Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Dates of Note in Country Music, September 1-15

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

September 1

Steve Goetzman of Exile born in Louisville, Kentucky, 1950 (now 61)
Boxcar Willie (ne Lecil Travis Martin) born in Sterratt, Texas, 1931 (died 1999)
Johnny Mack Brown born in Dothan, Alabama, 1904 (died 1974). The western actor was the namesake of Lester "Roadhog" Moran and the Cadillac Cowboy's Live at the Johnny Mack Brown High School album.
Conway Twitty born in Friars Point, Mississippi, 1933 (died 1993)
Delia "Mom" Upchurch, the "Den Mother to the Stars," died in Nashville, Tennessee (unknown cause), 1967 (was 85)

Jerry Reed died in Nashville, Tennessee (emphysema), 2008 (was 71)

September 2

Paul Wylie Deakin of the Mavericks born in Miami, Florida, 1959 (now 52)
Johnny Lee Wills born in Jewell, Texas, 1912 (died 1984)
Charline Authur born in Henrietta, Texas, 1929 (died 1987)
Grady Nutt born in Amarillo, Texas, 1934 (died 1982)
Fabor Robinson, founder of Fabor Records, died in Minden, Louisiana (unknown cause), 1986 (was 74)

September 3

Tompall Glaser born in Spalding, Nebraska, 1933 (now 78)
Jimmy Riddle born in Dyersburg, Tennessee, 1918 (died 1981)
Hank Thompson born in Waco, Texas, 1925 (died 2007)

September 4

Shot Jackson born in Wilmington, North Carolina, 1920 (died 1991)
Dottie West died in Nashville, Tennessee (injuries from a car wreck), 1991 (was 58)
Carl Butler died in Franklin, Tennessee (heart attack), 1992 (was 65)

September 5

Curley Williams died in Montgomery, Alabama (unknown cause), 1970 (was 66)
The Country Music Association was founded, 1958
The Lewis Family's final concert, 2009. The bluegrass and gospel band began performing in 1951.

September 6

David Allan Coe born in Akron, Ohio, 1939 (now 72)
Jeff Foxworthy born in Atlanta, Georgia, 1958 (now 53)
Mark Chesnutt born in Beaumont, Texas, 1963 (now 48)
Zeke Clements born in Warrior, Alabama, 1911 (died 1994)
Paul Yandell born in Mayfield, Kentucky, 1935 (died 2011)
Mel McDaniel born in Checotah, Oklahoma, 1942 (died 2011)
Ernest Tubb died in Nashville, Tennessee (complications from emphysema), 1984 (was 70)
Autry Inman died (unknown cause), 1988 (was 59)
Roy Huskey Jr. died in Nashville, Tennessee (cancer), 1997 (was 41)

September 7

Ronnie Dove born in Herndon, Virginia, 1940 (now 71)
Buddy Holly born in Lubbock, Texas, 1936 (died 1959). The rock and roll pioneer began in country music, and among his band members was Waylon Jennings.

Hubert Long died in Nashville, Tennessee (brain tumor), 1972 (was 48)
Warren Zevon died in Los Angeles, California (mesothelioma), 2003 (was 56).  The folk-rock singer wrote "Poor Poor Pitiful Me," which made the country charts by both Linda Ronstadt and Terri Clark, and Dwight Yoakam recorded Zevon's "Carmelita" and sang on two of Zevon's albums.  Zevon also appeared in the movie South of Heaven, West of Hell with Yoakam.

September 8

Jimmie Rodgers born in Meridian, Mississippi, 1897 (died 1933)
Milton Brown born in Stephenville, Texas, 1903 (died 1936)
Patsy Cline born in Winchester, Virginia, 1932 (died 1963)
Harlan Howard born in Detroit, Michigan, 1929 (died 2002)

September 9

Freddy Weller born in Atlanta, Georgia, 1947 (now 64)
Charline Arthur born in Henrietta, Texas, 1929 (died 1987)
Rodger Dale Tubb died in Fredericksburg, Texas (car wreck), 1938 (was 7 weeks old)
Tex Owens died in New Baden, Texas (unknown cause), 1962 (was 70)
Bill Monroe died in Nashville, Tennessee (stroke), 1996 (was 84)

September 10

Tommy Overstreet born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 1937 (now 74)
Rosie Flores born in San Antonio, Texas, 1956 (now 55)
Luke Wills born in Memphis, Texas, 1920 (died 2000)
Joe (ne Walter) Callahan of the Callahan Brothers died in Asheville, North Carolina (cancer), 1971 (was 61)

September 11

Jimmie Davis born in Beech Springs, Louisiana, 1899 (died 2000)
Randy Hughes born in Gum, Tennessee, 1928 (died 1963)
Lorne Greene died in Santa Monica, California (pneumonia), 1987 (was 72). The actor's recitation "Ringo" was a top 25 country hit in 1964.
Leon Payne died in San Antonio, Texas (heart attack), 1969 (was 52)
Bill (ne Homer) Callahan of the Callahan Brothers died in Dallas, Texas (congestive heart failure), 2002 (was 90)

Terrorists crash planes into the World Trade Center's twin towers in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington DC, 2001.  The attack spawned several country songs including Alan Jackson's "Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)" and Toby Keith's "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)."

September 12

George Jones born in Saratoga, Texas, 1931 (now 80)
Leona Johnson Atkins born in Jackson Township, Ohio, 1924 (died 2009). One of WLW's "Johnson Twins," she married Chet Atkins in 1946.
Lois Johnson Burns born in Jackson Township, Ohio, 1924 (died 1989). One of WLW's "Johnson Twins," she married Jethro Burns of Homer & Jethro in 1946.

Helen Carter born in Maces Springs, Virginia, 1927 (died 1998)
Rod Brasfield died in Martin, Tennessee (heart failure), 1958 (was 48)
Johnny Cash died in Nashville, Tennessee (Shy-Drager syndrome complications, diabetes, lung disease), 2003 (was 71)
John Ritter died in Los Angeles, California (heart ailment), 2003 (was 54). The actor was the son of Western legend Tex Ritter.
Charlie Walker died in Nashville, Tennessee (colon cancer), 2008 (was 81)

September 13

Bobbie Cryner born in Woodland, California, 1961 (now 50)
Bill Monroe born in Rosine, Kentucky, 1911 (died 1996)
U.S. Postal Service issues a Roy Acuff postage stamp, 2003

September 14

John Berry born in Aiken, South Carolina, 1959 (now 52)
Mae Boren Axton born in Bardwell, Texas, 1914 (died 1997)
Don Walser born in Brownfield, Texas, 1934 (died 2006)
Vernon Dalhart died in Bridgeport, Connecticut (heart attack), 1948 (was 65)
Hank Williams arrived in Nashville and met with Fred Rose to discuss a record or publishing deal, 1946

September 15

Roy Acuff born in Maynardsville, Tennesssee, 1903 (died 1992)
Patsy Cline married Charlie Dick, 1957

Monday, August 15, 2011

Dates of Note in Country Music, August 16-31

Category: News

Country Music Hall of Famers in bold

August 16:

Billy Joe Shaver born in Corsica, Texas, 1939 (now 72)
Kathie Lee Gifford born in Paris, France, 1953 (now 58). Gifford began her career as one of the "Hee Haw honeys."
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 at Graceland, Memphis, Tennessee (heart failure), 1977 (was 42)
Vassar Clements died in Nashville, Tennessee (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.

August 17:

E.W. "Bud" Wendell born in Akron, Ohio, 1927 (now 84)
Wayne Raney born in Wolf Bayou, Arkansas, 1920 (died 1993)

August 18:

Hank Penny born in Birmingham, Alabama, 1918 (died 1992)
Molly Bee born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 1939 (died 2009)
Johnny Preston born in Port Arthur, Texas, 1939 (died 2011). Preston is best known for "Running Bear," the 1959 hit which featured guitar work and backing vocals by George Jones.
Charlie Waller died in Gordonsville, Virginia (heart attack), 2004 (was 69)
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.

August 19:

Eddy Raven born in Lafayette, Louisiana, 1944 (now 67)
Lee Ann Womack born in Jacksonville, Texas, 1966 (now 45)
Clay Walker born in Beaumont, Texas, 1969 (now 42)
Curly Ray Cline died in Rockhouse, Kentucky (illness), 1997 (was 74)

August 20:

Rudy Gatlin born in Olney, Texas, 1952 (now 59)
Ralph Stanley II born in Coeburn, Virginia, 1958 (now 53)

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 in Tulsa, Oklahoma (illness), 1988 (was 71)

 August 21:

Harold Reid born in Staunton, Virginia, 1939 (now 72)
Nick Kane of the Mavericks born in Jerusalem, Georgia, 1954 (now 57)

Teea Goans born in Lowry City, Missouri, year unknown
Sam McGee died in Williamson County, Tennessee (tractor accident on his farm), 1975 (was 81)
Murray "Buddy" Harman died in Nashville, Tennessee (congestive heart failure), 2008 (was 79)

August 22:

Rounder Records co-owner Marian Leighton-Levy born in Harrington, Maine, 1948 (now 63)
Holly Dunn born in San Antonio, Texas, 1957 (now 54)

Collin Raye born in DeQueen, Arkansas, 1959 (now 52)
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 in Knoxville, Tennessee (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 in Hammond, Indiana (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 in Gladewater, Texas (suicide [gunshot]), 1962 (was 53)
Mooney Lynn, the husband of Loretta Lynn, died in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee (heart failure/diabetes), 1996 (was 69)

Floyd Tillman died in Houston, Texas (leukemia), 2003 (was 88)

August 23:

Rex Allen, Jr. born in Chicago, Illinois, 1947 (now 64)
Woody Paul of Riders in the Sky born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1949 (now 62)
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.

August 24:

Fred Rose born in Evansville, Indiana, 1897 (died 1954)
Jerry Clower died in Jackson, Mississippi (complications from heart surgery), 1998 (was 71)
Nat Stuckey died in Nashville, Tennessee (lung cancer), 1988 (was 54)

August 25:

Elvis Costello born in London, England, 1954 (now 57). 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 LouvinJohnny Cash recorded Costello's song "The Big Light" on Johnny Cash is Coming to Town.
Billy Ray Cyrus born in Flatwoods, Kentucky, 1961 (now 50)
Jo Dee Messina born in Holliston, Massachusetts, 1970 (now 41)
Jerry Rivers born in Miami, Florida, 1928 (died 1996)
Cliff Bruner died in Texas City, Texas (cancer), 2000 (was 85)

August 26:

Don Bowman born in Lubbock, Texas, 1937 (now 74)
Jimmy Olander of Diamond Rio born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1961 (now 50)

Wilma Burgess died in Nashville, Tennessee (heart attack), 2003 (was 64)

August 27:

Jimmy C. Newman born in Big Mamou, Louisiana, 1927 (now 84)
J.D. Crowe born in Lexington, Kentucky, 1937 (now 74)
Frances Preston born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1934 (now 76)
Jeff Cook of Alabama born in Fort Payne, Alabama, 1949 (now 62)

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 in Nashville, Tennessee (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.

August 28:

LeAnn Rimes born in Jackson, Mississippi, 1982 (now 28)
Billy Grammer born in Benton, Illinois, 1925 (died 2011)

August 29:

Dan Truman of Diamond Rio born in St. George, Utah, 1956 (now 55)
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 in Knoxville, Tennessee (heart attack), 1987 (was 67)

August 30:

Kitty Wells born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1919 (now 92)
Jon Hagar born in Chicago, Illinois, 1946 (died 2009)
Jim Hagar born in Chicago, Illinois, 1946 (died 2008)

Mr. Guitar

Category:  News

For many, Chet Atkins defined guitar playing in country music.  He began as a shy, sickly youngster in eastern Tennessee, listening to the likes of country great Merle Travis and French gypsy jazz master Django Reinhardt and rose to the top of the music world.  His work as guitarist, producer, guitarist, music executive, and oh yes did I mention guitarist earned him one of the earliest inductions into the Country Music Hall of Fame (in 1973, when he was just 49) in history -- and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum has opened an exhibit dedicated to Chet Atkins.  Titled "Chet Atkins: Certified Guitar Picker," the exhibit includes a detailed replica of Chet's famous workshop in the basement of his home, many guitars (including the first one he ever owned), and Chet's famous guitar instruction book (which was advertised in countless country music magazines in the 1950s).

The exhibit, sponsored by Gretsch Guitars, will run through June, 2012.

The poster for the new Chet Atkins exhibit
Courtesy of Gretsch Guitars

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Gotta Travel On to Hillbilly Heaven

Category:  Obituary/News

The 1959 smash hit "Gotta Travel On" was one of many country songs that year that found a home on the pop "top 40" charts as well as country radio.  The man who performed that song, Billy Grammer, passed away Wednesday (8/10) in a hospital in his hometown of Benton, Illinois.

Although the song is easily Grammer's best-known work, he was not a one-hit wonder.  He had a top 20 hit in 1963 with a song called "I Wanna Go Home."  That same year Bobby Bare recorded the tune with a different title:  "Detroit City."

In addition to his own recordings, Grammer was known as a superlative guitarist.  He worked on recordings by Marty Robbins, George Hamilton IV, Ernest Tubb, and Charley Pride -- and on recordings with the legendary Louis Armstrong.  In the early 1960s he opened his own guitar company, Grammer Guitars.  Although the company didn't last long the guitars made a lasting impression on many country guitarists, including Vince Gill.

Despite his world-wide acclaim Grammer chose to live in his hometown.  Survivors include his wife of 67 years, Ruth.

Billy (ne Billie) Grammer was 85.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

A Piece of Country Music History Now Open

Category:  News

A number of the presentations at the International Country Music Conference have pointed out that the residents of Winchester, Virginia were less than impressed with their wild child neighbor, Virginia Patterson Hensley, who was struggling to become a country music singer.  Even after she gained success as Patsy Cline her reputation overshadowed any positive spotlight she could bring to the community.  Her death did nothing to improve her status in the town.

At long last the town is acknowledging their most famous musical native.  The house Patsy Cline lived in from 1948 until 1953 has been restored and is now open seasonally for fans to visit.

More information


Category:  Obituary/News

It was a new sound, perfect for the era of rockabilly.  People then and since used "boom-chicka-boom" to imitate/describe the sound of Johnny Cash and his Tennessee Two.

Marshall Grant, the bass player in Johnny Cash's groundbreaking band, died Saturday (8/6), two days after suffering a brain aneurysm.  Grant had been in Jonesboro, Arkansas for a concert at Arkansas State University to raise money for a project to restore Cash's boyhood home, which had been acquired by the college, when he was stricken.  

Marshall Grant and Luther Perkins backed the young Air Force veteran Johnny Cash as he skyrocketed to fame in the early 50s.  The sound Cash and the Tennessee Two created found favor with both fans of country music and the new music dubbed "rock and roll."  Over the years Cash hit the Billboard pop charts over four dozen times in addition to his over 130 country entries.  The 1993 edition of Joel Whitburn's Billboard Top Country Singles book lists Cash as the #3 country chart artist of all time, behind only George Jones and #1 Eddy Arnold.  Cash was the first performer inducted into both the country and rock halls of fame as a performer (unlike other country acts such as Bob Wills and Jimmie Rodgers, who were inducted in Cleveland for their "early influence on rock and roll").

In addition to his work with Cash, Grant was also the manager of the Statler Brothers.  He played bass on their breakthrough hit "Flowers on the Wall."

Grant wrote an autobiography of his time with Cash, titled I Was There When It Happened:  My Life With Johnny Cash, published in 2006.

In Tweeting news of Grant's death Rosanne Cash said:

"Marshall Grant, original of Johnny Cash & The Tennessee Two, died lst nt. Grateful I was w/ him last 2 days. Boom Chicka Boom, old friend."

Marshall Grant was 83.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Dates of Note in Country Music, August 1-15

Category: News
Country Music Hall of Famers in bold

August 1:

Leon Chappelear born in Tyler, Texas, 1909 (died 1962)Howard "Howdy" Forrester of the Smoky Mountain Boys died in Nashville, Tennessee (unknown cause), 1987 (was 65)
The AFM called a strike against record companies, 1942. The strike, combined with the shortage of shellac because of World War II, severely limited the record companies' output for two years.

August 2:

Hank Cochran born in Isola, Mississippi, 1935 (died 2010)
Betty Jack Davis died in Cincinnati, Ohio (car wreck), 1953 (was 21)
Joe Allison died in Nashville, Tennessee (illness), 2002 (was 77)
Redd Stewart died in Louisville, Kentucky (complications from a head injury), 2003 (was 82)The wreckage of Jim Reeves' plane discovered, 1964. The two-day search of wooded areas in and around Nashville for the plane included many country music performers. Eddy Arnold 
was among those in the party that found Reeves' body.

August 3:

Dorothy Dillard of the Anita Kerr Singers born in Springfield, Missouri, 1923 (now 88)
Gordon Stoker of the Jordanaires born in Gleason, Tennessee, 1924 (now 87)
Randy Scruggs born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1953 (now 58)
Dean Sams of Lonestar born in Garland, Texas, 1966 (now 45)
Little Roy Wiggins died in Sevierville, Tennessee (heart disease and diabetes complications), 1999 (was 73)

August 4:

Vicki Hackerman of Dave & Sugar born in Louisville, Kentucky, 1950 (now 61)
Louis Armstrong born in New Orleans, 1901 (died 1971). The legendary jazz trumpet player and singer recorded with Jimmie Rodgers.
Carson J. Robison born in Oswego, Kansas, 1890 (died 1957)
James Blackwood of the Blackwood Brothers born in Ackerman, Mississippi, 1919 (died 2002)Scotty Stoneman born in Galax, Virginia, 1932 (died 1973)Fiddlin' Doc Roberts died in Richmond, Kentucky (unknown cause), 1978 (was 81)
Kenny Price died in Nashville, Tennessee (heart attack), 1987 (was 56)

August 5:

Bobby Braddock born in Lakeland, Florida, 1940 (now 71)
Tim Wilson born in Columbus, Georgia, 1961 (now 50)
Terri Clark born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 1968 (now 43)
Hal Durham born in McMinnville, Tennessee, 1931 (died 2009)
Vern "The Voice" Gosdin born in Woodland, Alabama, 1934 (died 2009)
Sammi Smith born in Orange, California, 1943 (died 2005)
Luther Perkins died in Nashville, Tennessee (injuries from a house fire), 1968 (was 40)

August 6:

Patsy and Peggy Lynn born in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee, 1964 (now 47)
Lisa Stewart born in Louisville, Mississippi, 1968 (now 43)
Old Joe Clark (Manuel Clark), longtime Renfro Valley performer, born in Erwin, Tennessee, 1922 (died 1998)
Colleen Carroll Brooks died in Yukon, Oklahoma (throat cancer), 1999 (was 70). The former Ozark Mountain Jubilee singer was the mother of Garth Brooks.

August 7:

B.J. Thomas born in Hugo, Oklahoma, 1942 (now 69)
Rodney Crowell born in Houston, Texas, 1950 (now 61)
Raul Malo of the Mavericks born in Miami, Florida, 1965 (now 46)
Felice Bryant born in Milwaukee, Wisconcin, 1925 (died 2003)
Henry "Homer" Haynes died in Hammond, Indiana (heart attack), 1971 (was 51)
Billy Byrd died in Nashville, Tennessee (natural causes), 2001 (was 81)

August 8:

Mel Tillis born in Tampa, Florida, 1932 (now 79)
Phil Balsley of the Statler Brothers born in Staunton, Virginia, 1939 (now 72)
Jamie O'Hara born in Toledo, Ohio, 1950 (now 61)
Webb Pierce born in West Monroe, Louisiana, 1926 (died 1991)
Hank Williams Jr. critically inured in a fall while mountain climbing on Ajax Mountain in Montana, 1975. Williams' head was split open, his face was shattered, and he lost an eye in the 500-foot fall.

August 9:

Merle Kilgore born in Chickasha, Oklahoma, 1934 (died 2005)

August 10:

Jerry Kennedy born in Shreveport, Louisiana, 1940 (now 71)
Jonie Mosby born in Van Nuys, California, 1940 (now 71)
Gene Johnson of Diamond Rio born in Jamestown, New York, 1949 (now 62)
Delia Upchurch born in Gainesboro, Tennessee, 1891 (died 1976). Upchurch was known as "the Den Mother of Nashville Stars" because she ran a boarding house where struggling musicians and songwriters could stay and pay what they could afford.
Jimmy Martin born in Sneedville, Tennessee, 1927 (died 2005)
Jimmy Dean born in Plainview, Texas, 1928 (died 2010)
Alvin "Junior" Samples born in Buena Park, California, 1926 (died 1983)

August 11:

John Conlee born in Versailles, Kentucky, 1946 (now 65)Don Helms died in Nashville, Tennessee (heart attack), 2008 (was 81)
Hank Williams fired from the Grand Ole Opry, 1952

August 12:

Mark Knopfler born in Glasgow, Scotland, 1949 (now 62). Knopfler, best known as guitarist and lead singer of Dire Straits, won a "Best Country Vocal Collaboration" Grammy with Chet Atkins in 1990 for the song "Poor Boy Blues."
Rex Griffin born in Gadsden, Alabama, 1912 (died 1958)
Porter Wagoner born in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, 1927 (died 2007)
Buck Owens born in Sherman, Texas, 1929 (died 2006)
Linda Parker of the WLS National Barn Dance died in Mishawaka, Indiana (peritonitis), 1935 (was 23)

August 13:

Dan Fogelberg born in Peoria, Illinois, 1951 (died 2007)
Les Paul died (pneumonia), 2009 (was 94). The legendary guitarist won a Grammy for his work with Chet Atkins on the album Chester and Lester.
Vernon Dalhart recorded "The Prisoner's Song," 1924. The song would sell three million copies as country's first million-selling song.

August 14:

Connie Smith born in Elkhart, Indiana, 1941 (now 70)
Charles K. Wolfe born in Sedalia, Missouri, 1943 (died 2006)
Johnny Duncan died in Fort Worth, Texas (heart attack), 2006 (was 67)

August 15:

Rose Maddox born in Boaz, Alabama, 1925 (died 1998)
Bobby Helms born in Bloomington, Indiana, 1933 (died 1997)
Don Rich born in Olympia, Washington, 1941 (died 1974)
Lew DeWitt died in Waynesboro, Virginia (complications from Chron's disease), 1990 (was 52)
Will Rogers died near Port Barrow, Alaska (plane crash with Wiley Post), 1935 (was 55)