Sunday, October 31, 2010

Dates of Note in Country Music, November 1-15

Category: News

(Country Music Hall of Famers in bold)

November 1:

Bill Anderson born in Columbia, South Carolina, 1937 (now 73)
Lyle Lovett born in Klein, Texas, 1957 (now 53)
Keith Stegall born in Wichita Falls, Texas, 1954 (now 56)
Lew Childre born in Opp, Alabama, 1901 (died 1961)
Buddy Killen died (cancer), 2006 (was 73)
Jack Reno died (brain cancer), 2008 (was 72)

November 2:

John David Souther born in Detroit, Michigan, 1945 (now 65)
Earl Yager of the Johnson Mountain Boys born in Gordonsville, Virginia, 1953 (now 57)
k.d. lang born in Consort, Alberta, 1961 (now 49)
Charlie Walker born in Copeville, Texas, 1926 (died 2008)
Elaine Tubb, wife of Ernest Tubb and subject of the song "Blue-Eyed Elaine," died, 2001 (was 85)

November 3:

Ray Edenton born in Mineral, Virginia, 1926 (now 84)
Fabor Robison born in Beebe, Arkansas, 1911 (died 1986)
Leon Huff born in Whitesboro, Texas, 1912 (died 1952)
John Maddox of the Maddox Brothers & Rose born in Boaz, Alabama, 1915 (died 1968)
Jimmie Rodgers, Fred Rose, and Hank Williams become the first inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame, 1961
Merle Haggard granted parole from San Quentin, 1960

November 4:

Kim Forrester born in Oglethorpe, Georgia, 1960 (now 50)
Will Rogers born near Oologah, Oklahoma, 1879 (died 1935)
Audrey Williams died (illness), 1975 (was 52)
Dale Noe died (unknown cause), 2004 (was 76)

November 5:

Billy Sherrill born in Phil Campbell, Alabama, 1936 (now 74)
Lowell Blanchard born in Palmer, Illinois, 1910 (died 1968). Blanchard was the program director at WNOX in the 1930s and began the Midday Merry-Go-Round.
Roy Rogers (Leonard Slye) born in Cincinnati, Ohio, 1911 (died 1998)
Roy Horton born in Broad Top, Pennsylvania, 1914 (died 2003)
Gram Parsons born in Winter Haven, Florida, 1946 (died 1973)
Johnny Horton died (car wreck), 1960 (was 35)
Jimmie Davis died (natural causes), 2000 (was 101)
Dorothy Southworth Ritter died (natural causes), 2003 (was 88)

November 6:

Stonewall Jackson born in Emerson, North Carolina, 1932 (now 78)
Guy Clark born in Monahan, Texas, 1941 (now 69)
Glenn Frey of the Eagles born in Detroit, Michigan, 1948 (now 62)
Doug Sahm born in San Antonio, Texas, 1941 (died 1999)
Hank Thompson died (lung cancer), 2007 (was 82)
Elvis Presley became a member of Louisiana Hayride, 1954

November 7:

Robin Lee born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1953 (now 56)
Red Ingle born in Toledo, Ohio, 1906 (died 1965)
Archie Campbell born in Bull's Gap, Tennessee, 1914 (died 1987)
A.P. Carter died (illness), 1960 (was 68)
Red Foley's daughter, Shirley, married Pat Boone, 1953
Gene Wooten died (cancer), 2001 (was 49)
Marty Robbins participated in his final NASCAR race, 1982

November 8:

Patti Page (Clara Fowler) born in Claremore, Oklahoma, 1927 (now 83)
Scotty Wiseman born in Ingalls, North Carolina, 1909 (died 1981)
Ivory Joe Hunter died (lung cancer), 1974 (was 60). A number of the R&B singer/songwriter's songs were turned into country hits by Sonny James, including "Since I Met You, Baby" and "Empty Arms."

November 9:

George D. Hay born in Attica, Indiana, 1895 (died 1968)
Curly Fox born in Graysville, Tennessee, 1910 (died 1995)
James "Spider" Rich, co-writer of "Yakety Sax," died (unknown cause), 2003 (was 80)

November 10:

Donna Fargo (Yvonne Vaughn) born in Mount Airy, North Carolina, 1940 (now 70)
Pat Severs of Pirates of the Mississippi born in Elmira, New York, 1952 (now 58)
Paul Cohen born in Chicago, Illinois, 1908 (died 1970)
Onie Wheeler born in Senath, Missouri, 1921 (died 1984)
Dave "Stringbean" Akeman died (murdered), 1973 (was 58)
Curly Fox died (natural causes), 1995 (was 85)
The Edmund Fitzgerald sank in Lake Superior, killing all 29 aboard, 1975. The accident inspired Gordon Lightfoot's 1976 pop/country/folk hit "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald."

November 11:

Narvel Felts born near Keiser, Arkansas, 1938 (now 72)
Hank "Sugarfoot" Garland born in Cow Pens, South Carolina, 1930 (died 2004)
Wade Ray died (illness), 1998 (was 85)

November 12:

Barbara Fairchild born in Lafe, Arkansas, 1950 (now 60)
Jo Stafford born in Coalinga, California, 1917 (died 2008). The pop singer was the girl singer on Red Ingle & Natural Seven hit "Tem-Tay-Shun."
John Lair, Renfro Valley Barn Dance founder, died (natural causes), 1985 (was 91)
Homer and Jethro's legendary live album At the Country Club recorded in Nashville, 1959
Groundbreaking ceremonies held for construction of the Grand Ole Opry House (current home of the Opry), 1971
The IRS confiscated Willie Nelson's belongings as payment for his tax bill, 1990

November 13:

Ray Wylie Hubbard born in Soper, Oklahoma, 1946 (now 64)
Jack Guthrie born in Olive, Oklahoma, 1915 (died 1948)
Buddy Killen born in Florence, South Carolina, 1932 (died 2006)
Jerry Lee Lewis Jr. died (car wreck), 1973 (was 20)
Junior Samples died (heart attack), 1983 (was 57)

November 14:

Ken Carson born in Coalgate, Oklahoma, 1914 (died 1994)
Robert Whitstein died (heart attack), 2001 (was 57)

November 15:

William Fries (C.W. McCall) born in Audubon, Iowa, 1928 (now 82)
Jack Ingram born in Houston, Texas, 1970 (now 40)
 Albert E. Brumley died (unknown cause), 1977 (was 72)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

It's That Time of the Year Again...

Category:  Opinion

By now the first ballots for the 2011 Hall of Fame selection have been sent out to the three hundred or so anonymous voters who get the privilege of selecting who goes in.  As these people are unknown except to a select few in the Country Music Association (which is understandable, it prevents vote buying by undeserving acts), this is a general appeal to those people.  Consider this one of those "for your consideration" ads that fill the trade papers at nomination/voting time for the Grammy, Emmy, and Oscar awards.

I will be the first to admit that there are a number of people who may or may not be a worthy candidate for induction.  I am also a realist:  just because I like someone does not mean they are automatically Hall of Fame quality.  We must never water down the criteria for induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame lest it become a parody (much the way the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame currently is, with this year's nominations of one-hit wonders and rap acts while excluding legitimately "famous" [it is a hall of fame, after all] acts from the nomination process).  Also, I would hate to see the voters act as though they have some birthright to the induction vote (the way people in the Baseball Writers Association seem to feel about their duty to the Baseball Hall of Fame:  some of them return blank ballots every year because they arrogantly claim nobody deserves a unanimous vote, and others claim that one steroid user will never get their vote while saying they'd vote for another steroid user in a heartbeat).  The people who are potential inductees, the country music industry in general, and all of the fans who not only like the artists but who walk through those doors in Nashville and lay down $20 (or $33 to go to Studio B as well) to view the plaques deserve educated, informed voters who take their responsibility seriously and will not just mark a ballot because someone died (sadly, Patsy Montana was inducted that way:  she died after the ballots were mailed in 1996) or because someone is the retiring president of the CMA (I lost count as to how many people were inducted this way).

With that, I humbly present "for your consideration" the following acts for induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2011:

Veterans Category:

Wilburn Brothers.  I know they were not well-liked in Nashville, for various reasons; however, both Teddy and Doyle are gone now, so bury the hatchet and those ill feelings and induct them!  Do they belong?  They had one of the most successful syndicated country music shows in existence in the 60s and early 70s (which still airs on RFD-TV) and a career that spanned four decades.  They also launched the career of a gal from Butcher Holler, Kentucky.

Elton Britt.  If we can induct (rightfully, in my opinion) Vernon Dalhart for having the first million-seller in country music history and Patsy Montana for being the first woman to sell a million, then Elton Britt can also be inducted for having the distinction of being the first recipient of a gold record awarded to a country song ("There's a Star-Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere," 1942).  Britt's career, however, was much more than that:  a superb yodeler and movie actor (he appeared in western films in the 40s) who continued to chart until shortly before his death in 1972.

Al Dexter.  Al Dexter is the reason Billboard magazine created a "hillbilly and western" chart in 1944.  The phenomenal success of "Pistol Packin' Mama" throughout the last part of 1943 bumped pop acts out of their position on the charts.  The Hall of Fame, as mentioned earlier, has acknowledged the historic firsts in country music.  This man's popularity in the 1940s gave us another historic first:  a chart to track the popularity of country music.

Cowboy Copas.  Eddie Stubbs says it every time he plays a Copas record:  "This man did so much more in country music than just die in a plane crash with Patsy Cline."  In fact, he was the superstar on that ill-fated plane in 1963:  Patsy had just had a few hits and Hawkshaw Hawkins' career was mostly as a good but "regional" or "minor" success. 

The Browns.  Along with Jean Shepard, they are (thanks to Ferlin Husky's induction this year) the final "superstar" act of the 1950s and early 1960s who need to be inducted .  They were so much more than "The Three Bells," although the success of that song in country and pop in an era of Elvis is in and of itself criteria enough for induction.

Archie Campbell.  There is no more deserving comedian who is not in than the mayor of Bull's Gap, Tennessee.  His popularity in Knoxville in the 1930s and 40s was such that he was thrown a parade when he was discharged from the Navy.  After that, he went on to success as a recording star of both comedic ("Rindercella" and other spoonerisms) and straight ("Trouble in the Amen Corner") material, a noted songwriter, and one of the writers and stars of Hee Haw from its inception until his death.

Modern Category:

Connie Smith.  Connie Smith still owns the record for the biggest #1 debut single ("Once a Day," 1964, which stayed at #1 for over a month).  Her string of hits is long and continues today with her work with her husband, Marty Stuart.

Reba McEntire.  I'm not a fan of her music for the most part, but to deny the success this woman has enjoyed in country music (and taking it to a larger audience courtesy of her successful television show) is to appear downright idiotic.

Ray Stevens.  Until "The Streak" came along in 1974, country music had only seen one million-selling comedy record (Homer and Jethro's "How Much is That Hound Dog in the Window" in 1953).  Stevens is now known primarily as a comedian; however, he netted two Grammy awards for "serious" material (including "Everything is Beautiful" in 1970).  He is also well-known outside the confines of country music for his material.


The third category alternates every year between musician (Charlie McCoy was the last inductee in that area), songwriter (Bill Sherrill this year), and non-performer.  Sadly, most of the time the "non-performer" is a CMA executive or someone in the Nashville industry, as if to say that country music never existed outside of Nashville (when, in reality, Nashville was a latecomer to the country music bandwagon).  I would love to see someone other than "the usual suspects" nominated/inducted this year:

Syd Nathan.  Nathan owned King Records, the Cincinnati-based record company that bears the distinction of being the first (and until Heart of Texas Records, the only) exclusively country music record label when it launched in 1943.  If that isn't worthy of induction, NOTHING is.  After all, "hillbilly music" was still dismissed as unimportant during the 1940s (to the point where the lack of stores carrying country records prompted Ernest Tubb to start his own record store in 1947), and Nathan took a huge gamble -- one that paid off handsomely with acts such as future Hall of Famers Grandpa Jones, Merle Travis, the Delmore Brothers, Homer & Jethro, and Bill Carlisle.

Bill C. Malone.  Dr. Malone literally wrote the book on country music when his doctoral thesis was published in 1968 as Country Music USA.  It is the reference book for scholars, writers, journalists, and anyone who wants to know the history of country music.  I am a fan, admittedly; but there is a good reason for that:  without Malone's ground-breaking work, there would be no books on country music today.

Lowell Blanchard.  Blanchard was the program director at WNOX in Knoxville.  Under his supervision, the station became the cradle of the Hall of Fame, featuring acts from Roy Acuff in the 1930s to Don Gibson in the 1950s. 

Horace Logan.  Don't recognize the name?  You will recognize the talent he introduced to the world:  Hank Williams, Elvis Presley, Johnnie & Jack, Kitty Wells, Faron Young, and Jim Reeves.  Logan was the founder of the Louisiana Hayride, one of the most important "barn dance" shows in America.

Nothing would make me happier than to see some of these names on the induction list when it is released in February.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Dates of Note in Country Music, October 16-31

Category: News

(Country Music Hall of Famers in bold)

October 16:

Jim Ed Norman born in Ft. Myers, Florida, 1948 (now 62)
Stoney Cooper born in Harman, West Virginia, 1918 (died 1977)
Doyle Wilburn died (cancer), 1982 (was 52)
Don Reno died (post-operative complications), 1984 (was 58)
Danny Dill died (unknown cause), 2008 (was 84)
Naomi Judd retired from touring because of health issues, 1990

Ralph Stanley Museum opened, 2004

October 17:

Earl Thomas Conley born in Portsmouth, Ohio, 1941 (now 69)
Alan Jackson born in Newman, Georgia, 1958 (now 52)
Tennessee Ernie Ford died (liver disease), 1991 (was 72)
Jay Livingston died (pneumonia), 2001 (was 86). Among the songwriter's many credits were "Bonanza!," which Johnny Cash recorded, and "The Hanging Tree," which Marty Robbins recorded.
Bashful Brother Oswald (Beecher Ray Kirby) died (cancer), 2002 (was 90)

October 18:

Chuck Berry born in San Jose, California, 1926 (now 84). Among the rock and roll legend's hits that have made it to the country chart are "Memphis" (#10 hit for Fred Knoblock, 1981), "Brown Eyed Handsome Man" (#3 hit for Waylon Jennings, 1970), "The Promised Land" (#3 hit for Freddy Weller, 1970), and "Johnny B. Goode" (#1 hit for Buck Owens, 1969).
Keith Knudsen of Southern Pacific born in Ames, Iowa, 1952 (now 58)
Harty Taylor of Karl & Harty died (stroke), 1963 (was 58)
Hank Williams married Billie Jean Jones, 1952. After Williams' death, she would marry Johnny Horton.
Don Hecht died (heart attack), 2002 (was 72)

October 19:

Charlie Chase born in Rogersville, Tennessee, 1952 (now 58)
Don Parmley of the Bluegrass Cardinals born in Oliver Springs, Tennessee, 1933 (now 77)
Ebo Walker (ne Harry Shelor) of Bluegrass Alliance and New Grass Revival born in Louisville, Kentucky, 1941 (now 69)
Jeannie C. Riley born in Anson, Texas, 1945 (now 65)
Arthur E. "Uncle Art" Satherley born in Bristol, England, 1889 (died 1986)
Grant Turner died (heart failure), 1991 (was 79)
The CMA Awards were held, 1967. The awards show was not televised.

October 20:

Wanda Jackson born in Maud, Oklahoma, 1937 (now 73)
Stuart Hamblin born in Kellyville, Texas, 1908 (died 1989)
Grandpa Jones born in Niagara, Kentucky, 1913 (died 1998)
Merle Travis died (heart attack), 1983 (was 65)
Rounder Records founded by Ken Irwin, Bill Nowlin, and Marian Leighton, 1970. Mr. Nowlin says this "birth" of Rounder is based on the date of their first invoice.

October 21:

Owen Bradley born in Westmoreland, Tennessee, 1915 (died 1998)
Bill Black died (brain tumor), 1965 (was 39)
Mel Street born in Grundy, Virginia, 1933 (died 1978)
Mel Street died (suicide), 1978 (45th birthday)
Leona Johnson Atkins, member of WLW's Johnson Twins and widow of Chet Atkins, died (illness), 2009 (was 85)

October 22:

Shelby Lynn born in Quantico, Virginia, 1968 (now 42)
Leon Chappelear died (suicide), 1962 (was 53)
Dorothy Shay, the "Park Avenue Hillbillie," died (heart attack), 1978 (was 57)

October 23:

Dwight Yoakam born in Pikeville, Kentucky, 1956 (now 54)
Junior Bryant of Ricochet born in Pecos, Texas, 1968 (now 42)
Mother Maybelle Carter died (respiratory arrest), 1978 (was 68)
Merle Watson died (tractor accident), 1985 (was 36). His father Doc's long-lasting tribute to his late son is the annual bluegrass event known as "MerleFest."
Rusty Kershaw died (heart attack), 2001 (was 63)

October 24:

Mark Gray (former member of Exile) born in Vicksburg, Mississippi, 1952 (now 58)
Jiles Perry "The Big Bopper" Richardson born in Sabine Pass, Texas, 1930 (died 1959). Among his songwriter credits is "White Lightnin'" by friend George Jones and Hank Snow's "Beggar to a King."
Kirk McGee died (natural causes), 1983 (was 83)
Rosey Nix Adams, daughter of June Carter Cash, died (carbon monoxide poisoning), 2003 (was 45)

October 25:

Mark Miller (Sawyer Brown) born in Dayton, Ohio, 1958 (now 52)
Jeanne Black born in Pomona, California, 1937 (now 73)
Chely Wright born in Kansas City, Missouri, 1970 (now 40)
Cousin Minnie Pearl (Sarah Ophelia Colley Canon) born in Grinders Switch (actually, Centerville), Tennessee, 1912 (died 1996)
Roger Miller died (throat cancer), 1992 (was 56)
Johnnie Lee Willis died (heart ailment), 1984 (was 72)
Johnny Cash's last concert performance, Flint Michigan, 1997

October 26:

Keith Urban born in Whangarei, New Zeland, 1967 (now 43)
Hoyt Axton died (heart attack), 1999 (was 62)
Statler Brothers' final concert in their hometown of Salem, Virginia, 2002

October 27:

Dallas Frazier born in Spiro, Oklahoma, 1939 (now 71)
Lee Greenwood born in Southgate, California, 1942 (now 68)
Snuffy Jenkins born in Harris, North Carolina, 1908 (died 1990)
Floyd Cramer born in Campti, Louisiana, 1933 (died 1997)
Ruby Wright born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1939 (died 2009)
Allan "Rocky" Lane died (cancer), 1973 (was 72). He is mentioned in the Statler Brothers' "Whatever Happened to Randolph Scott."
Grand Ole Opry moves to the Hillsboro Theater, 1934

October 28:

Mitchell Torok born in Houston, Texas, 1929 (now 81)
Charlie Daniels born in Wilmington, North Carolina, 1936 (now 74)

Brad Paisley born in Glen Dale, West Virginia, 1972 (now 38)
Bill Bolick of the Blue Sky Boys born in Hickory, North Carolina, 1917 (died 2008)
Jimmy Skinner died (heart attack), 1979 (was 70)
Mel Foree died (cancer), 1990 (age unknown)
Porter Wagoner died (lung cancer), 2007 (was 80)

October 29:

Sonny Osborne born in Hyden, Kentucky, 1937 (now 73)
Charlie Monk born in Noma, Florida, 1938 (now 72)

Albert E. Brumley born in Spiro, Oklahoma, 1905 (died 1977)
Ramblin' Jimmie Dolan born in Gardena, California, 1916 (died 1994)
Fred Maddox died (heart disease), 1992 (was 73)

October 30:

Timothy B. Schmit of Poco and the Eagles born in Sacramento, California, 1947 (now 63)
T. Graham Brown born in Atlanta, Georgia, 1954 (now 56)
Patsy Montana (nee Ruby Rose Blevins) born in Hope, Arkansas, 1908 (died 1996)
Clifton Clowers born in Wolverton Mountain, Conway County, Arkansas, 1891 (died 1994)
Kitty Wells and Johnnie Wright wed, 1937 (73 years!!)

October 31:

Anita Kerr born in Memphis, Tennessee, 1927 (now 83)
Richard "Kinky" Friedman born in Chicago, Illinois, 1944 (now 66)

Dale Evans born in Uvalde, Texas, 1912 (died 2001)
Carl Belew died (cancer), 1990 (was 59)
Bob Atcher died (unknown causes), 1993 (was 79)

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Dailey and Vincent Clean Up at IBMA

Category:  News

Dailey and Vincent are well on their way to becoming the supergroup of bluegrass music following their dominance of the awards at the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) awards ceremony held September 30th in Nashville.

The duo's three trophies for album of the year, vocal group, and entertainer of the year bring their tally to twelve awards, all accumulated since their 2008 breakout with the Gillian Welch gospel tune "By the Mark."  They have also appeared on other award-winning projects (such as this year's "Recorded Event" award recipient, singing with Larry Stephenson on the cover of the Louvin Brothers' "Give This Message to Your Heart"), and the graphics for their best album tribute to the Statler Brothers also snagged an award.

Michael Cleveland, the masterful fiddler from Kentucky, picked up his fifth consecutive award (and eighth overall) as best fiddler, and he and his band Flamekeeper were awarded their fourth consecutive "instrumental band" trophy. 

Rob Ickes repeated as Dobro player of the year, his twelfth award.  Rob emerged as the Dobro player with the reunited Whitstein Brothers band in the early 90s and from there has become, along with the legendary Jerry Douglas, the standard for Dobro players.

Louise Scruggs, wife of Earl Scruggs, was inducted into the Bluegrass Hall of Fame for her work as her husband's manager.  John Hartford was also inducted for his lasting legacy as a performer, multi-instrumentalist, and songwriter.  Both awards, sadly, were posthumous inductions.

The complete list of winners:

John Hartford
Louise Scruggs

 Dailey & Vincent

Dailey & Vincent

Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper

Russell Moore 

Claire Lynch

"Ring The Bell", The Gibson Brothers (artists), Chet O'Keefe (songwriter)

 Dailey & Vincent Sing The Statler Brothers; Dailey & Vincent (artists & producers); Cracker Barrel/Rounder 

"Give This Message To Your Heart", Larry Stephenson featuring Dailey & Vincent (artists), Ben Surratt & Larry Stephenson (producers), Whysper Dream

"Durang's Hornpipe" by Adam Steffey (artist), Barry Bales & Gary Paczosa (producers)


"Ring The Bell", The Gibson Brothers (artists & producers), Chet O'Keefe (songwriter), Compass Records

Josh Williams Band

BANJO:  Kristin Scott Benson
BASS:  Marshall Wilborn
FIDDLE:  Michael Cleveland
DOBRO:  Rob Ickes
GUITAR:  Josh Williams
MANDOLIN:  Adam Steffey

Distinguished Achievement Award Recipients
Benjamin "Tex" Logan
Sherry Boyd
Lynn Morris
Richard Weize
Pete Wernick

Bluegrass Broadcaster of the Year: 
Kyle Cantrell; Sirius XM Satellite Radio 

Print Media Person of the Year
Eddie Dean & Dr. Ralph Stanley, authors of Man of Constant Sorrow: My Life and Times (Gotham Books)

Best Liner Notes for a Recorded Project
Dr. Ted Olson (writer), Appalachia Music from Home, Various Artists, Lonesome Records (label)

Best Graphic Design for a Recorded Project
Julie Craig, Cracker Barrel (designer); Dailey & Vincent; Dailey & Vincent Sing The Statler Brothers; Cracker Barrel/Rounder (label)

Bluegrass Event of the Year Award:
14th Annual Podunk Bluegrass Music Festival; East Hartford, CT

Monday, October 04, 2010

Dates of Note in Country Music, October 1-15

Category: News
(Country Music Hall of Famers in bold)

October 1:
Kelly Willis born in Lawton, Oklahoma, 1968 (now 42)
Skeets McDonald born in Greenway, Arkansas, 1915 (died 1968)
Bonnie Owens born in Blanchard, Oklahoma, 1932 (died 2006)

October 2:
Jo-El Sonnier born in Rayne, Louisiana, 1946 (now 64)
Tammy Sullivan born in Wagarville, Alabama, 1964 (now 46)
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. Opry manager Jim Denny critiqued his performance by telling him that he was going nowhere and to "go back to driving trucks."

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 81)
Larry Collins of the Collins Kids born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, 1944 (now 66)
Greg Hubbard of Sawyer Brown born in Orlando, Florida, 1960 (now 50)
Jerry Rivers died (cancer), 1996 (was 69)
A.L. "Doodle" Owens died (heart attack), 1999 (was 69)
Tammy Wynette's ordeal where she claimed to have been kidnapped and beaten began, 1978

October 5:
Radio station WSM born in Nashville at 650 on the AM dial, 1925 (now 85)
Margie Singleton born in Coushatta, Louisiana, 1935 (now 75)
Johnny Duncan born in Dublin, Texas, 1938 (died 2006)

October 6:
Tim Rushlow of Little Texas born in Arlington, Texas, 1966 (now 44)
Kendall Hayes born in Perryville, Kentucky, 1935 (died 1995)
Ted Daffan died (natural causes), 1996 (was 84)

October 7:
Jim Halsey born in Independence, Kansas, 1930 (now 80)
Dale Watson born in Birmingham, Alabama, 1962 (now 48)
Kieran Kane born in Queens, New York, 1949 (now 61)
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)
Johnny Darrell died (diabetes complications), 1997 (was 57)
Jimmie Logsdon died (unknown cause), 2001 (was 79)
Shelby Singleton died (brain cancer), 2009 (was 77)
Jimmie Rodgers' first recording, "The Soldier's Sweetheart" / "Sleep Baby Sleep," released, 1927

October 8:
Ricky Lee Phelps of the Kentucky Headhunters born in Paragould, Arkansas, 1953 (now 57)
Susan Raye born in Eugene, Oregon, 1944 (now 66)
Lynn Morris born in Lamesa, Texas, 1948 (now 62)
Jackie Frantz of Dave & Sugar born in Sidney, Ohio, 1950 (now 60)
Pete Drake born in Atlanta, Georgia, 1932 (died 1988)

October 9:
Goebel Reeves born in Sherman, Texas, 1899 (died 1969)
The Renfro Valley Barn Dance began airing on WLW, 1937

October 10:
John Prine born in Maywood, Illinois, 1946 (now 64)
Tanya Tucker born in Seminole, Texas, 1958 (now 52)
Don Pierce, founder of Starday Records, born in Ballard, Washington, 1915 (died 2005)

October 11:
Gene Watson born in Palestine, Texas, 1943 (now 67)
Paulette Carlson of Highway 101 born in Northfield, Minnesota, 1952 (now 58)
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 35)
John Denver died (plane crash), 1997 (was 53)

October 13:
Rhett Akins born in Valdosta, Georgia, 1969 (now 41)
Lacy J. Dalton born in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, 1946 (now 64)
Anita Kerr born in Memphis, Tennessee, 1927 (now 83)
John Wiggins born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1962 (now 48)
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."
Acuff-Rose Publishing Company founded, 1942

October 14:
Kenny Roberts born in Lenoir City, Tennessee, 1926 (now 84)
Melba Montgomery born in Iron City, Tennessee, 1938 (now 72)
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, with his rendition of Al Dexter's "Pistol Packin' Mama," 1944.

October 15:
Dean Miller born in Los Angeles, California, 1965 (now 45)