in country music than anyone in the 1950s, and when he was inducted, it was with nine other acts, so he never received the singular spotlight. That's a long time to carry a grudge.
Doyle Wilburn died of cancer in 1982. When Teddy died, days short of his 72nd birthday in 2003, I truly expected the ill feelings to be buried with him. Alas, it has not happened as of yet. Loretta Lynn has (to date, unsuccessfully) sued Sure-Fire to recover the songs she wrote while under contract to them. Teddy's family was none too pleased with his will establishing scholarships for college students but passing nothing around to his relatives.
Are these bitter feelings, some of which stretch back to the 1970s, keeping the Wilburn Brothers out of the Hall of Fame? More significantly, are they keeping the Wilburns' music out of the CD bins? There would be few things more sad than to think that the world is being deprived of some of the greatest country music of the 1960s because people are still burdening themselves with resentment.