Posted by themusicsover on March 27, 2013
DOB Unknown – March 27, 2013
Gordon Stoker is best remembered as a member of Elvis Presley‘s backing vocalists, the Jordanaires. He also acted as their manager. Just 15 when he became a professional musician, Stoker eventually played piano on WSM’s Grand Ole Opry radio program. In 1949, he was picked up by the Jordanaires Gospel group to play piano. Within two years, he was singing tenor in the group. In 1956, Presley invited them to be his back up singers both live and on record. Stoker can be heard on such records as “I Want You, I Need You, I Love You,” “I Got A Woman,” and “Heartbreak Hotel.” The group continued on – with Stoker remaining until the time of his death – after Presley passed away in 1977. The list of other artists that were backed by the Jordanaires on record includes Ricky Nelson, Johnny Cash, Ringo Starr, Patsy Cline, George Jones, Dolly Parton, Ween, and Kristen Chenoweth. Gordon Stoker was 88 when he passed away on March 27, 2013. Cause of death was not immediately released.
Thanks to Paul Bearer for the assist.
Posted in Early Rock, Gospel, Musician, Singer | Tagged: Dolly Parton, Elvis Presley, George Jones, Gordon Stoker, Johnny Cash, Kristin Chenoweth, Patsy Cline, Ricky Nelson, Ringo Starr, Ween | Leave a Comment »
Posted by themusicsover on March 7, 2013
February 5, 1923 – March 7, 2013
Claude King was a popular country singer throughout the ’60s and ’70s. Born near Shreveport, Louisiana, King was just 12 years old when he picked up the guitar. During the ’50s, he became a regular on the widely popular radio program, Louisiana Hayride, often sharing the bill with the likes of Elvis Presley, Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, and Hank Williams. In 1961, King signed with Columbia Records’ Nashville label and commenced to release a series of country hits that started with 1661’s “Big River Big Man.” Later that year, he scored another hit with “The Comancheros.” His biggest success came in the Spring of 1962. “Wolverton Mountain” sat at the top of the Country charts for nine of the 26 weeks it resided there. The record also cracked the Top 10 of the pop charts and went on to sell over a million copies. The hits continued for the next ten years, with 29 in all finding their way to the charts. King continued to record and perform well into the 2000s and even found time to act in several movies along the way. Claude King passed away on March 7, 2013, but not before celebrating his 67th wedding anniversary a few weeks earlier. He was 90.
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Posted in Country, Musician, Singer, Songwriter | Tagged: Claude King, Elvis Presley, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline | Leave a Comment »
Posted by themusicsover on January 7, 2012
October 21, 1915 – January 7, 1998
Owen Bradley was a prominent country music producer who was one of the architects of what would become known as the “Nashville Sound.” Bradley began his career at storied radio station, WSM-AM, where he worked as a staff musician and engineer. He quickly moved up the ranks while moonlighting as a songwriter. Bradley’s earliest song of significance was “Night Train To Memphis,” first made famous by Roy Acuff. He was soon hired by Decca Records as a musician and assistant producer, working on many country hits of the ’50s. By 1958, Bradley was the vice president of the label’s Nashville division and was laying the foundation for the Nashville Sound. Throughout his career, Bradley helped make stars out of the likes of Patsy Cline, Conway Twitty, Loretta Lynn and Brenda Lee. His recordings of Cline in particular, became the blueprint for those of countless female country singers to come. Owen Bradly was 82 when he passed away on January 7, 1998.
Posted in Country, Musician, Producer | Tagged: Brenda Lynn, Conway Twitty, Loretta Lynn, Owen Bradley, Patsy Cline, Roy Acuff | Leave a Comment »
Posted by themusicsover on September 27, 2011
May 13, 1914 – September 27, 2011
Johnnie Wright was an influential country music singer and songwriter who, along with Jack Anglin, made up the popular singing duo, Johnnie & Jack. Anglin tragically died in a car accident on his way to Patsy Cline’s funeral. Wright and Anglin began performing together back in 1936, and during the next years, Wright married the future Queen of Country Music, Kitty Wells. They would stay married for the next 73+ years. In 1952, Johnnie & Jack had their first hit, “Poison Love,” and joined the Grand Ole Opry. After Anglin died in 1963, Wright forged on with his Tennessee Mountain Boys who had a handful of hits over the next couple of years. They included “Hello Vietnam” which went all the way to #1 . In 1968, he and Wells began recording and touring together, which they continue to do through the early ’80s. In 1983, the couple opened the Family Country Junction Museum and Recording Studio near their home, and operated it until the museum’s closing in 2000. Their grandson continued to operate the recording studio. Wright and Wells went on the record and perform for special occasions until their farewell concert in 2000. According to The Tennessean, Johnnie Wright passed away in his home on September 27, 2011. He was 97. Kitty Wells died nine months later.
Thanks to Henk de Bruin at 2+ Printing for the assist.
Posted in Country, Musician, Singer, Songwriter | Tagged: Jack Anglin, Johnnie & Jack, Johnnie Wright, Kitty Wells, Patsy Cline, The Tennessee Mountain Boys | Leave a Comment »
Posted by themusicsover on July 30, 2011
Trudy Stamper (Born Gertrude McClanahan)
DOB Unknown – July 30, 2011
Trudy Stamper was a country music pioneer who is perhaps best remembered for her tireless work on building the Grand Ole Opry brand. Born and raised in Nashville, Stamper moved to New York City after college in order to pursue a career on the stage. It was while back home visiting and talking up the theater scene, that she was overheard by an executive at the powerful WSM radio station and offered the chance to be one of the first female radio personalities in the United States. While at WSM, Stamper hosted a shopping program and acted in several of the station’s soap operas until eventually moving off microphone to a position in artist relations for the Grand Ole Opry. Through her New York connections, Stamper was able to bring the Opry to Carnegie Hall for two nights in 1947. The performances which included Minnie Pearl and Ernest Tubb, helped introduce the Opry and country music in general to more “cosmopolitan” audiences. She also handled Opry bookings and artist contracts for many years and eventually became the Public Relations Director for WSM and the Opry. In 1961, Stamper publicized the Opry’s second event at Carnegie Hall. That bill included Bill Monroe, Jim Reeves, Grandpa Jones, Faron Young, and one of her best friends, Patsy Cline. She retired from the music business in 1964. Trudy Stamper was 94 when she passed away on July 30, 2011.
Posted in Country, Radio | Tagged: Bill Monroe, Ernest Tubb, Faron Young, Grandpa Jones, Jim Reeves, Minnie Pearl, Patsy Cline, Trudy Stamper | Leave a Comment »