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Archive for the ‘Country’ Category

Died On This Date (May 17, 2016) Guy Clark / Revered Texas Singer-Songwriter

Posted by themusicsover on May 17, 2016

Guy Clark
November 6, 1941 – May 17, 2016

guy-clarkGuy Clark was the true embodiment of a “songwriter’s songwriter.”  Born in Texas, Clark’s name is rarely excluded when conversations turn to the greats from that state. Alongside contemporaries like Townes Van Zandt and Jerry Jeff Walker, Clark laid down the foundation for what is now simply called Texas Music or Texas Country.  His lyrics, served over mostly sparse blues folk instrumentation, tended to come as close to being called literature as songs could get.  As a performer – and most of the time armed with little more than his acoustic guitar or maybe a second and a fiddle, Clark could leave an audience holding its collective breath in anticipation of the next word coming from his mouth – and many times, that was during his talk leading up to the song. He eventually settled in Nashville where he and his wife, Susanna Clark, often welcomed local songwriters into their home where they could work on perfecting their craft in informal workshops.  This open houses often hosted the likes of Steve Earle, Rodney Crowell, and Steve Young.  Clark’s songs have been hits for such country luminaries as Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Vince Gill, Alan Jackson, Ricky Skaggs, and Rodney Crowell.  For his own recordings, Clark garnered numerous accolades, including a Best Folk Album Grammy for his 2014 release, My Favorite Picture of You.  On May 17, 2016, Guy Clark died following a courageous battle against cancer.  He was 74.

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Died On This Date (April 6, 2016) Merle Haggard / Country Music Icon

Posted by themusicsover on April 6, 2016

Merle Haggard
April 6, 1937 – April 6, 2016

Merle-HaggardMerle Haggard was a country music legend who, along with Buck Owens, created the blueprint for what would become known as the “Bakersfield Sound,” a reaction to the slickly produced pop leaning country records that were coming out of Nashville at the time. Developed in local honky-tonks, the sound was built around the foundation of traditional country, the twang of a Telecaster, and the rough edge of vocals like Haggard’s.  Haggard also came to represent all that became “outlaw country.”  Songs like “Skid Row,” “They’re Tearing the Labor Camps Down,” “Okie From Muskogee,” “The Bottle Let Me Down,” “The Fightin’ Side of Me,” and “White Line Fever” found a huge audience with fans who could personally identify with the lyrics.  Over the course of a career that spanned five decades, Haggard scored nearly 40 #1 hit singles, a combined total of 25 ACM and CMA awards, three Grammys, and numerous other accolades.  His most recent album, 2015’s Django & Jimmie, with Willie Nelson, hit #1 on the Country charts and #7 on the Top 200. Not bad for an album that was recorded in just three days.  Merle Haggard passed away on April 6, 2016, his 79th birthday.  Cause of death was not immediately released although he had been battling pneumonia.

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RIP, Billy Joe Royal (October 6, 2015) Had Several Pop & Country Hits

Posted by themusicsover on October 6, 2015

Billy Joe Royal
April 3, 1942 – October 6, 2015

Billy-Joe-RoyalBorn and raised in Georgia, Billy Joe Royal was a pop and country singer who had a string of hits during the ’50s and ’60s and ’80s.  His biggest hit came by way of 1965’s “Down In The Boondocks,” which reached #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts and helped define the soft rock sound of its day.  Hits like “I Knew You When,” “Hush,” and “Cherry Hill Park” followed. During the ’70s, Royal experienced a comeback of sorts when his “Heart’s Desire” found fandom along the UK Northern Soul circuit.  During the ’80s, Royal became one of the first pop stars to successfully crossover to country.  He had several Top 10 hits including “I’ll Pin A Note On Your Pillow” and “Tell It Like It Is.”  Billy Joe Royal was 73 when he died in his sleep on October 6, 2015.  Cause of death was not immediately released.

What You Should Own

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Posted in Country, Musician, Pop, Singer | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Died On This Date (July 30, 2015) Lynn Anderson / Country Great

Posted by themusicsover on July 30, 2015

Lynn Anderson
September 26, 1947 – July 30, 2015

lynn-andersonLynn Anderson was a very popular country singer who had several hits during the ’70s and ’80s.  Her biggest hit was 1970’s “(I Never Promised You) A Rose Garden,” a Joe South penned song that hit #3 on the US Pop Charts and did nearly as well around the world.  Anderson had more than 50 Top-4o hits and hit #1 on the Country Charts twelve times.  She was nominated for seven Grammys and was awarded one for Best Female Country Performance in 1971.  In 1974, she became the first woman to headline and sell out Madison Square Garden.  Anderson took a break in 1980, but returned strong in 1983 with a Top 10 Country duet with Gary Morris, “You’re Welcome To Tonight.”  She continued to record and perform live well into the 2000s – one of her biggest crowds came in 2009, when she performed at Coachella’s sister festival, Stagecoach.  Her most recent release was a Country Gospel album, Bridges, which came out digitally in June of 2015.  Lynn Anderson was 67 when she died of a heart attack.

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Died On This Date (January 2, 2015) Little Jimmy Dickens / Country Music Legend

Posted by themusicsover on January 2, 2015

James Dickens
December 19, 1920 – January 2, 2015

Little-Jimmy-DickensLittle Jimmy Dickens was a much-beloved American country music singer whose career spanned an astonishing 78 years.  At the time of his passing, he was the oldest member of the Grand Ole Opry, which he joined in 1948.  Launching his career during the late ’30s, Dickens initially performed at a local radio station while attending West Virginia University, but decided to quit school in order to focus on his career.  He went on to tour the U.S. playing at various radio stations until he caught the ear of Roy Acuff who helped him get a deal with Columbia Records while introducing him to the folks at the Grand Ole Opry who quickly welcomed him into the family.  Dickens scored his first Top 10 country hit in 1954 and then landed his second in 1962.  Two years later, he became the first country music act to tour the world.  In 1965, already a popular draw on television and across North America, Dickens landed his first #1 country hit with “May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose.” The novelty song also crossed over to the pop charts and became Dickens’ signature song.  Even though he recorded his last album in 1969 (and single in 1978), Dickens continued to remain relevant through the rest of his career by making appearances on the Opry stage and guesting in music videos by the likes of Brad Paisley. Little Jimmy Dickens was 94 when he died of cardiac arrest on January 2, 2015.

What You Should Own

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