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Posts Tagged ‘Hank Thompson’

Died On This Date (July 14, 2013) Curly Lewis / Western Swing Fiddle Legend

Posted by themusicsover on July 14, 2013

Julian “Curly” Lewis
1924 – July 14, 2013

curly-lewisCurly Lewis was an influential fiddle player who, over a career that spanned 80 – yes, 80 years, played on some of the greatest western swing records ever made and helped popularize the genre.  At the age of 11, Lewis won a fiddle contest that was sponsored by Bob Wills who probably would have hired him on the spot had he not been just a kid.  By the time Lewis was 20, he had relocated to Tulsa, Oklahoma where he landed a job playing with Johnny Lee Wills with whom he’d stay for more than a decade.  He later spent time playing with Wills and later still, in Leon McAulliffe’s Cimarron Boys and Hank Thompson.  Lewis played what turned out to be his last gig in February of 2013 at his induction into the National Fiddlers Hall Of Fame in Tulsa.  Curly Lewis was 88 when he passed away on July 14, 2013.

Thanks to Henk de Bruin for the assist.

Posted in Bluegrass, Country, Musician | Tagged: , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Died On This Date (July 16, 2012) Kitty Wells / Country Music Legend

Posted by themusicsover on July 16, 2012

Kitty Wells (Born Ellen Deason)
August 30, 1919 – July 16, 2012

Born in Nashville, Tennessee, Kitty Wells was actually one of a very few country music stars who were actually born in Music City.  Wells launched her music career when she was around 17, at first singing on a local radio station with her sisters as the Deason Sisters.  At 18, she married Johnnie Wright and went on to perform with him.  In 1952, just as she was eying a life beyond show business, Decca Records asked her to record “It Wasn’t God Who Made The Honky Tonk Angels” as an answer song to Hank Thompson’s “The Wild Side Of Life.”  Since she could use the $125 payment at the time, she reluctantly agreed, having no idea that the song would become a life-changing hit for her.  Recorded by the legendary  Owen Bradley, the single was initially banned from many radio stations due to its title and the subversive idea that God in fact, did not make honky-tonk angels.  But it became a massive hit, selling over 800,000 copies during its initial release.  It ultimately reached #1 on the country music charts making Wells the first female to ever accomplish that feat.  It remained at the top for eight weeks and even cracked the top 30 of the pop charts.  The song went on to become Wells’ signature song.  Meanwhile, she continued to release hit singles and albums through the ’50s and early ’60s, but by the late ’60s, her record sales were dwindling, so she launched her own syndicated television show, The Kitty Wells/Johnnie Wright Family Show, again, the first female country star to do so.  She continued to release albums tour well into the ’80s – although the crowds were smaller, they were no less enthusiastic about hearing her hits.  In 1991, Wells was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammys.  She and Wright remained married until his passing in 2011 – one of the longest celebrity marriages ever.  On July 16, 2011, Kitty Wells died following a stroke. She was 92.

What You Should Own

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20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: Best of Kitty Wells - Kitty Wells

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Died On This Date (January 6, 2008) Ken Nelson / Former A&R Executive, Capitol Records

Posted by themusicsover on January 6, 2012

Ken Nelson
January 19, 1911 – January 6, 2008

With Wanda Jackson

Although by no means a household name,  Ken Nelson made one of the biggest impacts on country music during his time as an A&R executive at Capitol Records.  Specializing in country music, Nelson was one of the main factors in country music’s massive growth during the ’50s.  While with Capitol, he produced hit records by the likes of Buck Owens, Gene Vincent, Ferlin Husky, Wanda Jackson, Merle Haggard and more.  In 1961, Nelson produced the Hank Thompson’s Live at the Golden Nugget, considered to be the first live album ever released by a country singer.   Ken Nelson was 96 when he passed away on January 6, 2008.



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Died On This Date (January 17, 1998) Cliffie Stone / Country Singer

Posted by themusicsover on January 17, 2010

Cliffie Stone (Born Clifford Snyder)
March 1, 1917 – January 17, 1998

Cliffie Stone was a country singer, musician and songwriter as well as a producer and A&R man for Capitol Records during the label’s early years.  As a bassist, he played in big bands that became popular throughout Southern California thanks to appearances on local radio shows.  In 1946, he was hired by Capitol where he signed Tennessee Ernie Ford and Hank Thompson, among others.  He released a handful of his own albums during the 1950s.  During the ’60s, Stone found more success with his own publishing company, Central Songs.  On January 17, 1998, Cliffie Stone died of a heart attack at the age of 81.

What You Should Own

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Cliffie Stone

Posted in Country, Musician, Publishing, Radio, Record Label, Singer, Songwriter | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Died On This Date (November 6, 2007) Hank Thompson / Country Music Legend

Posted by themusicsover on November 6, 2009

Hank Thompson
September 3, 1925 – November 6, 2007

Hank Thompson was a honky tonk and western swing band leader who, over a career that spanned an amazing 60+ years, sold more than 60 million albums.  After his discharge from the Navy during WWII, Thompson decided to pursue a career making music.  In 1952, he released his first #1 hit, “The Wild Side of Life.”  The song sat at the top of the country charts for 15 weeks and has been covered by the likes of Waylon Jennings & Jessi Colter, Rod Stewart, Status Quo, Merle Haggard and Hank Williams.  In 2000, he released a song entitled “Seven Decades,” a testament to the fact that he made records from the ’40s through the 2000s.”  In October of 2007, Thompson was diagnosed with an aggressive form of lung cancer.  He was 82 when he died of the disease just a couple of weeks later.  His final concert had been just a month prior to that.

What You Should Own

Click to find at amazon.com

Vintage Collections - Hank Thompson & His Brazo Valley Boys

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