Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Country Music's Final Bows of 2014

Category:  Tribute

Here are the people from the world of country music who performed their final song in 2014:

Bud Andrews (August 30, unknown cause, age 74):  DJ who is credited with discovering country comedians Jerry Clower and Jerry Jordan, he produced Clower's early records as well as Jordan's "Phone Call From God."

Jeanne Black (October 23, Alzheimer's disease, age 76):  singer best known for her "answer song" to Jim Reeves' "He'll Have to Go," "He'll Have to Stay."

Joe Carr (December 15, stroke, age 63):  longtime bluegrass musician and video instructor.

Courtney Cash (March 19, murdered [stabbed to death], age 23):  granddaughter of country singer Tommy Cash.

Paul Craft (October 18, illness, age 76):  songwriter behind well-known tunes both serious ("Midnight Flyer") and silly ("It's Me Again, Margaret").  Craft fell ill while at his induction ceremony at the Nashville Songwriters' Hall of Fame.

Penny DeHaven (February 23, cancer, age 65):  singer who had some hits on her own ("Mama Lou," a cover of "Down in the Boondocks") and duets with Del Reeves ("Land Mark Tavern").

Mundo Earwood (April 21, pancreatic cancer, age 61):  singer best known for the 1978 top 20 hit "Things I'd Do for You."

Phil Everly (January 3, COPD, age 74):  the younger of the Everly Brothers, a duet that managed to delight both country and rock fans in the late 1950's and early 1960's.  Their reward was induction into both halls of fame.

Steven Fromholz (January 19, accidentally shot in hunting accident, age 68):  Texas' poet laureate and songwriter best known nationally for writing "I'd Have to be Crazy," which Willie Nelson recorded.

Stella Fulks (March 31, unknown causes, age 96):  grandmother of alt-country singer Robbie Fulks.

George Hamilton IV (September 17, complications of heart attack, age 77):  the "International Ambassador of Country Music" had numerous hits in his career, including the crossover hits "A Rose and a Baby Ruth" and "Abilene."

Larry Henley (December 18, long illness, age 77):  one-time member of the pop group the Newbeats ("Bread and Butter"), he went on to a long career as a songwriter ("Till I Get It Right," "Is It Still Over?," "He's a Heartache [Looking for a Place to Happen]").  One of his best-known compositions is "Wind Beneath My Wings."

Lois Johnson (July 7, long illness, age 72):  the "girl singer" on the Ernest Tubb Show, she charted with her own hits ("Loving You Will Never Grow Old") and singing duets with Hank Williams Jr.

Don Lanier (July 23, unknown cause, age 78):  one-time guitarist in Buddy Knox's Rhythm Orchids and songwriter whose song "Here We Go Again" was recorded by the likes of Ray Charles and George Strait.

Gregory "Kip" Martin (January 29, liver disease, age 61):  bluegrass bassist who played with Jimmy Martin.

Priscilla Mitchell (September 24, illness, age 73):  the widow of Jerry Reed was best known as a singer for her duet "Yes, Mr. Peters" with Roy Drusky in 1965.

Bob Montgomery (December 4, Parkinson's disease, age 77):  songwriter whose composition "Misty Blue" was a hit four different times, including once in pop.

Weldon Myrick (June 2, stroke, age 76):  a steel guitarist's steel guitarist, the Steel Hall of Famer wrote songs (recorded by acts ranging from Buddy Holly to the Wilburn Brothers) and contributed significantly to the country soundtrack of the 1960's, both as a session man and as a Grand Ole Opry staff musician.

Jimmy C. Newman (June 21, cancer, age 86):  a Louisiana native who came to the Grand Ole Opry on the strength of country hits such as "A Fallen Star" and "Cry, Cry Darling" but always highlighted the Cajun music of his home state.

Parker Rector (March 12, cancer, age 86):  the widow of bluegrass legend Red Rector and historian on his career.

George Riddle (July 19, throat cancer, age 78):  guitarist and songwriter who worked for years with George Jones.

Dawn Sears (December 11, lung cancer, age 53):  powerhouse female vocalist who sang with the supergroup the Time Jumpers, Sears died four days after her 53rd birthday.

Kevin Sharp (April 19, complications of stomach surgery, age 43):  country singer best known for his #1 hit "Nobody Knows" endured a long battle with various health problems, including bone cancer.

James Alan Shelton (June 3, cancer, age 51):  bluegrass guitarist who spent nearly two decades playing with Dr. Ralph Stanley.

George Shuffler (April 7, long illness, age 88):  bluegrass guitarist who is widely considered the father of bluegrass's cross-picking style of playing.

Little Jimmy Sizemore (October 14, natural causes, age 87):  an early country singer and Grand Ole Opry performer.

Arthur "Guitar Boogie" Smith (April 3, natural causes, age 93):  in addition to his namesake song "Guitar Boogie" (which he used in his name because of the number of people named "Arthur Smith" in country music at the time), he wrote "Feudin' Banjos," later known as the song from Deliverance, "Deuling Banjos."

Velma Smith (July 31, illness, age 87):  one of Nashville's first female session musicians, she played guitar on countless sessions in the golden era of Nashville.

Henry Strzelecki (December 30, hit by a car, age 75):  legendary session bassist who played with Dylan as well as Jerry Reed, Chet Atkins, Tom T. Hall, and countless others.

Jerry Sullivan (May 31, illness, age 80):  longtime bluegrass gospel performer in the Sullivan Family and with his daughter as Jerry & Tammy Sullivan.

Johnny Vincent (October 5, long illness, age 73):  the founder of the Sally Mountain Bluegrass Festival in Missouri was also the patriarch of bluegrass royalty:  children Darrin (Dailey & Vincent) and Rhonda are superstars in bluegrass.

Lou Whitney (October 7, cancer, age 72):  Springfield, Missouri-based musician, producer, and recording engineer who played on and produced, among others, Robbie Fulks' second album, South Mouth.

Tim Wilson (February 26, ruptured aorta, age 52): country stand-up comedian, singer ("Garth Brooks Has Ruined My Life," "Jeff Gordon's Gay"), songwriter ("The Twelve Redneck Days of Christmas," "Arab, Alabama") and record producer.

Chip Young (December 20, complications from heart surgery, age 76):  Thumbpicker Hall of Fame session guitar player who worked with the likes of Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton, and Charley Pride.

Farewell, and thank you for the music.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Dates of Note in Country Music, December 16-31

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; DJ=Country Disc Jockey; NS=Nashville Songwriter; SG=Southern Gospel; StG=Steel Guitar WS=Western Swing; RR=also in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)

December 16:

Jim Glaser of the Glaser Brothers born in Spalding, Nebraska, 1937 (now 77)
Jeff Carson born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, 1964 (now 50)
Shelby Singleton born in Waskom, Texas, 1931 (died 2009)
Jenny Lou Carson (NS 71) died in Torrance, California (unknown causes), 1978 (was 63)
Martha Carson died in Nashville, Tennessee (natural causes), 2004 (was 83)
Gary Stewart died in Fort Pierce, Florida (suicide [gunshot]), 2003 (was 58)
Dan Fogelberg died in Deer Island, Maine (cancer), 2007 (was 56)

Ray Price (CM 96) died in Mount Pleasant, Texas (pancreatic cancer), 2013 (was 87)

December 17:

Frankie Miller born in Victoria, Texas, 1930 (now 84)
Sharon White Skaggs born in Wichita Falls, Texas, 1953 (now 61) 
Tracy Byrd born in Vidor, Texas, 1966 (now 48)
Karl Davis born in Mount Vernon, Kentucky, 1905 (died 1979)
Spade Cooley born in Grand, Oklahoma, 1910 (died 1969)
Nat Stuckey born in Cass County, Texas, 1933 (died 1988)
Roy Huskey Jr. born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1956 (died 1997)
Rex Allen Sr. died in Tuscon, Arizona (accidentally run over by car), 1999 (was 77)
Commercial plane carrying Doug Stone crash-lands in Chicago, 1999. Stone was uninjured.

December 18:

Cledus T. Judd (real name: James Poole) born in Crowe Springs, Georgia, 1964 (now 50)
Wilf Carter (Montana Slim) (NS 71) born in Port Hilford, Nova Scotia, 1904 (died 1996)
The Louvin Brothers' first recording session (they recorded "Alabama") at Castle Studios, Nashville, 1947

December 19:

Little Jimmy Dickens (CM 83) born in Bolt, West Virginia, 1920 (now 94)
John McEuen of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Bang born in Long Beach, California, 1945 (now 69)
Janie Fricke born in South Whitney, Indiana, 1947 (now 67)
Jumpin' Bill Carlisle (CM 02) born in Wakefield, Kentucky, 1908 (died 2003)
Marion Worth died in Madison, Tennessee (emphysema), 1999 (was 69)
Hank Williams' last show, given at the Skyline Club, Austin, Texas, 1952
Johnny Paycheck shot a man outside a bar in Greenfield, Ohio, 1985

December 20:

Skeeter Willis of the Willis Brothers born in Colton, Oklahoma, 1917 (died 1976)
Jack Stapp (CM 89) died in Nashville, Tennessee (unknown cause), 1980 (was 68)
Don Law (CM 01) died in LaMarque, Texas (unknown cause), 1982 (was 80)

Hank Snow (CM 79, NS 78) died in Nashville, Tennessee (various illnesses), 1999 (was 85)

December 21:

Freddie Hart (NS 04) born in Lockapoke, Alabama, 1926 (now 88)
Lee Roy Parnell born in Abilene, Texas, 1956 (now 58)
Christy Forrester of the Forester Sisters born in Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, 1962 (now 52)
Vito Pellettieri born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1889 (died 1977)
Floyd "Lightnin'" Chance born in Como, Mississippi, 1925 (died 2005)

Natchee the Indian (ne Lester Vernon Storer) died in Santa Clara, California (unknown cause), 1970 (was 54)
John Bailes of the Bailes brothers died (unknown cause), 1989 (was 71)
Harold Morrison died in Springfield, Missouri (illness), 1993 (was 62)

December 22:

Red Stegall born in Gainesville, Texas, 1937 (now 77)
Chuck Mead of BR5-49 born in Nevada, Missouri, 1960 (now 54)
Paul Martin of Exile born in Winchester, Kentucky, 1962 (now 52)
Harold "Hawkshaw" Hawkins born in Huntington, West Virginia, 1921 (died 1963)
Dave Dudley died in Danbury, Wisconsin (heart attack), 2003 (was 75)
Dennis Linde (NS 01) died in Nashville, Tennessee (lung disease), 2006 (was 63)

December 23:

Murray "Buddy" Harman born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1928 (died 2008)

December 24:

Lulu Belle Wiseman born in Boone, North Carolina, 1913 (died 1999)
Zane Beck (StG 91) born in Clarksville, Arkansas, 1927 (died 1985)
Jake Hess (SG 97) born in Limestone County, Alabama, 1927 (died 2004)
Stoney Edwards born in Seminole, Oklahoma, 1929 (died 1997)
William J. "Billy" Hill (NS 82) died in Boston, Massachusetts (heart attack), 1940 (was 41)
Charlie Moore died in Maryland (illness), 1979 (was 44)

December 25:

J.R. "Curly" Seckler (BG 04) born in China Grove, North Carolina, 1919 (now 95)
Jimmy Buffett (NS 06) born in Pascagoula, Mississippi, 1946 (now 68)

Barbara Mandrell (CM 09, StG 09) born in Houston, Texas, 1948 (now 66)
Steve Wariner born in Noblesville, Indiana, 1954 (now 60)
Alton Delmore (CM 01, NS 71) born in Elkmont, Alabama, 1908 (died 1964)
Billy Nelson, Willie Nelson's son, died in Nashville, Tennessee (suicide [hanged self]), 1991 (was 33)
Johnny Cash and family robbed and held at gunpoint in their Jamaica home, 1982

December 26:

Ronnie Prophet born in Calument, Quebec, 1938 (now 76)
Bob Carpenter of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1946 (now 68)

Travis Lewis of the Lewis Family (BG 06) born in Greenwood, South Carolina, 1958 (now 56)
Audrey Wiggins born in Asheville, North Carolina, 1967 (now 47)
Beecher Ray "Pete" "Bashful Brother Oswald" Kirby born in Sevier County, Tennessee, 1911 (died 2002)
Harry Choates born in Rayne, Louisiana, 1911 (died 1951)
Jimmie Osborne died in Louisville, Kentucky (suicide [gunshot]), 1957 (was 34)
Red Foley and wife Sally injured in a fire in their apartment in Nashhville, 1964

December 27:

Leonard T. "LT" Zinn (StG 05) born in Hanover, Pennsylvania, 1924 (now 90)
Scotty Moore born in Gadsden, Tennessee, 1931 (now 83)
Les Taylor of Exile born in Oneida, Kentucky, 1948 (now 66)
Darrin Vincent of Dailey & Vincent born in Kirkville, Missouri, 1969 (now 45)

John Hughey (StG 96) born in Elaine, Arkansas, 1933 (died 2007)
Bob Luman died in Nashville, Tennessee (pneumonia), 1978 (was 41)
Hoagy Carmichael (NS 88) died in Rancho Mirage, California (heart ailment), 1981 (was 82)
Kent Robbins (NS 98) died in Clanton, Alabama (car wreck), 1997 (was 50)
Vestal Goodman (SG 02) died in Celebration, Florida (complications from the flu), 2003 (was 74)
Hank "Sugarfoot" Garland died in Orange Park, Florida (staph infection), 2004 (was 74)

December 28:

Joe Diffie born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, 1958 (now 56)
Mike McGuire of Shenandoah born in Haleyville, Alabama, 1958 (now 56)
Marty Roe of Diamond Rio born in Lebanon, Ohio, 1960 (now 54)
Dorsey Burnette born in Memphis, Tennessee, 1932 (died 1979)
Mike Auldridge (BG 14) died in Silver Spring, Maryland (cancer), 2012 (was 73)
Hank Williams Jr.'s first recording session at age 14, 1963

December 29:

Rose Lee Maphis born in Baltimore, Maryland, 1922 (now 92)
Ed Bruce born in Keiser, Arkansas, 1939 (now 75)

December 30:

Melvin Goins (BG 09) born in Bramwell, West Virginia, 1933 (now 81)
Mike Auldridge (BG 14) born in Washington, DC, 1938 (died 2012)
Suzy Bogguss born in Aledo, Illinois, 1956 (now 58)
Joaquin Murphey (StG 80) born in Hollywood, California, 1923 (died 1999)
Bob Ferguson born in Willow Spring, Missouri, 1927 (died 2001)
Orville "Red" Rhodes (StG 05) born in Alton, Illinois, 1930 (died 1995)
Skeeter Davis (nee Mary Frances Penick) born in Dry Ridge, Kentucky, 1931 (died 2004)
John Hartford (BG 10) born in New York, New York, 1937 (died 2001)
Elsie McWilliams (NS 79) died in Meridian, Mississippi (natural causes), 1985 (was 89)

December 31:

Talmade Lewis of the Lewis Family (BG 06) born in Lincolnton, Georgia, 1934 (now 80)
Rex Allen Sr. born in Wilcox, Arizona, 1920 (died 1999)
Dale Noe born in New Boston, Ohio, 1927 (died 2005)
John Denver born in Roswell, New Mexico, 1943 (died 1997)
Rick Nelson died in DeKalb, Texas (plane crash), 1985 (was 45)
Floyd Cramer (CM 03) died in Nashville, Tennessee (lung cancer), 1997 (was 64)
Jim McReynolds of Jim & Jesse (BG 93) died in Gallatin, Tennessee (cancer), 2002 (was 75)
Charlie Louvin injured in car accident near Manchester, Tennessee, 2001
The original Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum building closed, 2000