Thursday, May 31, 2012

Rosanne Cash Said It Best

Category:  Tribute

"To lose Earl Scruggs, Levon Helm and Doc Watson in one year is just too, too much." 
--Rosanne Cash in a tweet

Doc Watson (center) with Charles (left) and Robert Whitstein
backstage at the Grand Ole Opry in 1995.
c. 2012 K.F. Raizor

Arthel Lane Watson
March 2, 1923 - May 29, 2012

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sick Call: Doc Watson

Category:  News

Doc Watson backstage at the Grand Ole Opry in 1995.
c. 2012 K.F. Raizor
A rough year for country and roots music gets rougher.  The great Doc Watson is gravely ill.  Watson, 89, suffered a fall at his home in North Carolina.  An underlying condition was aggravated by the fall, resulting in Watson being admitted to a local hospital.  Shortly after the hospitalization he was airlifted to Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem.  On Thursday (5/24) Watson underwent surgery for an impacted colon, resulting in his entire colon being removed.  Reports earlier in the week also stated Watson was suffering from pneumonia.

Arthel "Doc" Watson is revered by fans of blues, folk and bluegrass music, as well as anyone who has ever picked up an acoustic guitar.  He has delighted audiences for decades, winning seven Grammy awards (most recently in 2006 for his collaboration on the Bryan Sutton album Not Too Far From the Tree) as well as the Grammy Lifetime Achievement in 2004.

Watson performed with his son, Merle, until a farming accident claimed Merle's life in 1985.  Watson started the Merle Watson Memorial Festival in his son's memory in 1987.  The name was soon shortened to "MerleFest" and, over the past quarter century, has become one of the biggest music festivals in America.

After being initially responsive Watson's condition took a turn for the worse today (5/27), prompting the hospital to call Watson's family to his bedside.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Dates of Note in Country Music, May 16-31

Category: News

Country Music Hall of Famers in bold

May 16:

Rick Trevino born in Austin, Texas, 1971 (now 41)
Laura Lee Owens, the "Queen of Western Swing," born in Kansas City, Missouri, 1920 (died 1989)

May 17:

Penny DeHaven born in Winchester, Virginia, 1948 (now 64)
Pat Flynn of the New Grass Revival born in Los Angeles, California, 1952 (now 60)
Grant Turner born in Abeline, Texas, 1912 (died 1991)
Paul Warren born in Lyles, Tennessee, 1918 (died 1978)
Arthur Lee "Red" Smiley of Reno & Smiley born in Marshall, North Carolina, 1925 (died 1984)
Wiley Walker of Wiley & Gene died in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (cancer), 1966 (was 54)
New Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum building opened, 2001.  Nearly every living Hall of Famer was present at the opening ceremonies, and the audience was treated to tour the new facilities for free.

May 18:

Leon Ashley born in Newton County, Georgia, 1936 (now 76)
Rodney Dillard of the Dillards born in East St. Louis, Illinois, 1942 (now 70)
Joe Bonsall of the Oak Ridge Boys born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1948 (now 64)
Gary Scruggs born in Knoxville, Tennessee, 1949 (now 63)
George Strait born in Poteet, Texas, 1952 (now 60)

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 in Dyess, Arkansas (injuries from accident with table saw), 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 in Spray, North Carolina (alcohol-related heart failure), 1931 (was 39)
Billy Walker died in Fort Deposit, Alabama (car wreck), 2006 (was 77)
Vaughn Monroe died in Stuart, Florida (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 86)
Buddy Alan born in Mega, Arizona, 1948 (now 64)
Rich Alves of Pirates of the Mississippi born in Pleasanton, California, 1953 (now 59)
Dana Williams of Diamond Rio born in Dayton, Ohio, 1961 (now 51)
Ralph S. Peer born in Independence, Missouri, 1892 (died 1960)
Royce Kendall died in LaCrosse, Wisconsin (stroke), 1988 (was 63)

May 23:

Mac Wiseman born in Crimora, Virginia, 1925 (now 87)
Ken Irwin, co-founder of Rounder Records, born in New York, New York, 1944 (now 68)
Misty Morgan born in Buffalo, New York, 1945 (now 67)
Shelley West born in Cleveland, Ohio, 1958 (now 54)

Leroy Troy born in Goodlettesville, Tennessee, 1966 (now 46)
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 65)
Rosanne Cash born in Memphis, Tennessee, 1955 (now 57)
Billy Gilman born in Westerly, Rhode Island, 1988 (now 24). 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 in Sherman Oaks, California (bleeding ulcer), 1991 (was 46)
Vivian Liberto died in Ventura, California (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 be the final recordings of the Father of Country Music.

May 25:

Tom T. Hall born in Olive Hill, Kentucky, 1936 (now 76)
Jessi Colter born in Phoenix, Arizona, 1947 (now 65)
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 in Bangor, Maine (stomach cancer), 1995 (was 63)

May 26:

Randall Hank Williams Jr. born in Shreveport, Louisiana, 1949 (now 62)

Levon Helm born in Marvell, Arkansas, 1940 (died 2012). The actor and drummer/singer for the Band made his acting debut in Coal Miner's Daughter.
Jimmie Rodgers died in New York, New York (tuberculosis), 1933 (was 35)
Onie Wheeler died in Nashville, Tennessee (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.
Judy Lynn died in New Albany, Indiana (congestive heart failure), 2010 (was 74)
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 73)
Redd Stewart born in Ashland City, Tennessee, 1921 (died 2003)
Kenny Price born in Florence, Kentucky, 1931 (died 1987)
Slim Bryant died in Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania (long-term illness), 2010 (was 101)
Opryland opened, 1972 (died 1997)

May 28:

John Fogerty born in Berkeley, California, 1945 (now 67). 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," and several songs Fogerty has written have been recorded by country singers.
Jerry Douglas born in Warren, Ohio, 1956 (now 56)
Phil Vassar born in Lynchburg, Virginia, 1965 (now 47)

Gary Stewart born in Jenkins, Kentucky, 1945 (died 2003)

May 29:

Carl Story born in Lenoir, North Carolina, 1916 (died 1995)

Danny Davis (ne George Joseph Nowlan) of the Nashville Brass born in Dorchester, Massachusetts, 1925 (died 2008)
Mother Maybelle and the Carter Family became members of the Grand Ole Opry, 1950
Hank and Audrey Williams divorced, 1952

May 30:

Mike Snider born in Gleason, Tennessee, 1960 (now 52)
Lewis Crook of the Crook Brothers born in Trousdale County, Tennessee, 1909 (died 1996)
Karl Davis of Karl & Harty died in Chicago, Illinois (cancer), 1979 (was 73)
Bobby Harden of the Harden Trio died in Nashville, Tennessee (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 in Knoxville, Tennessee (heart attack), 1990 (was 60)