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Posts Tagged ‘Vince Gill’

RIP, Don Williams (September 8, 2017) Country Music Legend

Posted by themusicsover on September 8, 2017

Don Williams
May 27, 1939 – September 8, 2017

The Country Music world mourns the loss of one of its most distinctive song stylists with the passing of Don Williams after a short illness. He was 78.

A native of Floydada, Texas, Williams was born May 27, 1939. He grew up in Portland, TX, graduating there in 1958. Music had always been a part of his upbringing, entering – and winning – a talent contest when he was just three years old. For his efforts, Williams received an alarm clock. He began playing guitar during his teen-age years, learning the songs that he heard on the radio during that period. He and his friends played in local bands around the area.

In 1969, Williams soon found his way to Nashville. By 1971, he had a songwriting contract with the publishing company owned by Jack Clement. The next year would see Williams ink a recording deal with Clement’s JMI Records. He made his chart debut with “The Shelter of Your Eyes” in 1973, and was soon hitting the charts time and again with a much more laid-back sound than a lot of the music coming out of Nashville at the time. 1974 would see Williams top the charts for the first time with “I Wouldn’t Want To Live If You Didn’t Love Me.” From that point all the way through 1991, each Williams single would hit the Top-40 on the Billboard Country charts. His 1970s hits included such chart toppers as “Tulsa Time,” “She Never Knew Me,” and “It Must Be Love.” His career grew steadily through label shifts to ABC/Dot, MCA, Capitol, and finally RCA. Williams also gained a devoted following overseas in such unlikely spots as England, Ireland, and New Zealand , and even South Africa and Kenya – where he reached superstar status. He was named the Male Vocalist of the Year by the Country Music Association in 1978.

The 1980s saw no slow-down in Williams’ recorded output, with the singer notching his biggest hit with 1981’s “I Believe In You,” which not only topped the Country charts, but crossed over to No. 24 on the Hot 100. By this time, he had earned the nickname “The Gentle Giant” for his trademark mellow sound, and the hits continued to pile up throughout the rest of the decade – “Stay Young,” “If Hollywood Don’t Need You,” and “One Good Well” being three of his biggest of the 1980s. His final top ten came in 1991, with “Lord Have Mercy On A Country Boy,” a song that Josh Turner – a Williams fan – would record in 2006.

Though the changing of the guard at radio slowed down Williams’ chart success, he continued to perform for sold-out crowds in America and abroad, playing a final tour in 2006. However, retirement was not in the cards for the singer, who returned to the road in 2010 – the same year that he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Williams’ return to the spotlight also included a pair of albums on Sugar Hill, 2012’s And So It Goes, and 2014’s Reflections, which included contributions from Alison Krauss, Vince Gill, and Keith Urban. It was a sign of his enduring appeal that both albums hit the Top-20 on the Billboard Country Albums charts – his biggest rank there in three decades.

In 2016, Williams decided that the time was right for his final performance, calling it a career after one of the most successful careers in the history of the Country Music business. “It’s time to hang my hat up and enjoy some quiet time at home. I’m so thankful for my fans, my friends and my family for their everlasting love and support,” the 76-year-old Williams said in a statement at the time. Last year also saw the final release of Williams’ career, a live CD and DVD recorded in Ireland. In 2017, the singer was the subject of a tribute album, Gentle Giants: The Songs of Don Williams, that included performances of his hits by artists such as Lady Antebellum and Garth Brooks. [Source: Webster Public Relations]

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RIP, Greg Trooper (January 15, 2017) Acclaimed Singer-Songwriter

Posted by themusicsover on January 15, 2017

Greg Trooper
January 13, 1956 – January 15, 2017

Greg Trooper was a singer-songwriter who, besides building up a hefty library of his own releases, had songs recorded by Vince Gill, Steve EarleMaura O’Connell, Robert Earle Keen, and Billy Bragg, among others. Born in Neptune, New Jersey, Trooper spent much of his teenage years frequenting folk venues of Greenwich Village. It served him well. After a detour to Kansas for college, he settled in New York City where he spent more than a decade playing clubs, pitching his songs, and recording his first couple of albums.  By the mid ’90s, Trooper was living in Nashville where he released several more albums, working with producers like Buddy Miller and Garry Tallent of the E Street Band.  Throughout his career, he released more than a dozen albums – the studio albums at least, to critical acclaim.  During the summer of 2015, Greg Trooper was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer which took his life on January 15, 2017.  He was 61.

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Died On This Date (May 17, 2016) Guy Clark / Revered Texas Singer-Songwriter

Posted by themusicsover on May 17, 2016

Guy Clark
November 6, 1941 – May 17, 2016

guy-clarkGuy Clark was the true embodiment of a “songwriter’s songwriter.”  Born in Texas, Clark’s name is rarely excluded when conversations turn to the greats from that state. Alongside contemporaries like Townes Van Zandt and Jerry Jeff Walker, Clark laid down the foundation for what is now simply called Texas Music or Texas Country.  His lyrics, served over mostly sparse blues folk instrumentation, tended to come as close to being called literature as songs could get.  As a performer – and most of the time armed with little more than his acoustic guitar or maybe a second and a fiddle, Clark could leave an audience holding its collective breath in anticipation of the next word coming from his mouth – and many times, that was during his talk leading up to the song. He eventually settled in Nashville where he and his wife, Susanna Clark, often welcomed local songwriters into their home where they could work on perfecting their craft in informal workshops.  This open houses often hosted the likes of Steve Earle, Rodney Crowell, and Steve Young.  Clark’s songs have been hits for such country luminaries as Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Vince Gill, Alan Jackson, Ricky Skaggs, and Rodney Crowell.  For his own recordings, Clark garnered numerous accolades, including a Best Folk Album Grammy for his 2014 release, My Favorite Picture of You.  On May 17, 2016, Guy Clark died following a courageous battle against cancer.  He was 74.

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Died On This Date (November 28, 2011) Tom Roady / Drummer For Ricky Skaggs

Posted by themusicsover on November 28, 2011

Tom Roady
DOB Unknown – November 28, 2011

Tom Roady was a much respected drummer and percussionist who is perhaps best remembered for his recent work with Ricky Skaggs.  Roady can be heard playing on Skaggs’ latest offering, A Skaggs Family Christmas, Volume 2, and was gearing up to go out on tour with Skaggs.  Throughout his long career, Roady played with the likes of Vince Gill, Martina McBride, Dixie Chicks, Joan Baez, Bob Seger, and Kenny Chesney.  Earlier in his career, Roady was a session player at the storied Muscle Shoals studio, working for Jerry Wexler, and playing on tracks by Lynyrd Skynrd, James Brown, Etta James, Wilson Pickett, and many more.  As reported by CMT, Tom Roady was 62 when he passed away in his sleep on November 28, 2011.  Cause of death was reportedly attributed to heart problems, although he had been battling cancer.



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Died On This Date (January 26, 2011) Charlie Louvin / Country Music Icon

Posted by themusicsover on January 26, 2011

Charlie Louvin (Born Charles Loudermilk)
July 7, 1927 – January 26, 2011

Charlie Louvin was a longtime country singer and songwriter who became a national treasure singing alongside his brother Ira Louvin as the Louvin Brothers.  From 1940 to 1963, the Louvin Brothers created a catalog of country and folk music that ushered in the use of close harmonies to the genres and would be a direct influence on the likes of the Byrds, the Everly Brothers, Emmylou Harris, Gram Parsons, Alison Krauss, and  the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.  Starting out as a Gospel group, the Louvin Brothers soon began singing secular songs so they could reach a larger audience.  That lead to appearances at the Grand Ole Opry and several charting singles.  The duo disbanded in 1963 and then in 1965, Ira was tragically killed in a car accident, so Charlie forged on as a solo artist.  In recent years, Louvin’s career experienced a renaissance thanks to recognition from the likes of Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, Elvis Costello, and Bright Eyes to name just a few.  Outside of tributes, his songs have been recorded by Uncle Tupelo, Roy Orbison, Willie Nelson, Wanda Jackson, Tammy Wynette, Hank Williams Jr., Doc Watson, and many many more. In 2003, a Grammy winning tribute to the Louvin Brothers entitled Livin’, Lovin’, Losin’: Songs Of The Louvin Brothers was released.  It included performances by Vince Gill, Dierks Bentley, Dolly Parton, Marty Stuart, and Merle Haggard, to name a few.  Louvin continued to release critically acclaimed albums and enjoy the spotlight as recently as 2010.  His final three, including 2010’s The Battle Rages On are considered three of his best.   Charlie Louvin was 83 when he died as a result of pancreatic cancer on January 26, 2011.

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The Battles Rage On - Charlie Louvin

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