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Posts Tagged ‘Kenny Rogers’

RIP, Tommy Allsup (January 11, 2017) Rockabilly & Western Swing Great

Posted by themusicsover on January 11, 2017

Tommy Allsup
November 24, 1931 – January 11, 2017

Photo by Eric Shaiman

Tommy Allsup was an influential rockabilly and western swing guitarist, but he was also one of the luckiest people in all of popular music.  While on tour with  Ritchie Valens, Buddy Holly and JP “The Big Bopper” Richardson in February of 1959 – he was in Holly’s band – Allsup was on the “losing” end of the infamous coin toss that gave his seat up to Valens who was killed with the others when the plane crashed. After Holly’s death, Allsup went to work for Liberty Records where he produced records by Willie Nelson and Tex Williams, among others. Although he was most famous for his playing on Holly’s records, Allsup also recorded with the likes of Bob Wills,  The Ventures, Kenny Rogers, The Everly Brothers, and Roy Orbison.  Tommy Allsup was 85 when he died on January 11, 2017.  Cause of death was not immediately released.

Thanks to Harold Lepidus for the assist.

 

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Died On This Date (January 20, 2012) Larry Butler / Successful Country Musician & Producer

Posted by themusicsover on January 20, 2012

Larry Butler
March 26, 1942 – January 20, 2012

Larry Butler was a respected Nashville producer who, over the course of his career, helped create hits for the likes of Dottie West, Kenny Rogers, Waylon Jennings, John Denver, and Kim Carnes.  A gifted pianist and singer as well, Butler was just 6 years old when he launched his career with a performance  with the Harry James Orchestra.  Born in Florida, Butler moved to Nashville in 1963 to find work as a session player.  Before he knew it, his stellar piano playing was being featured on records by such country luminaries as Johnny Cash, Conway Twitty, George Jones, Loretta Lynn, and Tammy Wynette, to name just a few. By the early ’70s, Butler was the head of United Artists’ Nashville division and producing some of the era’s greatest records.   In fact, it was Butler who partnered Kenny Rogers with Dottie West to record some of the greatest country duets in history.  But it was Rogers alone who he had the most success with.  Hits like “Coward Of The County,” “The Gambler,” “She Believes In Me,” and “Lucille” all had Butler at the helm.  To this day, Butler remains the only Nashville producer to be awarded the Grammy for Producer of the Year.  Larry Butler died of natural causes on January 20, 2012.  He was 69.



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Died On This Date (May 1, 2008) Jim Hager / Hee Haw’s Hager Twins

Posted by themusicsover on May 1, 2010

Jim Hager
August 30, 1941 – May 1, 2008

Jim Hager, left with Roy Clark and brother Jon Hager

Jim Hager, left with Roy Clark and brother Jon Hager

Jim Hager was a country singer and comedian who performed with his twin brother, Jon Hager as the Hager Twins on the TV show, Hee Haw.   The brothers were born in Chicago, but moved to Los Angeles where they performed in support of Steve Martin, the Carpenters and Kenny Rogers.  They were also regular performers at Disneyland which is where Buck Owens discovered them and offered them a contract.  In 1969, the Hager Twins began a 17-year run on Hee Haw.  Signed to Capitol Records at the time, the Hagers had a handful of country hits.   Jim Hager passed away of a heart attack on May 1, 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 4, 1991) Dottie West / Country Music Icon

Posted by themusicsover on September 4, 2009

Dottie West
October 11, 1932 – September 4, 1991

As one of contemporary country music’s first leading ladies, Dottie West opened the door for such female superstars as Dolly Parton, Barbara Mandrell, Tammy Wynette, Shania Twain and Martina McBride.  One of West’s early hits, 1965’s “Here Comes My Baby Back Again,” won her a Best Female Country Grammy Award.  In the late ’70s, West teamed up with Kenny Rogers to release a string of pop-leaning country records that landed at the top of the charts and lead to platinum status of their duets albums.  By the time the ’90s hit, West was nearly broke due to bad investments, lavish spending and owed money to the IRS.  She began to mount a comeback in 1991 when tragedy hit.  While in transit to a Grand Ol Opry performance, the driver of the car in which she was a passenger lost control of the vehicle, causing it to go airborne and land in the center divider.  At first West didn’t seem to be badly injured, but in fact she sustained internal injuries that lead to her death on September 4, 1991 at the age of 58.

What You Should Own

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RCA Country Legends: Dottie West - Dottie West

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