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Posts Tagged ‘Roy Acuff’

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.

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Died On This Date (January 3, 2014) Phil Everly / The Everly Brothers

Posted by themusicsover on January 3, 2014

Phil Everly
January 19, 1939 – January 3, 2014

phil-everlyPhil Everly, along with his brother Don Everly, are considered the must influential vocal duo pop music has ever known.  Working together as the Everly Brothers, they created such seamless and glorious harmonies that no less than members of the Byrds, the Beatles, and the Beach Boys have preached their influence ever since.  Born in Chicago, Illinois to a musical family, Phil learned to play the guitar at an early age.  Family patriarch, Ike Everly was a respected professional musician himself, so the boys were introduced to music as a way of life while still in their childhood.  Ultimately settling in Knoxville, Tennessee, the Everly family performed as a group throughout the area for many years.  By the early ’50s, Phil and Don were working as a duo, making an early believer out of Chet Atkins who helped then secure their first recording contract with Columbia Records.  Their first single, “Keep A’ Lovin’ Me,”  performed less than spectacularly, so Columbia dropped them.  Before they knew it, Acuff-Rose Publishing snatched Phil and Don up as songwriters while Roy Acuff helped land them a deal with Cadence Records. From there, the Everly Brothers’ career skyrocketed.  Their first release for Cadence, “Bye Bye Love” shot to #2 on the pop charts, #1 on the country charts, and #5 on the R&B charts.  What followed that million-seller was a string of hits that helped define the era.  Records like “Wake Up Little Susie,” “All I Have To Do Is Dream,” and “Cathy’s Clown”  earned the duo more than $35 Million dollars by 1962 – an astonishing sum at that time.  After the British Invasion hit the U.S. in 1964, the Everly Brothers’ shine diminished as teenagers scrambled for the new sound by the likes of the Beatles, who ironically, might not have ever crossed the Atlantic if it weren’t for Phil and Don.  By the dawn of the ’70s, the Everly Brothers had split up to pursue solo careers.  Phil worked with likes of  Warren Zevon and Roy Wood, and later scored a hit with “Don’t Say You Don’t Love Me No More,” a tune he wrote and performed with actress, Sondra Locke in the Clint Eastwood hit film, Every Which Way But Loose.  In 1983, the Everly Brothers reunited for an acclaimed concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London.  The show was recorded and the subsequent album returned the duo to the charts.  Phil and Don continued to record and perform as a duo and individually well into the 2000s.  In all, they scored 35 Billboard Top 100 singles, a record that still stands to this day.  They  were also recognized with nearly every musical award you could think of including being part of the first group of ten artists inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.  On January 3, 2014, it was announced that Phil Everly died of pulmonary disease.  He was 74.

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Posted in Country, Early Rock, Musician, Rock, Singer, Songwriter | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Died On This Date (January 12, 2012) Charlie Collins / Played With Roy Acuff

Posted by themusicsover on January 12, 2012

Charlie Collins
DOB Unknown – January 12, 2012

Charlie Collins was a legendary multi-instrumentalist who is best remembered for playing in Roy Acuff’s band for over 25 years.  It was 1966 when he joined Acuff’s Smokey Mountain Boys, and he remained until Acuff’s passing in 1992.  Collins next joined up with Bashful Brother Oswald with whom he played for many more years. After Oswald passed away in 2002, Collins joined the Grand Ole Opry Dance Band. In fact, until the week prior to his own death, Collins played the Grand Ole Opry nearly every weekend.    Over the years, he graced recordings by the likes of Jim & Jesse McReynolds, Bill Monroe, Sam Bush, Norman Blake, and Mark O’Connor.  Charlie Collins was 78 when he passed away on January 12, 2012.

Thanks to Henk de Bruin at 2+ Printing for the assist.

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Died On This Date (January 7, 1998) Owen Bradley / Country Hit Maker

Posted by themusicsover on January 7, 2012

Owen Bradley
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.

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Died On This Date (August 16, 2002) Ola Belle Reed / Respected Folk Singer-Songwriter

Posted by themusicsover on August 16, 2010

Ola Belle Reed (Born Ola Campbell)
August 18, 1916 – August 16, 2002

Ola Belle Reed was a respected folk and old-timey singer-songwriter and banjo player.  She got her start playing with the North Carolina Ridge Runners in 1936.  In 1945, Reed was offered a slot in Roy Acuff’s band, but she declined.   In 1949, she married another musician, Bud Reed, who played with her both on record and live for many years to come.  Reed wrote upwards of 200 songs throughout her career, with a couple going on to be recorded by Del McCoury, Tim O’Brien and Marty Stuart.  Over the years, the Reeds opened a handful of music-themed amusement parks in Pennsylvania.  Legends likes of Bill Monroe, Flatt & Scruggs, and Ralph Stanley have all graced their stages from time to time.   Ola Belle Reed suffered a stroke in 1987 and remained bedridden until her death on August 16, 2002.  She would have been 86 the next day.

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