Country Music Hall of Famers in bold
Kathie Lee Gifford born in Paris, France, 1953 (now 57). Gifford began her career as one of the "Hee Haw honeys."
Billy Joe Shaver born in Corsica, Texas, 1939 (now 71)
Emory Martin born in Hickman County, Tennessee, 1889 (died 2006). Martin was the one-armed banjo player at the Renfro Valley Barn Dance.
Elvis Presley died (heart failure), 1977 (was 42)
Vassar Clements died (lung cancer), 2005 (was 77)
Patsy Montana recorded "I Want to Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart," 1935. The song would become country music's first million-seller by a female.
E.W. "Bud" Wendell born in Akron, Ohio, 1927 (now 83)
Wayne Raney born in Wolf Bayou, Arkansas, 1920 (died 1993)
Johnny Preston born in Port Arthur, Texas, 1939 (now 71). Preston is best known for "Running Bear," the 1959 hit which featured guitar work and backing vocals by George Jones.
Hank Penny born in Birmingham, Alabama, 1918 (died 1992)
Molly Bee born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 1939 (died 2009)The Louvin Brothers play their last official show as a duo (opening for Ray Price) in Watseka, Illinois, 1963. According to Charles Wolfe's biography, the duo that once commanded over $1,100 per show as headliners received $250 for the performance.
Eddy Raven born in Lafayette, Louisiana, 1944 (now 66)
Lee Ann Womack born in Jacksonville, Texas, 1966 (now 44)
Clay Walker born in Beaumont, Texas, 1969 (now 41)
Curly Ray Cline died (illness), 1997 (was 74)
Rudy Gatlin born in Olney, Texas, 1952 (now 58)
Ralph Stanley II born in Coeburn, Virginia, 1958 (now 52)
Jim Reeves born in Galloway, Texas, 1923 (died 1964)
Justin Tubb born in San Antonio, Texas, 1935 (died 1998)
Louis Innis died (heart attack), 1982 (was 63)
Leon McAuliffe died (illness), 1988 (was 71)
Harold Reid born in Staunton, Virginia, 1939 (now 71)
Nick Kane of the Mavericks born in Jerusalem, Georgia, 1954 (now 56)
Teea Goans born in Lowry City, Missouri, year unknown
Sam McGee died (tractor accident on his farm), 1975 (was 81)
Murray "Buddy" Harman died (congestive heart failure), 2008 (was 79)
Rounder Records co-owner Marian Leighton-Levy born in Harrington, Maine, 1948 (now 62)
Holly Dunn born in San Antonio, Texas, 1957 (now 53)
Collin Raye born in DeQueen, Arkansas, 1959 (now 51)
Rod Brasfield born in Smithville, Arkansas, 1910 (died 1958)
Connie B. Gay born in Lizard Lick, North Carolina, 1914 (died 1989)
Horace "Aytchie" Burns died (heart attack), 1974 (was 56). Aytchie was a bass player at Knoxville's WNOX and on the Renfro Valley Barn Dance. He was also the older brother of Jethro Burns.
Elizabeth Haynes born in Greenville, Kentucky, 1920 (died 1976)
Elizabeth Haynes died (kidney disease), 1976 (56th birthday). The one-time bass player and "red-headed yodeling gal" on the Renfro Valley Barn Dance was the wife of Homer Haynes.
Leon Chappelear died (suicide [gunshot]), 1962 (was 53)
Mooney Lynn, the husband of Loretta Lynn, died (heart failure/diabetes), 1996 (was 69)
Floyd Tillman died (leukemia), 2003 (was 88)
Rex Allen, Jr. born in Chicago, Illinois, 1947 (now 63)
Woody Paul of Riders in the Sky born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1949 (now 61)
Tex Williams born in Anvil, Illinois, 1917 (died 1985)
Leslie York of the York Brothers born in Louisa, Kentucky, 1917 (died 1984)
"It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels" hit #1 on the Billboard charts, 1952. The song, the first #1 hit for a female singer, was very controversial in its day, with many country stations refusing to play the song and the Grand Ole Opry management prohibiting Kitty Wells from performing the tune on the Opry.
Fred Rose born in Evansville, Indiana, 1897 (died 1954)
Jerry Clower died (complications from heart surgery), 1998 (was 71)
Nat Stuckey died (lung cancer), 1988 (was 54)
Elvis Costello born in London, England, 1954 (now 56). The punk pioneer and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member is a die-hard country music fan who recorded an album of old country songs, Almost Blue, and has performed with numerous country legends including George Jones, Ricky Skaggs, Emmylou Harris, and Charlie Louvin. Johnny Cash recorded Costello's song "The Big Light" on Johnny Cash is Coming to Town.
Billy Ray Cyrus born in Flatwoods, Kentucky, 1961 (now 49)
Jo Dee Messina born in Holliston, Massachusetts, 1970 (now 40)
Jerry Rivers born in Miami, Florida, 1928 (died 1996)
Cliff Bruner died (cancer), 2000 (was 85)
Don Bowman born in Lubbock, Texas, 1937 (now 73)
Jimmy Olander of Diamond Rio born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1961 (now 49)
Wilma Burgess died (heart attack), 2003 (was 64)
Jimmy C. Newman born in Big Mamou, Louisiana, 1927 (now 83)
J.D. Crowe born in Lexington, Kentucky, 1937 (now 73)
Frances Preston born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1934 (now 76)
Jeff Cook of Alabama born in Fort Payne, Alabama, 1949 (now 61)
Carter Stanley born in Dickenson County, Virginia, 1925 (died 1966)
Oliver "Mooney" Lynn, husband of Loretta Lynn, born in Butcher Holler, Kentucky, 1926 (died 1996)
David "Bunny" Biggs of Jamup & Honey died in Nashville, Tennessee (unknown causes), 1948 (was 52)
Jim Denny died (cancer), 1963 (was 52). For his Hall of Fame career, Denny may be most infamous for telling a guest artist after an appearance on the Grand Ole Opry, "You ain't goin' nowhere, son. You ought to go back to driving a truck." The person on the receiving end of Denny's criticism was Elvis Presley.
Billy Grammer born in Benton, Illinois, 1925 (now 85)
LeAnn Rimes born in Jackson, Mississippi, 1982 (now 28)
Shawn Camp born in Perryville, Arkansas, 1966 (now 43)
Dan Truman of Diamond Rio born in St. George, Utah, 1956 (now 54)
Grady Cole born in Lafayette, Georgia, 1909 (died 1981). He and wife Hazel wrote the country gospel classic "Tramp on the Street."
Archie Campbell died (heart attack), 1987 (was 67)
Kitty Wells born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1919 (now 91)
Jon Hagar born in Chicago, Illinois, 1946 (died 2009)
Jim Hagar born in Chicago, Illinois, 1946 (died 2008)