On his 79th birthday, one of the most legendary performers in country music history has died. According to numerous sources, Merle Haggard passed away this morning, April 6th. This story is developing, and Saving Country Music will keep you abreast via continued updates as details emerge and remembrances pour in.
Devastating news out of Bakersfield, California Friday night that country legend Red Simpson has passed away. According to the performer’s family, Red died today, January 8th. Simpson was just getting ready to release his first official record since 1973 in February with his best friend Mario Carboni. He was 81-years-old.
Tommy Overstreet, best known for his hit “Ann (Don’t Go Runnin’),” has died at his home in Hillsboro, Oregon. The countrypolitan singer, who amassed a total of five Top 5 singles and eleven Top 10 singles over his career, passed away on Monday morning (11-2). He was 78-years-old. Known as “T.O.” by many fans, he was born on September 10th, 1937 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
David Rodriguez, a beloved and influential Texas singer, songwriter, poet, and part of an extended musical family, passed away on Monday (10-26) at his home in the Netherlands according to his family. He was 63-years-old. Word quickly spread around the Austin and Texas songwriter community, and the Rodriguez-influenced Lyle Lovett dedicated his final song to Rodriguez at his show at Austin’s Paramount Theatre.
One of the most revered and recognizable voices in American pop and country music has passed away. The “boy from down in the boondocks,” Billy Joe Royal, died on Tuesday, October 6th at his home in Marietta, North Carolina. The Valdosta, Georgia native and world renown singer was 73-years-old. According to reports, he passed away quietly in his sleep.
One of the most important, influential, and successful producers in the history of country music has passed away. Billy Sherrill, known as one of the fathers of the “Countrypolitan or “Nashville Sound,” and a Country Music Hall of Fame and Musician’s Hall of Fame inductee, died Tuesday (8-4) morning due to illness. He was 78-years-old.
Lynn Anderson, the singer of 12 country music #1’s, and known as the “Great Lady of Country Music,” has passed away according to reports. She died Thursday night (7-30) of a heart attack at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. Anderson was 67-years-old.
One of the most important and influential steel guitar players in the history of country music has died. Buddy Emmons, known as the “The World’s Foremost Steel Guitarist” passed away Wednesday evening (7-29) according to reports. He was 78-years-old.
Joe B. Maudlin, the long-time bass player for The Crickets and a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, has died in Nashville according to The Tennessean. As the backing band for Buddy Holly, and an irreplaceable element of early American music, The Crickets helped forge the sound that would later become an essential building block for successful artists and bands such as The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and beyond.
Astounding and acclaimed country music vocalist Dawn Sears, known for being one of the members of the Western Swing outfit The Time Jumpers, a frequent collaborator and backup singer for fellow Time Jumper Vince Gill, and a noted solo artist releasing multiple albums on her own, died of lung Cancer on Thursday, December 11th. She was 53-years-old.
The lawyer who was at the very center of revolutionizing country music in the mid 70’s as part of the Outlaw movement with Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings, has passed away. Neil C. Reshen, the man who negotiated Willie Nelson out of his RCA contract, and also helped negotiate the creative freedom for Waylon Jennings within RCA, passed away on Sunday, December 6th.
Bob Montgomery, most famous for being the teenage friend, songwriter, and duo partner of Buddy Holly, and for writing iconic country songs like “Back in Baby’s Arms” by Patsy Cline, and “Misty Blue” recorded by Eddy Arnold, Wilma Burgess, and many others, has died according to his son and fellow musician Kevin Montgomery. He was 77-years-old.
An important and beloved member of the Texas Music Scene passed away unexpectedly on Monday morning (10-20). Singer and songwriter Ronny Spears had just played a show at Hank’s in McKinney, TX with frequent collaborator and dear friend Robby White on Saturday night, and 36 hours later fans were shocked to hear of his passing. It was White who told Ronny Spears’ many fans the terrible news.
You press most any theologian, and they will expound upon the theory that God has the most profound sense of humor … if you just know where to look for it. Whether this was in play when country music songwriter Paul Craft decided to write the song “Drop Kick Me Jesus (Through The Goalposts Of Life),” whether it was more centered upon a social commentary about the state of religion in America….
Robert Kobe of Westland, Michigan was pronounced dead Tuesday (8-19) at 12:04 PM after being assaulted at a Hank Williams Jr. concert at the DTE Energy Music Theatre in Independence Township, Michigan on Sunday, August 17th. The 55-year-old man suffered a serious head injury at the hands of a 15-year-old male who shoved him in the concourse area.
George Riddle, a songwriter and musician whose music and influence can be heard throughout the classic country music world, passed away on Saturday night, July 19th after battling with throat Cancer. he might be best known as the very first and original Jones Boy, backing George Jones up in what would later become George’s legendary band.
Ralph Stanley’s Clinch Mountain Boys lost their long-time lead guitarist and Ralph’s right hand man James Alan Shelton Tuesday night (6-3) due to Cancer. He was 53-years-old. James Alan Shelton played lead guitar for Ralph Stanley for 20 years, first joining the Clinch Mountain Boys in 1994. But Shelton he also did so much more.
Singer, songwriter, Poet Laureate, and the author of the Texas Trilogy, Steven Fromholz passed away Sunday morning (1-19) according to the Texas Music Chart. Fromholz was a towering figure of words and music in his home state of Texas, and amongst his famous music friends. He wrote the song “I’d Have To Be Crazy” made popular by Willie Nelson…
Country music has lost one of the most tasteful lead guitar players to ever fill a break. Will Indian, lead guitarist for country legend James Hand, as well as the guitarist for The Nortons, The Cornell Hurd Band, and many others, has passed away after a long battle with Hepatitis C. He died Wednesday night (1-8-14) according to his family.
Phil Everly, one-half of the highly influential Everly Brothers, passed away earlier today (1-3-14) in Burbank, CA from complications due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. “We are absolutely heartbroken,” his wife Patti Everly told The Los Angeles Times. “He fought long and hard.” Phil Everly was 74. The duo was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001.
Country music legend Ray Price has passed away his ranch in Mount Pleasant, TX after a prolonged battle with pancreatic Cancer and side effects from Cancer treatment. Ray was 87-year-old. Ray returned to his ranch in Mount Pleasant after an extended stay at the East Texas Medical Center in Tyler, TX to receive hospice care. Janie Price says Ray chose to spend his final days on his “beloved ranch.”
Outlaw country music singer-songwriter and performer Wayne Mills of the Wayne Mills Band is in “extremely critical condition” currently at Vanderbilt University Medical Center after being shot at 5 AM this morning outside of the Pit and Barrel bar at 515 2nd Ave in Nashville. According to Wayne’s manager J.R. Smith, Things arent looking good right now. Please send prayers to Wayne and his family.”
Tompall Glaser, one of country music’s original Outlaws, is dead at 79 after fighting a prolonged illness according to his family. He died at his home in Nashville. Tompall got his start in country music with his two brothers Chuck and Jim in Tompall & The Glaser Brothers who were members of the Grand Ole Opry. The family band released 10 albums and had 9 charting singles before breaking up in 1975.
ountry Music Hall of Famer, legendary producer, songwriter, and cosmic music man “Cowboy” Jack Clement has died according to the Nashville newspaper The Tennessean. He was 82. Jack Clement was just inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame this year. He got his start working at Sun Studios in Memphis under Sam Phillips, arranging such hits as Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire.”