Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dates of Note in Country Music, December 1-15

Category: News

(Country Music Hall of Famers in bold)

December 1:

Darryl Ellis born in Norfolk, Virginia, 1964 (now 46)
Silm Willet born in Dublin, Texas, 1919 (died 1966)
Jim Nesbitt born in Bishopville, South Carolina, 1931 (died 2007)
Fred Rose died (heart failure), 1954 (was 57)
Carter Stanley died (cirrhosis of the liver), 1966 (was 41)

December 2:

John Wesley Ryles born in Bastrop, Louisiana, 1950 (now 60)
Herman Crook born in Scottsboro, Tennessee, 1898 (died 1988)
Marvin Hughes died (unknown cause), 1986 (was 75)
"Tennessee Waltz" recorded by Pee Wee King and Redd Stewart, 1947

December 3:

Ferlin Husky born in Flat River, Missouri, 1927 (now 83)
Paul Gregg of Restless Heart born in New York, New York, 1954 (now 56)
Rabon Delmore born in Dothan, Alabama, 1916 (died 1952)
Hubert Long born in Poteet, Texas, 1923 (died 1972)
Lew Childre died (various health issues), 1961 (was 60)
Grady Martin died (heart attack), 2001 (was 72)
Bob Wills recorded his last song, a Cindy Walker number, "What Makes Bob Holler," 1973

December 4:

Chris Hillman born in Los Angeles, California, 1944 (now 66)
Rabon Delmore died (lung cancer), 1952 (was 36)
Connie B. Gay died (cancer), 1989 (was 75)

Eddy Arnold's first record session as a solo artist, 1944
Sun Records' "Million Dollar Quartet" of Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis record together, 1956
Connie B. Gay elected inaugural president of the Country Music Association, 1958

December 5:

Don Robertson born in Peking, China, 1922 (now 88)
Jim Messina of Poco born in Harlingen, Texas, 1947 (now 63)
Ty England born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 1963 (now 47)
Molly O'Day died (cancer), 1987 (was 64)
Wilf Carter (Montana Slim) died (stomach tumor), 1996 (was 91)
The soundtrack to O Brother, Where Art Thou released, 2000

December 6:

Helen Cornelius born in Hannibal, Missouri, 1941 (now 69)
Bill Lloyd of Foster & Lloyd born in Ft. Hood, Texas, 1955 (now 55)
Hugh Farr born in Llano, Texas, 1903 (died 1980)
Jim Eanes born in Mountain Valley, Virginia, 1923 (died 1995)
Roy Orbison died (heart attack), 1989 (was 52)

December 7:

Bobby Osborne born in Hyden, Kentucky, 1931 (now 79)
Hugh X. Lewis born in Yeaddiss, Kentucky, 1932 (now 78)
Gary Morris born in Fort Worth, Texas, 1948 (now 62)
Ronnie Sessions born in Henrietta, Oklahoma, 1948 (now 62)
Slim Bryant born in Atlanta, Georgia, 1908 (died 2010)
Darrell Glenn born in Waco, Texas, 1935 (died 1990)
Bill Boyd died (unknown cause), 1977 (was 67)

December 8:

Marty Raybon born in Stanford, Florida, 1959 (now 50)
Jack Stapp born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1912 (died 1980)
Floyd Tillman born in Ryan, Oklahoma, 1914 (died 2003)
Marty Robbins died (heart attack), 1982 (was 57)

December 9:

Billy Edd Wheeler born in Whitesville, Virginia, 1932 (now 78)
David Kersh born in Humble, Texas, 1970 (now 40)
David Houston born in Bossier City, Louisiana, 1938 (died 1993)
Tommy Jackson died (unknown cause), 1979 (was 53)

December 10:

Johnny Rodriguez born in Sabinal, Texas, 1951 (now 59)
Kevin Sharp born in Weiser, Idaho, 1970 (now 40)
Eddie Miller born in Camargo, Oklahoma, 1919 (died 1977)
John Duffey of the Seldom Scene died (heart attack), 1996 (was 62)
Faron Young died (suicide [gunshot]), 1996 (was 64)
Jimmy Riddle died (cancer), 1982 (was 64)
Before the evening's WSM Barn Dance began, announcer George D. Hay commented, "For the past hour, you've been listening to selections taken from grand opera. Now we present Grand Ole Opry," 1927.

December 11:

Brenda Lee born in Atlanta, Georgia, 1944 (now 66)
Charles Whitstein born in Colfax, Louisiana, 1945 (now 65)
Arthur Q. Smith born in Griffin, Georgia, 1909 (died 1963)
Cousin Jody (ne James Summey) born in Sevierville, Tennessee, 1914 (died 1975)
Fiddlin' John Carson died (natural causes), 1949 (was 81)
Commercial plane with Tex Ritter aboard as a passenger hijacked to Cuba, 1968

December 12:

Hank Williams III born in Houston, Texas, 1972 (now 38)
LaCosta Tucker born in Seminole, Texas, 1951 (now 59)
Clifton Chenier died (kidney disease related to diabetes), 1987 (was 62)

December 13:

Buck White born in Oklahoma, 1930 (now 80)
Randy Owen of Alabama born in Fort Payne, Alabama, 1949 (now 61)
John Anderson born in Orlando, Florida, 1954 (now 56)
Wesley Tuttle born in Lamar, Colorado, 1917 (died 2003)
Lulu Belle and Scotty Wiseman wed, 1934

December 14:

DeFord Bailey born in Smith County, Tennessee, 1899 (died 1982)
Charlie Rich born in Forest City, Arkansas, 1932 (died 1995)

December 15:

Doug Phelps of Kentucky Headhunters born in Leachville, Arkansas, 1960 (now 50)

Alvin Pleasant Carter born in Maces Spring, Virginia, 1891 (died 1960)
Jerry Wallace born in Guilford, Missouri, 1928 (died 2008)
Ernie Ashworth born in Huntsville, Alabama, 1928 (died 2009)
Nudie Cohn (ne Nuta Kotlyarenko) born in Kiev, Ukraine, 1902 (died 1984)
William Eugene "Red" Rector born in Marshall, North Carolina, 1929 (died 1990)
Hank Williams married Audrey Guy, 1944

Monday, November 29, 2010

Traditional Music At Its Best

Category: 50 Songs to Hear

This is one of two songs that has two different versions in its review (the other is "Train Leaves Here This Morning," by both Dillard & Clark and the Eagles, in rock). Each version is superlative, which is why they are both mentioned.

SONG: Winter's Come and Gone
ARTISTS: Gillian Welch; Dailey & Vincent
SONGWRITER: Gillian Welch
ALBUMS: Hell Among the Yearlings; Brothers From Different Mothers
YEAR/LABEL: 1998, Acony; 2009, Rounder

It can be so valuable to be an outsider.
(Gillian Welch)

Gillian Welch has emerged as one of the best singer-songwriters of the past decade. Dailey and Vincent have quickly become the dominant band of bluegrass.  They have met musically twice:  the opening salvo of Dailey & Vincent's career after the two men joined up from their tenures in Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver and Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, respectively, was the gospel masterpiece "By the Mark," which Welch wrote, and this song.

The song is a pure delight, a simple song with the three choruses aimed at three different birds: a redbird, a bluebird, and a blackbird.  While each verse is sung to the individual birds with a feel of the winter drabs ("been so lonesome shaking that morning chill"), the chorus turns to joy, reminding everyone that the return of the birds signals the return of spring:  "winter's come and gone, a little bird told me so."

This is a totally enjoyable song.  So are either of these two acts.

"By the Mark" (from Dailey & Vincent) -- another Gillian Welch composition that Dailey & Vincent recorded. This was their first hit and set their career on its successful course.
The entire Dailey & Vincent Sing the Statler Brothers album -- Dailey & Vincent manage to pull off an almost impossible feat: performing a tribute to the Statler Brothers that simultaneously presents the songs in a fresh light without being a note-for-note copy.
The entire Singing From the Heart album -- twelve a cappella gospel songs showing that the human voice is one of the best instruments in a band.

"Caleb Meyer" (from Hell Among the Yearlings) -- not for the squemish, rapist Caleb gets exactly what he deserves in this gem that a friend describes as "payback for all those 'Pretty Polly' songs in bluegrass."
"By the Mark" (from Revival) -- the Dailey & Vincent version is great, and so is the original.
"I'll Fly Away" (from the O Brother, Where Art Thou soundtrack) -- a stunning version of the classic gospel song.
"I Want to Sing That Rock and Roll" (from Time [The Revelator]) -- how can a song called "I Want to Sing That Rock and Roll" sound like a Carter Family song?  Listen and see.

Where Do I Go to Throw a Picture Away
When My Rowboat Comes In
When I Lift Up My Head
Rose of My Heart
Rock of Ages, Hide Thou Me
Our Town
Old Memories Mean Nothing to Me
Not That I Care
Nobody Eats at Linebaugh's Anymore
My Book of Memories
Lost to a Stranger
A Little Bitty Heart
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

Train Leaves Here This Morning
Swallowed By the Cracks
Stealin' Time
Starting Tomorrow
Sleep's Dark and Silent Gate
She's a Runaway
Painted Bells
Out to Sea
One More Song
New Delhi Freight Train
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

Sunday, November 28, 2010

"Clean As a Whistle"

Category:  News

Charlie Louvin hosted the November 27 taping of the Midnight Jamboree at the Ernest Tubb Record Shop's Texas Troubadour Theater.  During the show he presented his fans with an early Christmas present:  his most recent medical report in his battle against pancreatic cancer pronounced him "clean as a whistle" from the disease.  Louvin was diagnosed earlier this year and spent his 83rd birthday preparing for surgery and treatment.

Louvin said he had lost 40 pounds and his appetite in the ordeal; however, the turning point came recently when he asked wife Betty to fix him some cornbread and onion and milk to drink.  This signaled a return in his appetite.  He looked far less frail than two months ago, when he and Betty celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary on the Midnight Jamboree.  He was also stronger physically, standing during most of the show and able to sing.  This, too, is in contrast to the September performance where he lacked the energy or the wind to sing or even rise from his seat.

Louvin is not fully recovered:  he was unable to attend the post-show autograph signing because he was tired and weak, but store owner David McCormick assured the fans it was because Louvin had failed to eat earlier, not a side-effect from his disease.

This is good news; however, continue to pray for this Hall of Fame great.  Cancer is a terrible disease that likes to come back on its victims.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Dates of Note in Country Music, November 16-30

Category: News

(Country Music Hall of Famers in bold)

November 16:

Troy Seals born in Bill Hill, Kentucky, 1938 (now 72)
Larry Cordel born in Cordell, Kentucky, 1949 (now 61)
Will Goleman of the Cactus Brothers born in Shreveport, Louisiana, 1963 (now 47)
Ernest Tubb biographer Ronnie Pugh born in Texas, year unknown
Earl Bolick born in Hickory, North Carolina, 1919 (died 1998)
J.D. Sumner died (heart attack), 1998 (was 73)

November 17:

Gordon Lightfoot born in Orilla, Ontario, Canada, 1938 (now 72). The legendary folk singer has written such hits as Marty Robbins' "Ribbon of Darkness" and Bill Anderson's "Did She Mention My Name," and a number of his own recordings have made the country chart.
Eva Foley (Red Foley's wife) died (suicide), 1951 (was 33)
Don Gibson died (natural causes), 2003 (was 75)

November 18:

Jessi Alexander born in Jackson, Tennessee, 1976 (now 34)
John McFee of Southern Pacific born in Santa Cruz, California, 1953 (now 57)
Doug Sahm died (heart attack), 1999 (was 58)

November 19:

Billy Currington born in Savannah, Georgia, 1973 (now 37)
Jerry Foster born in Tallapoosa, Missouri, 1935 (now 75)
Joe Falcon died (unknown cause), 1965 (was 65). Falcon is credited with making the first recording of a Cajun song in 1928 with "Allons a Lafayette."
Bobby Russell died (coronary artery disease), 1992 (was 51)

November 20:

Curly Putman born in Princeton, Alabama, 1930 (now 80)
George Grantham of Poco and Ricky Skaggs' band born in Cordell, Oklahoma, 1947 (now 63)
Dierks Bentley born in Phoenix, Arizona, 1975 (now 35)
Josh Turner born in Hannah, South Carolina, 1977 (now 33)
Judy Canova born in Starke, Florida, 1913 (died 1983)
Eck Robertson born in Madison County, Arkansas, 1897 (died 1975)
RCA buys the contract of Elvis Presley from Sun Records for $35,000, 1955

November 21:

Jean Shepard born in Paul Valley, Oklahoma, 1933 (now 77)
Joe Carson born in Holliday, Texas, 1936 (died 1964)
Jim Eanes died (congestive heart failure), 1995 (was 71)
Charlie Daniels pulls out of "Country Freedom Concert" after being told not to perform "This Ain't No Rag, It's a Flag," 2001

November 22:

Wiley Post born in Grand Saline, Texas, 1899 (died 1935)
Doye O'Dell born in Plainview, Texas, 1912 (died 2001)
First Disc Jockey Convention held in Nashville, 1952
Keith Whitley and Lorrie Morgan married, 1986

November 23:

Jerry Sullivan born in Wagarville, Alabama, 1933 (now 77)
Charlie Sizemore born in Richmond, Kentucky, 1960 (now 50)
Spade Cooley died (heart attack), 1969 (was 58)
Grady Nutt died (plane crash), 1982 (was 48)
Roy Acuff died (congestive heart failure), 1992 (was 89)
Smokey Rogers died (unknown cause), 1993 (was 76)

November 24:

Johnny Carver born in Jackson, Mississippi, 1940 (now 70)
Stoney Edwards born in Seminole, Oklahoma, 1929 (died 1997)
Teddy Wilburn died (congestive heart failure), 2003 (was 71)
Wanted! The Outlaws by Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Tompall Glaser, and Jessi Colter certified platinum, making it the first certified platinum album in country music

November 25:

Amy Grant born in Augusta, Georgia, 1960 (now 50)
Eddie Stubbs born in Gaithersburg, Maryland, 1961 (now 49)
Biff Collie born in Little Rock, Arkansas, 1926 (died 1992)
Ralph Emery debuts on WSM in overnight slot, 1957

November 26:

Joe Nichols born in Rogers, Arkansas, 1976 (now 34)

November 27:

Eddie Rabbitt born in Brooklyn, New York, 1941 (died 1998)
Charlene Arthur died (illness), 1987 (was 58)

November 28:

WSM Barn Dance (later known as the Grand Ole Opry) born, 1925 (now 85)
Carrie Rodgers, widow of Jimmie Rodgers, died (cancer), 1961

November 29:

Jody Miller born in Phoenix, Arizona, 1941 (now 69)
Joel Whitburn born in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, 1938 (now 72)
Merle Travis born in Rosewood, Kentucky, 1917 (died 1983)
Jim Nesbitt died (heart ailment), 2007 (was 75)

November 30:

Bob Moore born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1932 (now 78)
Jeannie Kendall born in St. Louis, Missouri, 1954 (now 56)
Mindy McCready born in Ft. Myers, Florida, 1975 (now 35)
Teddy Wilburn born in Hardy, Arkansas, 1931 (died 2003)
Jack Reno born in Bloomfield, Iowa, 1935 (died 2008)
David Houston died (brain aneurysm), 1993 (was 54)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Thank You to the Veterans of Country Music

Category: Tribute

We pause on Veterans Day to pay tribute to the men and women who have served our nation by service in the Armed Forces.

Here is a list of some of the country music singers and songwriters who have blessed us with their music and their military service.

ARMY: Jules Verne Allen (World War I), Bobby Bare, Jim Ed Brown, Aytchie Burns (World War II), Jethro Burns (World War II), Tommy Cash, Homer Haynes (World War II), Harlan Howard, Kris Kristofferson, Charlie Louvin (World War II and Korea), Ira Louvin, Darrell McCall, Skeets McDonald, Jesse McReynolds (Korea), Jim McReynolds (Korea), Roger Miller, Webb Pierce, Elvis Presley, John Prine, Boots Randolph, Jerry Reed, Don Reno (World War II), Ralph Stanley (World War II), George Strait, Nat Stuckey (Korea), Conway Twitty, Charlie Walker, Doyle Wilburn (Korea), Teddy Wilburn (Korea), Faron Young.

NAVY: Archie Campbell (World War II), Cy Coben (World War II), Larry Cordle, Stonewall Jackson, Johnny Lee (Vietnam), Bill Nettles (World War I), Johnny Paycheck, Ray Pillow, Marty Robbins (World War II), Carl Smith, Hank Thompson (World War II).

AIR FORCE/ARMY AIR CORPS: Gene Autry (World War II), Johnny Cash, Jimmy Dean, Tennessee Ernie Ford (World War II), Willie Nelson, Mike Nesmith, Del Reeves, Charlie Rich, Carter Stanley (World War II), Mel Tillis.

MARINES: Wendy Bagwell (World War II), Tommy Collins, Don Everly, Phil Everly, Freddy Fender, Josh Garcin, Freddie Hart (World War II), George Jones, Ray Price (World War II), Charles Whitstein, Robert Whitstein (Vietnam).

MERCHANT MARINES: Ferlin Husky (World War II).

TWO BRANCHES: Bob Ferguson (first Army, then Marines; in the Korean War as a Marine).

Thank you.