Posted by themusicsover on December 13, 2012
May 1, 1939 – December 13, 2012
Willie Ackerman was a Nashville based drummer who, over a career that stretched from 1957 through the ’80s, recorded or performed live with the likes of Willie Nelson, Louis Armstrong, Loretta Lynn, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, and the Monkees, to name just a few. Ackerman was just 17 when he launched his music career, and what followed were stints for the Grand Ole Opry, Hee Haw, and RCA Studios where he played on countless recordings. He was one of the few drummers who made the a successful transition from the traditional country of his early years, to the Nashville Sound of the ’60s, through the Outlaw movement of the ’70s. Legendary records he can be heard on include Marty Robbins’ “El Paso,” George Jones’ “The Last Tour,” and Jerry Reed’s “Amos Moses.” Willie Ackerman was 73 when he died in his sleep on December 13, 2012.
Thanks to Henk de Bruin for the assist
Posted in Country, Musician | Tagged: George Jones, Jerry Reed, Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, Louis Armstrong, Marty Robbins, The Monkees, Waylon Jennings, Willie Ackerman, Willie Nelson | 1 Comment »
Posted by themusicsover on May 29, 2012
Arthel “Doc” Watson
March 2, 1923 – May 29, 2012
Doc Watson was an influential American singer, guitarist, and songwriter whose vast catalog of songs influenced several generations of folk, country, and bluegrass musicians. Born in Deep Gap, North Carolina, Watson lost his eyesight before his first birthday due to an infection. But that by no means stopped him from picking up whatever instrument was handed to him. First it was the harmonica around age five, then the banjo at age 11, and ultimately, the guitar on which he mastered a style of flat-picking that the world had yet to hear and would seldom be matched since. Although Watson was a popular draw wherever he played throughout the ’40s and ’50s, it wasn’t until the storied folk revival of the ’60s – when college kids took to the music like never before or since, that his popularity reached new heights. Throughout his career, Watson received countless awards which included seven Grammys, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and a National Medal Of Arts from President Bill Clinton. In 1988, he launched Merlefest to honor his son and music partner, Merle Watson, who was killed in a tractor accident in 1985. The Wilkesboro, North Carolina festival has grown to be one of the premier music gatherings in the United States with Watson playing host and sharing the stage with the likes of Alison Krauss, Ricky Skaggs, Earl Scruggs, Del McCoury, and Willie Nelson to name just a few. The annual event draws an estimated 80,000 each year. On May 29, 2012, Doc Watson passed away shortly following colon surgery. He was 89.
What You Should Own
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Posted in Bluegrass, Country, Folk, Musician, Singer, Songwriter | Tagged: Alison Krauss, Del McCoury, Doc Watson, Earl Scruggs, Merle Watson, Ricky Skaggs, Willie Nelson | Leave a Comment »
Posted by themusicsover on February 22, 2012
September 29, 1930 – February 22, 2012
Billy Strange was a much-respected guitarist, songwriter, and arranger who made an indelible mark on pop music as one of the top session players in Los Angeles during the 1960s. And as a songwriter, he was no slouch either. Born in Long Beach, California, Strange was just 5 years old when he performed on a local radio station – reportedly winning a yodel contest. Roughly ten years later, he was given his first guitar, and within two years, he was on the road. During the mid ’60s, Strange found himself as part of a collective of L.A. studio musicians known as the Wrecking Crew, who would go down in history as the players on some of the most important pop, rock, and country records of the era. Most famously, Strange played on landmark recordings by the Beach Boys (Pet Sounds), Nat King Cole, Nancy Sinatra, Willie Nelson, and Elvis Presley (whose “A Little Less Conversation” was co-written by Strange. Others who recorded Strange-penned songs include Chubby Checker, the Champs, Hank Snow, and Glen Campbell. In the early ’70s, Strange moved to Nashville where he co-owned and ran the Sinatra’s publishing company. Billy Strange was 81 when he passed away on February 22, 2012.
Thanks to Brett Ortone for the assist.
Posted in Arranger, Country, Musician, Rock, Songwriter | Tagged: Billy Strange, Chubby Checker, Elvis Presley, Glen Campbell, Hank Snow, Nancy Sinatra, Nat King Cole, the Beach Boys, The Champs, Willie Nelson | Leave a Comment »
Posted by themusicsover on December 8, 2011
Dan “Bee” Spears
August 11, 1949 – December 8, 2011
Bee Spears was a Nashville bassist who is perhaps best remembered for his long tenure in Willie Nelson’s band. Born into and raised by a musical family, Spears was just 19 when he began playing, and occasionally singing, with Nelson. The year was 1968, and Spears went on to stand by Nelson’s side for more than 40 years. Even when Nelson transitioned from “Nashville” to “Outlaw,” it was Spears that remained the constant. Besides playing on such Nelson landmark albums as Stardust and Red Headed Stranger, Spears can be heard on tracks by the likes of Waylon Jennings, Jerry Jeff Walker, and Guy Clark. Bee Spears died on December 9, 2011 from exposure to the elements after slipping and falling near his property. He was 62.
Thanks to Ken McCullagh for the assist.
What You Should Own
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Posted in Country, Musician | Tagged: Dan Bee Spears, Guy Clark, Jerry Jeff Walker, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson | Leave a Comment »