Chart placements, annual sales and streaming numbers, and glowing reviews aren’t the true testament to the importance of a piece of music. Time is. Over time, the fortitude of a song or album is tested rigorously.
Why is Mo Pitney not more of a thing? I mean seriously folks. Now I know that to Mo Pitney fans, he is a huge thing. They don’t need to be sold on the talent and authenticity of this young man. But you don’t always see Mo Pitney listed off with all the other names of newer artists.
As we look back on 2021 and before we look forward to 2022, it’s important we take the time to pay tribute to these individuals who left a mark on the country and roots music world that will never fade. Here are the performers, players, songwriters, and others we lost in 2021.
Bert Baumbach, Bill Owens, Billy Robinson, BJ Thomas, Black Oak Arkansas, Byron Berline, Chad Sullins, Chris Wall, Chuck Morpurgo, Commander Cody, Courtney Granger, Dallas Moore, Dewayne Blackwell, Dixie Flyers, Dolly Parton, Don Everly, Don Maddox, Dustin Boyer, Dusty Hill, Ed Bruce, Gary Scruggs, Glenn Douglas Tubb, Gram Parsons, J.D. Crowe, James White, Jamie O'Hara, Jason "Rowdy" Cope, Jim Weatherly, JT Gray, Kenny Ballinger, Maddox Brothers and Rose, Margaret Everly, Mark Jensen, Michael Nesmith, Nanci Griffith, Neil Flanz, Osborne Brothers, Pinto Bennett, Randy Parton, Razzy Bailey, Richie Albright, Rickie Lee Reynolds, Rose Lee Maphis, Rusty Young, Sonny Osborne, Stonewall Jackson, Sue Thompson, The Broken Spoke, The Everly Brothers, The Station Inn, Tom T. Hall, Waylon Jennings, ZZ Top
Keith Whitley. Ricky Skaggs. Tony Rice and Larry Rice. Doyle Lawson. Jerry Douglas for crying out loud. Phil Ledbetter. These are just some of the many names that studied under bluegrass legend and banjo God J.D. Crowe, and did service time in his transformative band The New South.