Sunday, May 31, 2009

Dates of Note in Country Music, June 1-15

Category: News

(Hall of Fame members in bold)

June 1:

Dale Warren of the Sons of the Pioneers born in Summerville, Kentucky, 1925 (now 84)
Andy Griffith born in Mount Airy, North Carolina, 1926 (now 83)
Pat Boone born in Jacksonville, Florida, 1934 (now 75). The legendary pop crooner married Red Foley's daughter Shirley.
Hazel Dickens born in Mercer County, West Virginia, 1935 (now 74)
Wayne Kemp born in Greenwood, Arkansas, 1941 (now 68)
Ronnie Dunn of Brooks & Dunn born in Coleman, Texas, 1953 (now 56)
Elsie McWilliams born in Harperville, Mississippi, 1896 (died 1985)
Johnny Bond born in Enville, Oklahoma, 1915 (died 1978)
Lee Allen of the Allen Brothers born in Sewanee, Tennessee, 1906 (died 1981)
Jimmy Murphy died (unknown cause), 1981 (was 55)

June 2:

Carl Butler born in Knoxville, Tennessee, 1927 (died 1992)
Helen Carter died (heart failure), 1998 (was 70)
Adolph Hofner died (illness), 2000 (was 83)

June 3:

Fred "Too Slim" LeBour of Riders in the Sky born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1948 (now 61)
Jamie O'Neal born in Sydney, Australia, 1968 (now 41)
Curly Williams born in Cairo, Georgia, 1914 (died 1970)
Homer Louis "Boots" Randolph born in Paducah, Kentucky, 1927 (died 2007)
Wally Fowler died (drown), 1994 (was 77)
Van Stoneman of the Stoneman Family died (Parkinson's disease), 1995 (was 54)
Graceland opens to the public, 1982

June 4:

Linda Martell born in Leesville, South Carolina, 1941 (now 68). She was the first Black female artist to perform on the Grand Ole Opry.
Texas Ruby Owens born in Wise County, Texas, 1910 (died 1963)
Freddy Fender born in San Benito, Texas, 1937 (died 2006)
Zeke Clement died (unknown cause), 1994 (was 82)
John Hartford died (cancer), 2001 (was 63)
Alabama's annual "June Jam" concert began in Fort Payne, Alabama, 1982

June 5:

Don Reid of the Statler Brothers born in Staunton, Virginia, 1945 (now 64)
Gail Davies born in Broken Bow, Oklahoma, 1948 (now 61)
William "Hopalong Cassidy" Boyd born in Cambridge, Ohio, 1895 (died 1972)
Hal Lone Pine born in Pea Cove, Maine, 1916 (died 1977)
John "Lonzo" Sullivan died (heart attack), 1967 (was 48)
Conway Twitty died (abdominal aneurysm), 1993 (was 59)
Ronald Reagan died (complications of Alzheimer's disease), 2004 (was 93). While governor of California, the former president signed a full pardon for former convict Merle Haggard.
Grand Ole Opry's first performance at the Ryman auditorium, 1943

June 6:

Joe Stampley born in Springhill, Louisiana, 1943 (now 66)
Gid Tanner of the Skillet Lickers born in Thomas Bridge, Georgia, 1885 (died 1960)
Asher Sizemore born in Manchester, Kentucky, 1906 (died 1973)
Charlie Cline of the Lonesome Pine Fiddlers born in Gilbert, West Virginia, 1931 (died 2004)
Claudette Orbison, wife of Roy Orbison, died (motorcycle accident), 1966 (was 24)
Grant Turner began his tenure as Grand Ole Opry announcer, 1944

June 7:

Sir Tom Jones born in Treforest, South Wales, 1940 (now 69). The legendary pop/rock singer had a hit with a cover of "Green, Green Grass of Home" in 1967 and hit the country charts with "Say You'll Stay Until Tomorrow" in 1977.
Larry Boone born in Cooper City, Florida, 1956 (now 53)
Dean Martin born in Steubenville, Ohio, 1917 (died 1995). The pop crooner recorded two albums of country music on Reprise in the early 60s and sang with Ricky Nelson in the John Wayne classic Rio Bravo in 1969.
Wynn Stewart born in Morrisville, Missouri, 1934 (died 1985)
Courtney Johnson of New Grass Revival died (lung cancer), 1996 (was 56)

June 8:

Vernon Oxford born in Rogers, Arkansas, 1941 (now 68)
Tony Rice born in Danville, Virginia, 1951 (now 58)
Adolph Hofner born in Moulton, Texas, 1916 (died 2000)
Alton Delmore died (alcohol-related illness), 1964 (was 55)
Roba Stanley died (unknown cause), 1986 (was 76). She is credited as being the first female solo artist recorded in country music history (1924).
Tommy Perkins of the Texas Playboys died (car accident), 2003 (was 69)

June 9:

Les Paul born in Waukesha, Wisconsin, 1915 (now 94). In addition to his recordings with wife Mary Ford, Paul invented the solid-body electric guitar and multi-track recording. He also won a Grammy for his album with Chet Atkins, Chester and Lester, in 1976.
Willard Cox of the Cox Family born in Cotton Valley, Louisiana, 1937 (now 72)
Jamie Dailey of Dailey & Vincent born in Corbin, Kentucky, 1975 (now 34)

June 10:

Herman Crook of the Crook Brothers died (heart attack), 1988 (was 89)
Steve Sanders, who replaced William Lee Golden in the Oak Ridge Boys for 15 years, died (suicide), 1998 (was 45)
Ray Charles died (complications of liver disease), 2004 (was 73). Charles made the country charts in the 80s with duets with George Jones and Willie Nelson, and his ground-breaking 1963 album Modern Sounds in Country Music presented country songs to a wide audience.

June 11:

Jay McDowell of BR-549 born in Bedford, Indiana, 1969 (now 40)
Edwin Duhon of the Hackberry Ramblers born in Lafayette, Louisiana, 1910 (died 2006)
Brother Dave Gardner born in Jackson, Tennessee, 1926 (died 1983)
Jud Strunk born in Jamestown, New York, 1936 (died 1981)
Wilma Burgess born in Orlando, Florida, 1939 (died 2003)
John Wayne died (cancer), 1979 (was 72). The actor has been referenced in a number of country songs.

June 12:

Junior Brown born in Kirksville, Indiana, 1952 (now 55)
Rebecca Holden born in Austin, Texas, 1958 (now 50)
Penny Jay born in Monteagle Mountain, Tennessee, 1927 (died 2006)
Dr. Humphrey Bate of the Possum Hunters died (unknown cause), 1936 (was 61)
J.E. Mainer died (heart attack), 1971 (was 72)
Johnny Bond died (heart attack), 1978 (was 63)
Danny Davis died (heart failure), 2008 (was 83)

June 13:

Howard Vokes born in Clearfield, Pennsylvania, 1931 (now 78)
Slim Dusty born in Kempsey, Australia, 1927 (died 2003)

June 14:

Burl Ives born in Newton, Illinois, 1909 (died 1995)
Lash LaRue born in Gretna, Louisiana, 1917 (died 1996). The Western actor was the first sidekick to western singer/actor/songwriter Eddie Dean and was mentioned in the Statler Brothers' "Whatever Happened to Randolph Scott."
Ernest V. "Pop" Stoneman died (illness), 1968 (was 75)
Patsy Cline seriously injured in a car accident, 1961

June 15:

RCA engineer Bill Porter born in St. Louis, Missouri, 1931 (now 78)
Terri Gibbs born in Miami, Florida, 1954 (now 55)
Blind Alfred Reed born in Floyd, Virginia, 1880 (died 1956)
Tex Owens born in Killeen, Texas, 1892 (died 1962)
Marvin Hughes born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1911 (died 1986)
Leon Payne born in Alba, Texas, 1917 (died 1969)
Waylon Jennings born in Littlefield, Texas, 1937 (died 2002)
Ruby Falls died (unknown cause), 1986 (was 40)
The summer replacement show for the CBS variety series The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour began airing, 1969. That show was Hee Haw.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

If Those Walls Could Talk

Category: News

The 26th annual International Country Music Conference held its Friday evening keynote in the legendary RCA Studio B. The panelists, moderated by Country Music Foundation historian John Rumble, were producer Fred Foster of Monument Records and legendary session men Ray Edenton and Harold Bradley (the latter in the Country Music Hall of Fame).

The panel told stories and jokes about their experiences in the legendary studio, nicknamed "Home of 1,000 Hits" because of all the classic tunes recorded there (a few: "Are You Lonesome Tonight," "He'll Have to Go," "Bye Bye Love," and "The Three Bells"). They held the ICMC attendees spellbound for over 90 minutes.

Hall of Fame guitarist Harold Bradley

The highlight of the evening was Harold Bradley picking up one of his guitars and strumming along to Roy Orbison's "Running Scared," a song he originally played on. After the official presentation ended Bradley graciously showed guitar techniques to those who asked.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Heaven at the Hut

Category: News

The Thursday keynote session of the 26th International Country Music Conference (ICMC) was held at the Quonset Hut on Music Row. The historic studio, first built by Owen Bradley and later the home of Columbia Records, entertained the conference attendees with dinner and a presentation by legendary session men and producers.

For nearly two and a half hours, Shelby Singleton (current owner of Sun Records, one-time owner of Plantation Records, and producer of numerous country and pop hits), Jerry Kennedy (great session guitarist and producer of legendary recordings of folks like Roger Miller and the Statler Brothers), and Bob Moore (one of the most recorded bass players in Nashville and a hit performer on his own with 1960's instrumental hit "Mexico") told stories of recording sessions in the Quonset Hut and other studios (Kennedy and Moore played on Elvis sessions over at RCA's Studio B).

The keynote at the Quonset Hut concluded the first day of ICMC. The highlight of the afternoon session was a presentation on the recently-released Mother's Best Flour Radio Shows from WSM by Hank Williams. One of the radio shows, not included in the three-CD set, was played in its entirety for the audience. Following that presentation, Williams biographer Colin Escott gave a presentation on the making of the box set, including how the tapes were rescued from WSM's garbage can in the 1960s and the subsequent legal problems that prevented the public from hearing these pieces of history for decades.

ICMC continues through Saturday afternoon in Nashville.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The 26th International Country Music Conference Starts Thursday

Category: News

The International Country Music Conference opens its 26th annual session on Thursday at Belmont University. Scheduled topics this year will focus on "what is country music," a look at Charlie Louvin's fabulous Murder Ballads album, and Bill Monroe. A tour of Owen Bradley's Quonset Hut studio and a picking session in RCA's Studio B are also on the itinerary.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Dates of Note in Country Music, May 16-31

Category: News

Hall of Fame members in bold

May 16:

Rick Trevino born in Austin, Texas, 1971 (now 38)

May 17:

Penny DeHaven born in Winchester, Virginia, 1948 (now 61)
Pat Flynn of the New Grass Revival born in Los Angeles, California, 1952 (now 57)
Grant Turner born in Abeline, Texas, 1912 (died 1991)
Paul Warren born in Lyles, Tennessee, 1918 (died 1978)
Red Smiley of Reno & Smiley born in Marshall, North Carolina, 1925 (died 1984)
Wiley Walker of Wiley & Gene died (unknown causes), 1966 (was 54)
New Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum building opened, 2001

May 18:

Leon Ashley born in Newton County, Georgia, 1936 (now 73)
Rodney Dillard of the Dillards born in East St. Louis, Illinois, 1942 (now 67)
Joe Bonsall of the Oak Ridge Boys born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1948 (now 61)
Gary Scruggs born in Knoxville, Tennessee, 1949 (now 60)
George Strait born in Poteet, Texas, 1952 (now 57)

May 19:

Martha Carson born in Neon, Kentucky, 1921 (died 2004)
Rex Gosdin born in Woodland, Alabama, 1938 (died 1983)
Mickey Newberry born in Houston, Texas, 1940 (died 2002)

May 20:

"Lonesome George" Gobel born in Chicago, Illinois, 1919 (died 1991). Although many may remember him as a comedian and regular on Hollywood Squares, one of Gobel's earliest jobs in entertainment was on the WLS National Barn Dance when he was a teenager in the 1930s.
Jack Cash, brother of Johnny Cash, died (chain saw accident), 1944 (was 15)

May 21:

Henry Glover born in Hot Springs, Arkansas, 1921 (died 1991). The R&B songwriter and pioneering black record company executive co-wrote "Blues, Stay Away From Me" with the Delmore Brothers and Wayne Raney in 1949.
Charlie Poole died (heart failure), 1931 (was 39)
Billy Walker died (car wreck), 2006 (was 77)
Vaughn Monroe died (post-operative complications), 1973 (was 61). Among the pop singer's many hits was "(Ghost) Riders in the Sky."

May 22:

Miggie Lewis of the Lewis Family born in Richmond County, Georgia, 1926 (now 83)
Buddy Alan born in Mega, Arizona, 1948 (now 61)
Rich Alves of Pirates of the Mississippi born in Pleasanton, California, 1953 (now 56)
Dana Williams of Diamond Rio born in Dayton, Ohio, 1961 (now 48)
Ralph S. Peer born in Independence, Missouri, 1892 (died 1960)
Royce Kendall died (stroke), 1988 (was 63)

May 23:

Mac Wiseman born in Crimora, Virginia, 1925 (now 84)
Ken Irwin, co-founder of Rounder Records, born in New York, New York, 1944 (now 66)
Misty Morgan born in Buffalo, New York, 1945 (now 64)
Shelley West born in Cleveland, Ohio, 1958 (now 51)
Rosemary Clooney born in Maysville, Kentucky, 1928 (died 2002). The legendary pop singer recorded a number of country songs, including covering Carl Smith's hit "If Teardrops Were Pennies."
Rex Gosdin died (heart attack), 1983 (was 45)

May 24:

Mike Reid born in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, 1947 (now 62)
Rosanne Cash born in Memphis, Tennessee, 1955 (now 54)
Billy Gilman born in Westerly, Rhode Island, 1988 (now 21). Gilman's "One Voice" hit #1 when he was 12, making him the youngest person in Billboard country chart history to have a #1 song.
Gene Clark of the Byrds and Dillard & Clark died (bleeding ulcer), 1991 (was 46)
Vivian Liberto died (cancer), 2005 (was 71). Vivian was Johnny Cash's first wife and Rosanne Cash's mother.
Jimmie Rodgers recorded "Old Love Letters (Bring Memories of You)," "Mississippi Delta Blues," "Somewhere Down Below the Dixon Line," and "Years Ago" in New York City, 1933. Ravaged with tuberculosis, they would serve as the final recordings of the Father of Country Music.

May 25:

Tom T. Hall born in Olive Hill, Kentucky, 1936 (now 73)
Jessi Colter born in Phoenix, Arizona, 1947 (now 62)
Dr. Humphrey Bate of the Possum Hunters born in Castallian Springs, Tennessee, 1875 (died 1936)
Ernest V. "Pop" Stoneman born in Monarat, Virginia, 1893 (died 1968)
Dick Curless died (stomach cancer), 1995 (was 63)

May 26:

Levon Helm of the Band born in Marvell, Arkansas, 1940 (now 69). The actor and drummer/singer for the Band made his acting debut in Coal Miner's Daughter.
Hank Williams Jr. born in Shreveport, Louisiana, 1949 (now 60)
Jimmie Rodgers died (tuberculosis), 1933 (was 35)
Onie Wheeler died (heart attack), 1984 (was 62). He died on the Grand Ole Opry stage during a performance of the post-Friday Night Opry show, Grand Ole Gospel.
The first International Country Music Conference held in Meridian, Mississippi, 1983. The three-day event began as a memorial to Jimmie Rodgers and coincides with the anniversary of his death.

May 27:

Don Williams born in Floydada, Texas, 1939 (now 70)
Redd Stewart born in Ashland City, Tennessee, 1921 (died 2003)
Kenny Price born in Florence, Kentucky, 1931 (died 1987)
Opryland opened, 1972 (died 1997)

May 28:

John Fogerty born in Berkeley, California, 1945 (now 64). The leader of Creedence Clearwater Revival recorded an album of country songs under the pseudonym Blue Ridge Rangers in 1973, hitting the country chart with his rendition of "Jambalaya."
Jerry Douglas born in Warren, Ohio, 1956 (now 53)
Phil Vassar born in Lynchburg, Virginia, 1965 (now 44)
Gary Stewart born in Jenkins, Kentucky, 1945 (died 2003)

May 29:

Carl Story born in Lenoir, North Carolina, 1916 (died 1995)
Mother Maybelle and the Carter Family become members of the Grand Ole Opry, 1950
Hank and Audrey Williams divorced, 1952

May 30:

Mike Snider born in Gleason, Tennessee, 1960 (now 49)
Lewis Crook of the Crook Brothers born in Trousdale County, Tennessee, 1909 (died 1996)
Karl Davis of Karl & Harty died (cancer), 1979 (was 73)
Bobby Harden of the Harden Trio died (unknown cause), 2006 (was 70)

May 31:

Vic Willis of the Willis Brothers born in Schulter, Oklahoma, 1922 (died 1995)
Johnny Paycheck born in Greenfield, Ohio, 1938 (died 2003)
William "Red" Rector died (heart attack), 1990 (was 60)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

On the Other Side of Wolverton Mountnain

Category: 50 Songs to Hear

SONG: A Little Bitty Heart
ARTIST: Claude King
ALBUM: Meet Claude King
YEAR/LABEL: 1962; Columbia

I grew up about as poor as you can be.
(Claude King)

A song about an Arkansas mountain man namd Clifton Clowers made Claude King an overnight success (after a decade or so working in country music) in 1961. His album Meet Claude King featured the hit "Wolverton Mountain" and two other hits, "Big River, Big Man" and "The Comancheros" (inspired by the John Wayne movie).

The best song on Meet Claude King is side two's ballad "A Little Bitty Heart." King penned this superb ballad about the dangers of falling in love, then delivered it with a quiet (think Bill Anderson) vocal that only enhanced the heartbreak. "The strangest thing in all the world is a heart so small," King begins. He continues through the song dealing with "the mystery of how a thing so tiny could control so much of me." In the second verse he addresses the woman who broke this fragile heart by singing, "I wish that I could find a way to get a heart that's new, I would lock it deep inside me, just out of reach of you." In many ways it is standard country hurt-by-love fare, but the fresh approach and King's lovely vocals raise the song to a new level.

King enjoyed a moderate career in the 1960s before fading from the limelight at the end of the decade. He still lives in his native Louisiana and performs occasionally. He gave country music a classic in "Wolverton Mountain;" fortunately, he also gave country music a gem in "A Little Bitty Heart."


The entire Meet Claude King album -- good covers of Jimmie Rodgers' "Pistol Packin' Papa" Karl & Harty's "I'm Just Here to Get My Baby Out of Jail" are featured along with the hits and songs ("Would You Care," "I Backed Out") that should have been hits.

The entire I Remember Johnny Horton album -- King and Horton were friends, and Horton's manager Tillman Franks was also King's manager. King paid homage to Horton in this superb album, featuring excellent versions of "Whispering Pines" and "All for the Love of a Girl."


Life Has Its Little Ups and Downs
Life is Too Short
I Want a Home in Dixie
I Lost Today
Down to the River to Pray
Don't Let the Stars Get in Your Eyeballs
A Death in the Family
Dark as a Dungeon
Bottomless Well

Long Way Home
Heart of Rome
Harriet Tubman's Gonna Carry Me Home
Entella Hotel
Desperados Under the Eaves
Crossing Muddy Waters
Cliffs of Dooneen
Bruised Orange (Chain of Sorrow)
Baby Mine

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Happy Birthday to One of the Greatest Songs in Country Music History

Category: News

Sixty years ago, in a studio in Cincinnati, Ohio, two brothers and two harmonica players stepped up to the microphones and recorded a song for the ages.

The song was "Blues, Stay Away From Me," and the participates were Alton and Rabon Delmore and harmonica wizards Wayne Raney and Lonnie Glosson.

In honor of the 60th anniversary of this great song, that is still being covered by acts as diverse as Mark Knopfler and k.d. lang, the Cincinnati Public Library's main branch is holding a forum panel this Saturday (May 9) from 3-6 p.m.

More information

Friday, May 01, 2009

Dates of Note in Country Music, May 1-15

Category: News

Hall of Fame members in bold

May 1:

Sonny James born in Hackleburg, Alabama, 1929 (now 80)
Wayne Hancock born in Dallas, Texas, 1965 (now 44)
Tim McGraw born in Delhi, Louisiana, 1967 (now 42)
Sam McGee born in Williamson County, Tennessee, 1894 (died 1975)
Jimmy Gately born in Springfield, Missouri, 1931 (died 1985)
Ott Devine born in Gadsen, Alabama, 1910 (died 1994)
Spike Jones died (emphysema), 1965 (was 53). The novelty band leader recorded "Pal-Yat-Chee" with Homer and Jethro, and Red Ingle (of Red Ingle & Natural Seven, of "Temp-Tay-Shun" fame) was once a member of Jones' City Slickers.
Jim Hager of the Hager Twins died (heart attack), 2008 (was 66)

May 2:

R.C. Bannon born in Dallas, Texas, 1945 (now 64)
Larry Gatlin born in Seminole, Texas, 1948 (now 61)
Ty Herndon born in Meridian, Mississippi, 1962 (now 47)
Roy Lee Centers of the Clinch Mountain Boys died (shot during a bar fight), 1974 (was 29)

May 3:

Jerry Chestnut born in Harlan County, Kentucky, 1931 (now 78)
Cactus Moser of Highway 101 born in Montrose, Colorado, 1957 (now 52)
Bing Crosby born in Tacoma, Washington, 1903 (died 1977). The pop crooner has the distinction of being the performer of the first #1 single in Billboard magazine's "Hillbilly and Western Singles" history with his rendition of Al Dexter's "Pistol Packin' Mama." Dexter's own recording was the second #1 song.
Dave Dudley born in Spencer, Wisconsin, 1928 (died 2003)
Patsy Montana died (unknown cause), 1996 (was 83)
Dollywood theme park opened in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, 1986

May 4:

Stella Parton born in Sevierville, Tennessee, 1949 (now 60)
Robert Ellis Orrall born in Winthrop, Massachusetts, 1955 (now 54)
Randy Travis born in Marshville, North Carolina, 1959 (now 50)
Al Dexter born in Jacksonville, Texas, 1902 (died 1984)
Bobby Austin born in Wenatchee, Washington, 1933 (died 2002)
Joe L. Frank died (illness), 1952 (was 52)
Leo Jackson died (suicide [gunshot]), 2008 (was 73)

May 5:

Ace Cannon born in Grenada, Mississippi, 1934 (now 75)
Roni Stoneman born in Washington, DC, 1938 (now 71)
Glen Duncan of Lonesome Standard Time born in Columbus, Indiana, 1955 (now 54)
Tammy Wynette born in Itawamba County, Mississippi, 1942 (died 1998)
J.D. Miller born in Iota, Louisiana, 1922 (died 1996)
Jerry Wallace died (congestive heart failure), 2008 (was 79)

May 6:

Jimmie Dale Gilmore born in Austin, Texas, 1945 (now 64)
Cliff Carlisle born in Taylorsville, Kentucky, 1904 (died 1983)

May 7:

Lorie Collins of the Collins Kids born in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, 1942 (now 67)
Riley Puckett born in Alpharetta, Georgia, 1894 (died 1946)
Horace "Aytchie" Burns born in Cisco, Georgia, 1918 (died 1974). Aytchie was a bass player at WNOX and the Renfro Valley Barn Dance. He was also the older brother of Jethro Burns.
Eddie Rabbitt died (cancer), 1998 (was 56)

May 8:

Homer Bailes of the Bailes Brothers born in Kanawha County, West Virginia, 1922 (now 87)
Jack Blanchard born in Buffalo, New York, 1942 (now 67)
Del Anthony Gray of Little Texas born in Hamilton, Ohio, 1968 (now 41)
Jimmie Tarlton of Darby & Tarlton born in Cheraw, South Carolina, 1892 (died 1979)
Benny Martin born in Sparta, Tennessee, 1928 (died 2001)
Rick Nelson born in Teaneck, New Jersey, 1940 (died 1985)
Leon Huff of the Light Crust Doughboys died (unknown cause), 1952 (was 39)
George D. Hay died (unknown cause), 1968 (was 72)
Eddy Arnold died (complications from a fall), 2008 (was 89)

May 9:

Richie Furay of Poco born in Yellow Springs, Ohio, 1944 (now 65)
Bobby Lewis born in Hodgenville, Kentucky, 1946 (now 63)
Fuzzy Knight born in Fairmont, West Virginia, 1901 (died 1976). The actor appeared in several films as Tex Ritter's sidekick.
Hank Snow born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, 1914 (died 1999)
Nudie Cohen died (unknown cause), 1984 (was 81)
Keith Whitley died (alcohol poisoning), 1989 (was 33)
Jimmie Davis elected governor of Louisiana, 1944

May 10:

Carl T. Sprague born in Houston, Texas, 1895 (died 1979)
Mother Maybelle Carter born in Nicklesville, Virginia, 1909 (died 1979)
Shel Silverstein died (heat attack), 1999 (was 68)

May 11:

Mark Herndon of Alabama born in Springfield, Massachusetts, 1955 (now 54)
Bob Atcher born in West Point, Kentucky, 1914 (died 1993)
Lester Flatt died (heart failure), 1979 (was 64)

May 12:

Kix Brooks born in Shreveport, Louisiana, 1955 (now 54)
The Duke of Paducah, Benjamin "Whitey" Ford, born in DeSoto, Missouri, 1901 (died 1986)
Joe Maphis born in Suffolk, Virginia, 1921 (died 1986)
W. Lee "Pappy" O'Daniel died (unknown cause), 1969 (was 79)

May 13:

Johnnie Wright born in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, 1914 (now 95)
Ray Kennedy born in Buffalo, New York, 1954 (now 55)
Lari White born in Dunedin, Florida, 1965 (now 44)
Jack Anglin born in Columbia, Tennesee, 1916 (died 1963)
Gid Tanner died (unknown cause), 1960 (was 74)
Bob Wills died (pneumonia/complications of 1973 stroke), 1975 (was 70)

May 15:

K.T. Oslin born in Crossett, Arkansas, 1941 (now 68)
Eddy Arnold born in Henderson, Tennessee, 1918 (died 2008)
June Carter Cash died (complications from open heart surgery), 2003 (was 73)