Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Country Music's Final Stanzas of 2007

Category: News

Here is a list of the people in country music who performed their final song in 2007:

Del Reeves (January 1, emphysema, 73). Eddie Stubbs said of Del, "Give him a microphone, a 60-watt bulb for lighting, and an audience, and he would entertain." Reeves had a string of hits including "Good Time Charlie's," "Girl on the Billboard," and "The Belles of Southern Bell." He was also an underrated songwriter: one listen to "I'll Have Made It to the Bridge," on Charlie Louvin's 1964 solo debut album Less and Less and I Don't Love You Anymore, proves that.

Sneaky Pete Kleinkow (January 6, complications of Alzhemier's disease, 72). Kleinkow performed with the Flying Burrito Brothers and a number of other rock acts on pedal steel. Easily the best (one of the few) pedal steel guitarists in rock and roll, he was good enough to stand with the best in country as well.

Doyle Holly (January 13, prostate cancer, 70). Holly was bassist for Buck Owens' Buckaroos in the 60s. He had his own limited solo career in the 70s, including his recording of the Kristofferson/Silverstein song "Queen of the Silver Dollar," which was produced by and featured backing vocals by Waylon Jennings.

Jerry Hayes (January 21, unknown causes, 61). Country songwriter who penned Charlie Rich's "Rolling with the Flow" and "Charly McClain's (and later, Alan Jackson's) Who's Cheatin' Who."

Tom Morrell (January 29, emphysema, 68). A member of Bob Wills' Texas Playboys.

Frankie Laine (February 6, complications from hip replacement surgery, 93). Laine's career may be considered primarily pop, but he recorded songs such as "Rawhide," "Mule Train," "High Noon," and the theme to Blazing Saddles.

C's Record Store, Louisville, Kentucky (February 17, demise of interest in vinyl, 25). The last true record store in Louisville closed its doors for the last time. The owner, Clarence Lidster, is one of the great historians of country music -- or any music.

Henson Cargill (March 24, complications from surgery, 66). Cargill had ten top 40 country hits, but it is the 1967 crossover "Skip a Rope" for which he is best remembered.

Glenn Sutton (April 17, heart attack, 70). The former husband of Lynn Anderson, he produced many of her hits including "Rose Garden." He also wrote a number of hits including "Your Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad" and "Almost Persuaded."

Boots Randolph (July 3, subdural hematoma, 80). A member of country music's "A List" of session musicians and the performer of "Yakety Sax." Boots, according to Chet Atkins, also "knew just enough on guitar to be bad," so he did the guitar solos in Don Bowman's hit "Chit Akins, Make Me a Star."

Lawton Williams (July 26, respiratory illness, 85). "Fraulein" by Bobby Helms, "Blue Grass Skit" by Hank Locklin, George Jones' "Color of the Blues," and Gene Watson's "Farewell Party" are but a few of the songs this great songwriter penned in his career.

Larry Fuller (September 22, fire on tour bus, 55). Bluegrass performer, known as "Pike County's own living bluegrass legend."

Porter Wagoner (October 28, lung cancer, 80). Country Music Hall of Fame performer, showman, ambassador for the Grand Ole Opry, former official "Ambassador for Opryland Theme Park," songwriter, "king of southern gospel," and one of the most recognizable names by people outside of country music.

Hank Thompson (November 6, lung cancer, 82). Western swing/country performer who had a seven-decade career that eventually took him to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

John Hughy (November 18, heart attack, age unknown). A country steel guitarist who spent many years playing for Conway Twitty.

Jim Nesbitt (November 29, heart ailment, 75). Country novelty singer, best known for his song "Please Mr. Kennedy."

My Mother (December 9, complications from brain aneurysm, 75). The greatest mother in the world. She had no rhythm but a love of music from Elvis and the Platters to Jim Reeves and Marty Robbins. That eclectic taste contributed to my varied record collection.

Dan Fogelberg (December 16, prostate cancer, 56). Folk-rock singer with a string of pop hits and a critically-acclaimed bluegrass album (High Country Snows) in the mid-80s.

A list of all music memorials for 2007 (including those listed here) can be found at my music/entertainment blog.

Farewell, and thanks for the music.

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