When you write a song at the age of 13 that becomes a country standard and a hit in three separate decades, you know you were born to make country music. Warner Mack was born Warner McPherson on April 2, 1935 in Nashville, Tennessee, and was a natural.
There are few tours that are more legendary to the history of country music than the six-week tour that Gram Parsons embarked on in 1973 behind his album GP. Yes, there were certainly bigger tours with higher grossing receipts, or tours that featured a more scintillating lineup.
Jan Howard’s death was marked with obituaries enumerating her many accomplishments in country music, including her hits, her collaborations with John Anderson, and her long tenure at the Grand Ole Opry. But when it comes to Jan Howard, it was just as much about the work she did off the stage, and out of the spotlight.
The fourth installment of the eight-part Ken Burns documentary on country music laid out in no uncertain terms how country music became a well-ordered business in the aftermath of the death of Hank Williams, and during the rise of rock n’ roll as the most popular genre in America, putting pressure on country music.
The first episode of the Ken Burns Country Music documentary tasked itself to define what country music is by delving deep into its origins and original purveyors. The second episode called “Hard Times” began the work of explaining why the music means so much to so many people.
While Nashville country was awash in strings and suffering under the oppressive thumb of producers such as Chet Atkins and Billy Sherrill, the dim lights, thick smoke, and loud loud music of The Bakersfield Sound was keeping boots shuffling and country twangy. Unheard Merle Haggard tracks and other rarities are included in new box set.
New details have emerged in the bizarre scene that resulted in the husband of the late Jean Shepard being taken to the hospital with a stab wound, and two people found dead in the home he shared with the country music legend.
The husband of the late Jean Shepard is recovering in the hospital Sunday evening after being stabbed at the home he shared with the country legend in Hendersonville, Tennessee. 79-year-old Benny Birchfield was found by police in his front yard, suffering from a stab wound at 3 a.m. Saturday (12-17) morning.
One of the first women in country music to break down the gender barrier, and a six decade member of the Grand Ole Opry, has died. Jean Shepard, famous for recording such iconic songs as “A Satisfied Mind,” “Beautiful Lies,” and her duet with Ferlin Husky on the iconic “A Dear John Letter” passed away Sunday, September 24th. She was 82-years-old.
Country music legend, female trailblazer, and the oldest living member of the Grand Ole Opry Jean Shepard has entered hospice care after being admitted to the Intensive Care Unit earlier this week. This is the news from her son, Hawkshaw Hawkins Jr.
Jean Shepard Is Angry Over Today’s Country Music “And I Don’t Care Who Knows It, I’ll Tell the World.”
An Opry member for going on six decades, Shepard is set to celebrate her 60th Anniversary on the stage show November 21st. Ahead of the special night, she sat down with The Tennessean’s Juli Thanki to talk about how she helped open doors for the women of country music. Shepard was also very outspoken about how she feels about the country music of today.
With the passing of the 94-year-old “Little” Jimmy Dickens at the beginning of 2015, it’s a reminder for us to cherish the final living links to country music’s most legendary past who can still tell stories of how country music once was. The amount of performers who were important in forming the very foundation of country music are quickly fading away.
Out of the 67 current members of the Opry, only 25 of them fulfilled their 10 appearance obligation, and three of those died during the year. 11 members didn’t make any appearances at all. But what may be more interesting is who is appearing on the Opry to take up the slack. Of the Top 11 performing members at the Grand Ole Opry in 2014, the average age was 79-years-old.