Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sick Call: Little Jimmy Dickens

Category:  News

Little Jimmy Dickens is undergoing chemotherapy treatment in Nashville.  The Grand Ole Opry's oldest star and Country Music Hall of Famer is being treated for what is described as "pre-cancerous" growths on his vocal chords.  Additionally, his daughter reported via a Facebook post that Dickens was admitted to the hospital on Thursday (6/27) with pneumonia.

Dickens hasn't been on the Grand Ole Opry this year because of various health issues.  His most recent appearance was in December 2012, just before his 92nd birthday.

Keep this 4'10" giant in your prayers.

Sunday, June 23, 2013


Category:  News

Dale Watson tore up the Road Rocket Rumble in Indianapolis last night (6/21) with a blistering honky tonk country music set.  

This, however, is not a concert review.  This is about a new genre of music -- more precisely, a new label on existing music -- that Watson is championing.

Over the past few weeks a new term has been coined for country-based roots music.  The term is Ameripolitan.  Watson is a main sponsor of this new term, and he mentioned the first awards show, scheduled for next February in Austin, during last night's show.  He also said it is his intention to present David Letterman with the first "Ameripolitan Man of the Year" award during his appearance on Letterman's show this coming Monday (6/24), given that Letterman will be the first national show to feature an Ameripolitan artist.

Part of me doesn't like this in the least.  I am in complete agreement with the late Charlie Louvin, who told an interviewer in the early 1980's that he failed to see why he, the long-established country artist, had to coin a new term for the music he had been making since about 1932 in order to differentiate it from the soft rock disguising itself as "country music."  "If they want a different term," Louvin said in his no-nonsense way, "let them put it on their music."  For years I have often quoted Louvin's words.  He is correct:  he was here first, it's HIS music.  He and his contemporaries (the Stonewall Jacksons, George Joneses, and Merle Haggards of the world) should not have been forced to kowtow to any of these acts who couldn't be country standing in a pile of cow manure (as opposed to country singers who "couldn't go pop with a mouthful of firecrackers," as Porter Wagoner once famously said of Waylon Jennings) and subsequently rename the honest-to-goodness country music they have made for decades -- just so the rocking Johnny-come-latelys could run around calling themselves "country" because it is chic to do so.  

Last year I wrote an article online in which I said it was high time modern "country music" gave itself a new name.  I declared that something had to be done to make certain there's a "truth in advertising," for lack of a better term, in this music.  I pointed out that there's no crime in coining a new phrase when there's a radical shift from the origins of a genre, citing terms like "disco," "punk," "techno," "heavy metal," and "grunge" that have accompanied new sounds in rock and roll.   And, given my fondness for Louvin's remarks, I said the modern music is what should change its title.  

The problem is that we are now into our second generation of fans who think that Billy Ray Shania Dixie Urban Swift is "country music."  Most modern country fans cannot tell Hank Williams from Vanessa Williams; worse, they don't want to.  These are the people who shrugged over the fuss made over some "old has-been" dying a couple of months ago.  Even the so-called "classic country" radio stations have forsaken classic country.  They play the people who were ridiculed 20 years ago for sounding "too rock" and completely ignore acts like Buck Owens or even the more recent neo-traditional acts such as Ricky Skaggs.

Enter Dale Watson.  Watson's father was a Marine, and Watson himself wanted to enlist but failed his physical.  With this background Watson obviously sees nothing wrong with marching into the teeth of the battle.  He may die trying (career-wise), but he is going to do everything in his power to save country music.  Since the term "country music" has apparently been too corrupted to be saved Watson is advocating the new term, Ameripolitan, to give a home to country-based roots music.  

Watson has correctly pointed out that the genre known as "Americana" has failed to do this, given that Americana is far more based in rock than country.  I attended the Americana Music Association conference in 2007 and I can attest to this:  while considerable lip service was paid to Porter Wagoner (who had died a couple of days before the conference began) and the song of the year mentioned Hank Williams in its title, the music performed was more rock and blues than country.  One of the showcases featured Webb Wilder.  Wilder is a superlative performer, and I highly recommend seeing him live.  Just don't expect him to be country, even if he does his cover of Jennings' "Nashville Rebel."  (Wilder, to me, is an example of what "Americana music" is:  rockers who listen to country music and can even speak articulately about country, but don't actually perform country.)

So what is Ameripolitan?  Watson defined it as country-based roots music -- honky tonk, hillbilly, Western swing, rockabilly, Cajun and outlaw -- being ignored by other genres such as Americana (and, sad to say, "country music").  Ameripolitan is the general umbrella under which established acts such as Asleep at the Wheel, Riders in the Sky, Doug Kershaw, and long-forgotten country acts such as Stonewall Jackson can find their music honored and promoted.  Additionally, newer acts such as the Quebe Sisters, Mad Max and the Wild Ones (Watson's opening act last night, three teenage brothers from Utah who do rockabilly music), Jamey Johnson, and Amber Digby (Watson's opening act in Nashville next month) will find a safe haven for their music in an arena where it won't have to compete for auto-tuned pop singers proclaiming themselves to be "country;" and, more importantly, won't be asked (or told) to compromise their sound.

Perhaps it could be considered an admission of defeat to leave the term "country music" in the dust and instead promote the "Ameripolitan" tag.  As much as I agree with Louvin's decades-old assertion, I'm all for anything that will acknowledge the difference and allow fans and promoters to find country music without wondering if they're getting a female singer who's more Pat Benatar than Patsy Cline.  Hopefully one of the good consequences would be to persuade NARAS to split the Grammy categories into "traditional country" and "contemporary country" (the way "traditional R&B" is awarded separately from "contemporary urban" music and "traditional folk" and "contemporary folk" were split in the past) so traditional-sounding country releases don't have to compete with the double-platinum rock and roll releases spewing out of the "country music" genre.  

Ameripolitan FAQs

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Double Loss in Country Music

Category:  Obituary

The world of country music suffered two significant losses on Wednesday.

Slim Whitman:  Ottis Dewey "Slim" Whitman died of heart failure in a hospital in Orange Park, Florida, a city near Jacksonville.  Whitman was one of the few American country singers who had far greater success overseas than in the States.  That is not to diminish his hits here, however:  Whitman had three gold singles, "Indian Love Call" (1952), and his versions of "Secret Love" and "Rose Marie" (both 1954).  He had eleven top ten singles in total out of the 37 that charted on Billboard between 1952 and 1981.  Additionally, he earned an eternal place in science fiction history when his voice singing "Indian Love Call" destroyed the invading Martians in the 1996 spoof Mars Attacks!  Slim Whitman was 89.

Chet Flippo:  One of the most respected journalists in music, Chet Flippo died after a long illness in Nashville.  Flippo came to prominence as a writer for Rolling Stone, where he introduced a primarily rock readership to the joys of country music.  He also worked for Billboard magazine and as the content editor for  While he wrote several books it was his 1981 biography of Hank Williams, Your Cheatin' Heart, that was the first extensive work on the legendary singer.  Flippo's wife, Martha Hume (who was also a writer), died last December.  Flippo was 69.

Farewell to these two greats.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Dates of Note in Country Music, June 16-30

Category: News

(Hall of Fame members in bold on birth/death date, followed by hall[s] of fame in which they are enshrined and the year enshrined.  CM=Country Music; BG=Bluegrass; NS=Nashville Songwriter; SG=Southern Gospel)

June 16:

Billy "Crash" Craddock born in Greensboro, North Carolina, 1946 (now 67)
Bob Nolan  (CM 80, NS 71) died in Newport Beach, California (heart attack), 1980 (was 72)
"Orange Blossom Special" recorded by the Rouse Brothers, 1939. Ervin Rouse co-wrote the legendary fiddle tune with Chubby Wise.

June 17:

Clyde "Red" Foley (CM 67) born in Blue Lick, Kentucky, 1910 (died 1968)
Dave Akeman (Stringbean) born in Annville, Kentucky, 1916 (died 1973)
Minnie Pearl suffered a stroke that ended her career, 1991
Ground breaking ceremonies held for the new Country Music Hall of Fame, 1999. Your blogger was a member of the "All-Guitar Marching Band," fronted by Chet Atkins, that led the Hall of Fame members to the site.

June 18:

Sir Paul McCartney born in Liverpool, England, 1942 (now 71). The legendary Beatle hit the country chart in 1974 with "Sally G." He was also introduced to a Friday Night Opry audience in 1974 by Roy Acuff, where McCartney proclaimed Nashville the "music capital of the universe."
Marty Haggard born in Bakersfield, California, 1958 (now 55)

Zeke Turner born in Lynchburg, Virginia, 1923 (died 2003)
A.P. Carter married Sara Dougherty, 1915

June 19:

Glen Allred of the Florida Boys (SG 01) born in Monroe, Tennessee, 1934 (now 79)

Doug Stone born in Marietta, Georgia, 1956 (now 57)
Howard Dixon of the Dixon Brothers born in Darlington, South Carolina, 1903 (died 1951)
Lester Flatt (CM 85, BG 91, NS 07) born in Sparta, Tennessee, 1914 (died 1979)
Pat Buttram born in Addison, Alabama, 1915 (died 1994)
Bobby Helms died in Martinsville, Indiana (emphysema), 1997 (was 63)

June 20:

Anne Murray (Canadian Music 93) born in Springhill, Nova Scotia, 1945 (now 68)
Evelyn Mae Cox of the Cox Family born in Springhill, Louisiana, 1959 (now 53)
Jimmie Driftwood born in Mountain View, Arkansas, 1907 (died 1998)
T. Texas Tyler born in Mena, Arkansas, 1916 (died 1972)

Pauline "Mom" Lewis of the Lewis Family (BG 06) born in Washington, Georgia, 1920 (died 2003)
Chet Atkins (CM 73) born in Luttrell, Tennessee, 1924 (died 2001)
Ira Louvin (CM 01, NS 79) died near Williamsburg, Missouri (car wreck), 1965 (was 41)
Benjamin "Whitey" Ford, the "Duke of Paducah" (CM 86), died in Nashville, Tennessee (cancer), 1986 (was 85)

June 21:

Eddie Adcock (BG 96) born in Scottsville, Virginia, 1938 (now 75)
Leon Everette born in Aiken, South Carolina, 1948 (now 65)
Kathy Mattea born in Cross Lanes, West Virginia, 1959 (now 54)
Porter Howell of Little Texas born in Longview, Texas, 1964 (now 49)

Charlie Lamb born in Knoxville, Tennessee, 1921 (died 2012)

June 22:

Kris Kristofferson (CM 04, NS 77) born in Brownsville, Texas, 1936 (now 77)
Peter Asher born in Williesden, Middlesex, England, 1944 (now 69). The former half of the pop duo Peter and Gordon was the producer of most of Linda Ronstadt's crossover hits.
Roy Drusky born in Atlanta, Georgia, 1930 (died 2004)
Elton Britt died in McConnellsburg, Pennsylvania (heart attack), 1972 (was 58)

June 23:

Dallas Wayne born in Springfield, Missouri, 1956 (now 57)

Zeb Turner born in Lynchburg, Virginia, 1915 (died 1978)
June Carter Cash born in Maces Springs, Virginia, 1929 (died 2003)

June 24:

Johnnie Bailes of the Bailes Brothers born in Kanawha County, West Virginia, 1918 (died 1989)
Foy Willing of Riders of the Purple Sage died in Nashville, Tennessee (heart attack), 1978 (was 63)
Songwriter Tim Krekel died in Louisville, Kentucky (stomach cancer), 2009 (was 57)

June 25:

Jenifer Strait, daughter of George Strait, died in San Marcos, Texas (car wreck), 1986 (was 13)
Boudleaux Bryant (CM 91, NS 72) died in Knoxville, Tennessee (cancer), 1987 (was 67)
Lew DeWitt retired from the Statler Brothers because of health issues, 1982
Billboard magazine renames the "Hillbilly" music chart the "Country and Western" chart, 1949

June 26:

Gretchen Wilson born in Granite City, Illinois, 1973 (now 40)

Colonel Tom Parker born in Breda, Netherlands, 1909 (died 1997). Before Elvis, Colonel Tom managed Hank Snow, Eddy Arnold, and Minnie Pearl.
Doc Williams born in Cleveland, Ohio, 1914 (died 2011)
Kenny Baker (BG 99) born in Jenkins, Kentucky, 1926 (died 2011)
Charlie Cline of the Lonesome Pine Fiddlers (BG 09) born in Gilbert Creek, Virginia, 1931 (died 2004)
Vernon Presley died in Memphis, Tennessee (heart failure), 1979 (was 63)
Elvis Presley's final concert, at the Hoosier Dome in Indianapolis, 1977

June 27:
Lorrie Morgan born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1959 (now 54)
Elton Britt born in Marshall, Arkansas, 1913 (died 1972)
Rosalie Allen born in Old Forge, Pennsylavania, 1924 (died 2003)
Little Roy Wiggins (Steel Guitar 85) born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1926 (died 1999)
Joe Maphis died near Los Angeles, California (lung cancer), 1986 (was 65)
Bob Keeshan born in Lynbrook, New York, 1927 (died 2004). The Statler Brothers referenced Keeshan's best-known character in their hit "Flowers on the Wall:" "Smokin' cigarettes and watchin' Captain Kangaroo."

Susanna Clark died in Nashville, Tennessee (illness), 2012 (was 73)

June 28:

George Morgan (CM 98) born in Waverly, Tennessee, 1924 (died 1975)
The WWVA Wheeling Jamboree began, 1940

June 29:

T. Tommy Cutrer (DJ 80) born in Osyka, Mississippi, 1924 (died 1998)
Frank Loesser born in New York City, 1910 (died 1969). The legendary pop songwriter was the first "victim" of a Homer & Jethro parody in 1949, "Baby, It's Cold Outside." After Homer & Jethro recorded seven more parodies of Loesser compositions for an EP (Homer & Jethro Fracture Frank Loesser), Loesser, a fan of the pair, wrote the liner notes.
Rosemary Clooney died in Beverly Hills, California (lung cancer), 2002 (was 74).  The pop singer worked on WLW with many country singers and recorded a cover of the Carl Smith hit "If Teardrops Were Pennies."

June 30:

Dwayne O'Brien of Little Texas born in Ada, Oklahoma, 1963 (now 50)
Doyle Holly born in Perkins, Oklahoma, 1936 (died 2007)
R.W. Blackwood of the Blackwood Brothers Quartet (SG 02) died in Clanton, Alabama (plane crash), 1954 (was 33)
Bill Lyles of the Blackwood Brothers Quartet (SG 02) died in Clanton, Alabama (plane crash), 1954 (was 34)
Chet Atkins (CM 73) died in Nashville, Tennessee (brain cancer), 2001 (was 77)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Mama, She's Crazy!

Category:  News

Naomi Judd deserves a medal.

In a letter to the Nashville Tennesseean newspaper Judd blasted the "powers that be" for doing nothing to acknowledge the recent death of legendary singer George Jones during last week's CMT Awards show.  The program failed to pay any significant tribute to Jones, which sent Wynonna's retired mother into a rage.  She concluded her short but sweet opinion by stating that perhaps CMT should rename their awards "The Multi-Genre Awards Show Featuring Artists Under 30."

She is one hundred per cent correct here.  Could you imagine the Grammy awards overlooking someone like Elton John dying?  Or a pop awards show failing to acknowledge someone like Paul McCartney passing away?  I think back to the Grammy awards show of February 2004 and how they gave significant time to pay tribute to Warren Zevon -- and there's no comparison in career stature between Zevon (whom I dearly love, make no mistake about that) and George Jones.  People who don't know any other name in country music know the name George Jones.  Come on, CMT, Elvis Costello covered George Jones songs!  Apparently everyone knows who George Jones was except the executives responsible for putting the CMT awards show together

Congratulations to Naomi Judd for having the courage to stand up and call CMT out on this one.

Just List-Ten Here!

Category:  Obituary

The world is a little less funny now.  Don Bowman has passed away.  Bowman died June 5th in a nursing home near Branson, Missouri.  He had been confined to a nursing facility since a stroke in 2008.

Rubel Don Bowman was born August 26, 1937 in Lubbock, Texas.  His first success as a songwriter came courtesy of two men who would come to invoke his name frequently:  Homer and Jethro.  Their 1962 album Homer and Jethro at the Convention featured Bowman's song "Ellie Mae."  (Later in the 1960's Homer and Jethro would spoof Bowman with songs "Dear Don Bowman" [a parody of one of Bowman's songs, "Dear Harlan Howard"] and "Owed to Don Bowman.")

In 1964 Bowman scored his own recording success.  His creaky voice talked its way through "Chit Akins, Make Me a Star" (with the word star pronounced more like store), a Bowman comical composition that pleaded with the head A&R man at RCA to "just list-ten here" to Bowman's atrocious guitar playing (which, according to Atkins during an interview on WSM in the mid-90s, was played by saxophonist Boots Randolph) and put him on the road to stardom.  It worked.  Bowman released a string of successful albums on RCA and continued to write comical ("Freda on the Freeway," from Bowman's Funny Way to Make an Album record, was also recorded by Homer and Jethro, and in return Jethro provided the liner notes for the Bowman LP) and serious ("Anita, You're Dreaming" and "Just to Satisfy You," co-written with and hits for his friend Waylon Jennings) material.  Bowman was named the CMA's first "comedian of the year" during the short lifespan of that category (it was discontinued in 1971).  During this time Bowman was also featured as the comedian on Bill Anderson's syndicated television series (and Anderson was victimized by Bowman in Bowman's album Whispering Country, consisting of parodies of Anderson's songs).

Bowman's best-known comedic success came ten years after he wrote it:  "Wildwood Weed."  Although Bowman recorded the song on Our Man in Trouble in 1964, it took Jim Stafford's cover in 1974 to make the song a success.

After the comedic success waned Bowman turned to radio.  He became the first host of American Country Countdown, country radio's answer to Casey Kasem's pop program.  He also worked as a disc jockey in Texas and Missouri.

Don Bowman was 75.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Dates of Note in Country Music, June 1-15

Category: News
(Hall of Fame members in bold on birth/death date, followed by hall[s] of fame in which they are enshrined and the year enshrined.  CM=Country Music; BG=Bluegrass; NS=Nashville Songwriter; SG=Southern Gospel)

June 1:

Dale Warren born in Summerville, Kentucky, 1925 (now 88)

Pat Boone born in Jacksonville, Florida, 1934 (now 79). The legendary pop crooner married Red Foley's daughter Shirley.
Wayne Kemp (NS 99) born in Greenwood, Arkansas, 1941 (now 72)
Ronnie Dunn of Brooks & Dunn born in Coleman, Texas, 1953 (now 60)
Elsie McWilliams (NS 79) born in Harperville, Mississippi, 1896 (died 1985)

Lee Allen of the Allen Brothers born in Sewanee, Tennessee, 1906 (died 1981)
Johnny Bond (CM 99, NS 70) born in Enville, Oklahoma, 1915 (died 1978)
Andy Griffith born in Mount Airy, North Carolina, 1926 (died 2012)
Hazel Dickens born in Mercer County, West Virginia, 1935 (died 2011)
Jimmy Murphy died (unknown cause), 1981 (was 55)

June 2:

Carl Butler born in Knoxville, Tennessee, 1927 (died 1992)
Helen Carter died in Nashville, Tennessee (gastrointestinal issues), 1998 (was 70)
Adolph Hofner died in San Antonio, Texas (illness), 2000 (was 83)

June 3:

Fred "Too Slim" LeBour of Riders in the Sky born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1948 (now 65)

Deke Dickerson born in St. Louis, Missouri, 1968 (now 45)
Jamie O'Neal born in Sydney, Australia, 1968 (now 45)
Curly Williams born in Cairo, Georgia, 1914 (died 1970)
Homer Louis "Boots" Randolph born in Paducah, Kentucky, 1927 (died 2007)
Wally Fowler died at Dale Hollow Lake, Tennessee (heart attack/drowned), 1994 (was 77)
Van Stoneman of the Stoneman Family died in Mufreesboro, Tennessee (Parkinson's disease), 1995 (was 54)
Graceland opens to the public, 1982
The Cincinnati radio show Midwest Hayride begins television broadcasts (on WLW-TV), 1955

June 4:

Bill Mack born in Shamrock, Texas, 1929 (now 84)
Linda Martell born in Leesville, South Carolina, 1941 (now 72). She was the first Black female artist to perform on the Grand Ole Opry.
Texas Ruby Owens born in Wise County, Texas, 1910 (died 1963)
Freddy Fender born in San Benito, Texas, 1937 (died 2006)
Zeke Clements (NS 71) died in Nashville, Tennessee (post-operative complications), 1994 (was 82)
John Hartford (BG 10) died in Madison, Tennessee (non-Hodgkin's lymphoma), 2001 (was 63)
Alabama's annual "June Jam" concert began in Fort Payne, Alabama, 1982

June 5:

Don Reid (CM 08) born in Staunton, Virginia, 1945 (now 68)
Gail Davies born in Broken Bow, Oklahoma, 1948 (now 65)
William "Hopalong Cassidy" Boyd born in Cambridge, Ohio, 1895 (died 1972)

Vaughn Horton (NS 71) born in Broad Top, Pennsylvania, 1911 (died 1988)
Hal "Lone" Pine born in Pea Cove, Maine, 1916 (died 1977)
John "Lonzo" Sullivan died in Nashville, Tennessee (heart attack), 1967 (was 48)
Conway Twitty (CM 99, NS 93) died in Springfield, Missouri (abdominal aneurysm), 1993 (was 59)
Ronald Reagan died in Los Angeles, California (complications of Alzheimer's disease), 2004 (was 93). While governor of California, the former president signed a full pardon for former convict Merle Haggard.
Grand Ole Opry's first performance at the Ryman auditorium, 1943

June 6:

Joe Stampley born in Springhill, Louisiana, 1943 (now 70)
Gid Tanner of the Skillet Lickers born in Thomas Bridge, Georgia, 1885 (died 1960)
Asher Sizemore born in Manchester, Kentucky, 1906 (died 1973)
Charlie Cline of the Lonesome Pine Fiddlers born in Gilbert, West Virginia, 1931 (died 2004)
Claudette Orbison, wife of Roy Orbison, died in Gallatin, Tennessee (motorcycle accident), 1966 (was 24)
Grant Turner began his tenure as Grand Ole Opry announcer, 1944

June 7:

Sir Tom Jones born in Treforest, South Wales, 1940 (now 73). The legendary pop/rock singer had a hit with a cover of "Green, Green Grass of Home" in 1967 and hit the country charts with "Say You'll Stay Until Tomorrow" in 1977.
Larry Boone born in Cooper City, Florida, 1956 (now 57)
Dean Martin born in Steubenville, Ohio, 1917 (died 1995). The pop crooner recorded two albums of country music on Reprise in the early 60s and sang with Ricky Nelson in the John Wayne classic Rio Bravo in 1969.
Wynn Stewart born in Morrisville, Missouri, 1934 (died 1985)
Courtney Johnson of New Grass Revival died in Glasgow, Kentucky (lung cancer), 1996 (was 56)

June 8:

Vernon Oxford born in Rogers, Arkansas, 1941 (now 72)
Tony Rice born in Danville, Virginia, 1951 (now 62)
Adolph Hofner born in Moulton, Texas, 1916 (died 2000)
Alton Delmore (CM 01, NS 71) died in Huntsville, Alabama (alcohol-related illness), 1964 (was 55)
Roba Stanley died in Gainesville, Florida (unknown cause), 1986 (was 76). She is credited as being the first female solo artist recorded in country music history (1924).
Tommy Perkins of the Texas Playboys died in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (car accident), 2003 (was 69)

June 9:

Herb Remington (Steel Guitar 79) born in Mishawaka, Indiana, 1926 (now 87)

Willard Cox of the Cox Family born in Cotton Valley, Louisiana, 1937 (now 76)
Jamie Dailey of Dailey & Vincent born in Corbin, Kentucky, 1975 (now 38)

Les Paul born in Waukesha, Wisconsin, 1915 (died 2009). In addition to his recordings with wife Mary Ford, Paul invented the solid-body electric guitar and multi-track recording. He also won a Grammy for his album with Chet Atkins, Chester and Lester, in 1976.

June 10:

Thom Schuyler (NS 11) born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, 1952 (now 61)
Herman Crook of the Crook Brothers died in Nashville, Tennesee (heart attack), 1988 (was 89).  Crook was the last surviving member of the original Grand Ole Opry/WSM Barn Dance cast from 1925.
Steve Sanders, who replaced William Lee Golden in the Oak Ridge Boys for 15 years, died in Cape Coral, Florida (suicide), 1998 (was 45)
Ray Charles died in Beverly Hills, California (complications of liver disease), 2004 (was 73). Charles made the country charts in the 80s with duets with George Jones and Willie Nelson, and his ground-breaking 1962 album Modern Sounds in Country Music presented country songs to a wide audience.

June 11:

Jay McDowell of BR-549 born in Bedford, Indiana, 1969 (now 44)
Edwin Duhon of the Hackberry Ramblers born in Lafayette, Louisiana, 1910 (died 2006)
Brother Dave Gardner born in Jackson, Tennessee, 1926 (died 1983)
Jud Strunk born in Jamestown, New York, 1936 (died 1981)
Wilma Burgess born in Orlando, Florida, 1939 (died 2003)
Henry Maddox of the Maddox Brothers & Rose died aboard a mercy flight between Ashland, Oregon and Portland, Oregon (kidney disease), 1974 (was 46)

John Wayne died in Los Angeles, California (stomach cancer), 1979 (was 72). The actor has been referenced in a number of country songs.

June 12:

Junior Brown born in Kirksville, Indiana, 1952 (now 61)
Rebecca Holden born in Austin, Texas, 1958 (now 55)
Penny Jay born in Monteagle Mountain, Tennessee, 1927 (died 2006)
Dr. Humphrey Bate of the Possum Hunters died in Castalain Springs, Tennessee (heart attack), 1936 (was 61)
J.E. Mainer died (heart attack), 1971 (was 72)
Johnny Bond (CM 99, NS 70) died in Burbank, California (complications from stroke/heart attack), 1978 (was 63)
Danny Davis (ne George Joseph Nowlan) died in Nashville, Tennessee (heart failure), 2008 (was 83)

June 13:

Howard Vokes born in Clearfield, Pennsylvania, 1931 (now 82)
Slim Dusty born in Kempsey, Australia, 1927 (died 2003)

Thom Schuyler (NS 11) born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, 1952 (now 61)
Jimmy Dean (CM 10) died in Varina, Virginia (natural causes), 2010 (was 81)
Frances Preston (CM 92) died in Nashville, Tennessee (congestive heart failure), 2012 (was 83)
The Country Music Foundation Library and Media Center opened in the basement of the Country Music Hall of Fame, 1972. The CMF is now on the top floor of the new Hall of Fame building.

June 14:

Burl Ives born in Newton, Illinois, 1909 (died 1995)
Lash LaRue born in Gretna, Louisiana, 1917 (died 1996). The Western actor was the first sidekick to western singer/actor/songwriter Eddie Dean and was mentioned in the Statler Brothers' "Whatever Happened to Randolph Scott."
Ernest V. "Pop" Stoneman (CM 08) died in Nashville, Tennessee (illness), 1968 (was 75)
Patsy Cline seriously injured in a car accident in Madison, Tennessee, 1961

June 15:

Terri Gibbs born in Miami, Florida, 1954 (now 59)
Blind Alfred Reed born in Floyd, Virginia, 1880 (died 1956)
Tex Owens (NS 71) born in Killeen, Texas, 1892 (died 1962)
Marvin Hughes born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1911 (died 1986)

Leon Payne (NS 70) born in Alba, Texas, 1917 (died 1969)
RCA engineer Bill Porter born in St. Louis, Missouri, 1931 (died 2010)
Waylon Jennings (CM 01, NS 95) born in Littlefield, Texas, 1937 (died 2002)

Ruby Falls died in Nashville, Tennessee (cerebral hemorrhage), 1986 (was 40)
Hee Haw debuted on CBS as the summer replacement show for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, 1969.