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Posts Tagged ‘Hank Snow’

Died On This Date (August 10, 2013) Jody Payne / Longtime Guitarist For Willie Nelson

Posted by themusicsover on August 10, 2013

Jody Payne
January 11, 1936 – August 10, 2013

jody-payneJody Payne was a country singer and musician who spent decades as Willie Nelson‘s guitarist on album and in concert.  Nelson formed his perennial back-up band, the Family in 1973, and Payne was by his side until he retired in 2008.  Born in Kentucky, Payne was singing with his sister as far back as five years old.  He learned to play the mandolin around that time as well.  A gig at his older (yes older) sister’s 1st grade graduation was his first gig.  He could be heard singing on a local radio station by the time he was 11.  He hit the road with a bluegrass band in 1951, and after being discharged from the Army in 1961, he went on to tour with Merle Haggard, and later recorded with the Emmylou Harris, George Jones, Tanya Tucker, Leon Russell, and Hank Snow.  Jody Payne died from cardiac problems on August 10, 2013.  He was 77.

Thanks to Harold Lepidus of Bob Dylan Examiner for the assist.

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Died On This Date (February 22, 2012) Billy Strange / Legendary Session Guitarist & Songwriter

Posted by themusicsover on February 22, 2012

Billy Strange
September 29, 1930 – February 22, 2012

Billy Strange was a much-respected guitarist, songwriter, and arranger who made an indelible mark on pop music as one of the top session players in Los Angeles during the 1960s.  And as a songwriter, he was no slouch either.  Born in Long Beach, California, Strange was just 5 years old when he performed on a local radio station – reportedly winning a yodel contest.  Roughly ten years later, he was given his first guitar, and within two years, he was on the road.  During the mid ’60s, Strange found himself as part of a collective of L.A. studio musicians known  as the Wrecking Crew, who would go down in history as the players on some of the most important pop, rock, and country records of the era.  Most famously, Strange played on landmark recordings by the Beach Boys (Pet Sounds), Nat King Cole, Nancy Sinatra, Willie Nelson, and Elvis Presley (whose “A Little Less Conversation” was co-written by Strange.  Others who recorded Strange-penned songs include Chubby Checker, the Champs, Hank Snow, and Glen Campbell.  In the early ’70s, Strange moved to Nashville where he co-owned and ran the Sinatra’s publishing company.   Billy Strange was 81 when he passed away on February 22, 2012.

Thanks to Brett Ortone for the assist.



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Died On This Date (May 29, 2008) Herb Mayfield / Bluegrass Picker

Posted by themusicsover on May 29, 2010

Herb Mayfield
December 20, 1920 – May 29, 2008

Herb Mayfield was a guitar and mandolin picker who, along with his two brothers, made up the Mayfield Brothers, who made a name for themselves throughout Texas in the late ’40s.  They were generally chosen as opening acts for when such acts as Tennessee Ernie Ford, the Maddox Brothers, and Hank Snow came to Amarillo or Lubock.  Mayfield died of renal failure on May 29, 2008.

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Died On This Date (December 20, 1999) Hank Snow / Country Great

Posted by themusicsover on December 20, 2009

Clarence “Hank”  Snow
May 9, 1914 – December 20, 1999

hank-snowHank Snow was a prolific country star who, during a 30-year stretch of his career, logged in more than 70 country-charting singles, including at least seven that reached number one.  Over the course of a career that spanned six decades, he sold more than 80 million albums.  His songs have been covered by such greats as Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, Willie Nelson, and the Rolling Stones.  After running away from an abusive home at 12, Snow went to work as a cabin boy on a fishing boat, learned to play the guitar he ordered from a department store catalog, and by 16, he was playing his first his first gigs.  He signed with RCA Records in 1936 and released records for them for the next 45 years.  After moving to Nashville, it was Snow who convinced the Grand Ole Opry to let a young Elvis Presley grace their stage for the first time in 1954.   He continued to use Presley as his opening act and later introduced him to Col. Tom Parker.  Hank Snow was 85 when he passed away at his home on December 20, 1999.

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The Essential Hank Snow - Hank Snow

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Died On This Date (September 3, 2007) Janis Martin / Rockabilly’s “Female Elvis Presley”

Posted by themusicsover on September 3, 2009

Janis Martin
March 23, 1940 – September 3, 2007

Janis Martin was a popular rockabilly performer who came to prominence during the 1950s. Because of her on-stage moves, she was often referred to as the Female Elvis Presley.   An entertainer from a very early age, Martin began appearing on local radio programs while still in her mid teens, sometimes sharing the stage with the likes of Eddy Arnold, Hank Snow and Jim Reeves.  Martin signed to RCA Records, who had recently signed Presley, when she was just 15.  Her first record, “Will You Willyum,” quickly became a pop and country hit, leading to her getting booked on American Bandstand, The Today Show, The Tonight Show and The Grand Ol’ Opry.  She released a string of hits including “My Boy Elvis” and “Let’s Elope Baby.”  In 1958, RCA dropped Martin when they learned she had secretly married her boyfriend and gotten pregnant.  In the early ’60s, Martin’s second husband forced her to leave the music business.  She resurfaced during the rockabilly revival of the late ’70s, touring for adoring fans throughout Europe.  Martin was introduced to a whole new generation of fans when she guested on Rosie Flores’ Rockabilly Philly album.  Janis Martin died of cancer at a Durham, NC hospital.  She was 67 years old.

What You Should Own

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The Female Elvis - Complete Recordings 1956-60 - Janis Martin

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