By the bullet points on the resume, Burt Reynolds had little to do with country music. Not since Gram Parsons did a figure in American pop culture act like a bigger bridge to country music, and proved how it could be cool. For most famous humans, the myth precedes them. But with Burt Reynolds, the myth really was the man.
As the end of the year draws near, it comes time to reflect on all the country music greats big and small, superstars and sidemen, session players and songwriters, who passed away in the past year, and pay our respects to the contributions they made to country music, and to us as fans through the music they shared.
Allman Brothers, Ben Dorcy, Bob Wooton, Bobby Boyd, Butch Trucks, Don Warden, Don Williams, George Reiff, Glen Campbell, Greg Allman, Izzy Cox, Jimmy LaFave, Kayton Roberts, Leon Rhodes, Mel Tillis, Richard Dobson, Tammy Sullivan, Tom Petty, Tommy Allsup, Wendell Goodman
Mel Tillis was known for many accomplishments in music, but he’s also known to a generation as being one of the most famous people with the speech impediment known as stuttering. In the 80’s, Whataburger decided to take the initiative with their famous stammering spokesperson to make a point and inspire people.
Mel Tillis, beloved for #1 country hits such as “Southern Rains,” “Good Woman Blues,” “Heart Healer,” and more died Sunday morning (11-19) at the Munroe Regional Medical Center in Ocala, Florida. Tillis had been battling intestinal issues since early 2016 which resulted in his hospitalization, and he never fully recovered.
How should a country purist regard the legacy of Glen Campbell? That should be a really easy question to answer: with class, respect, and appreciation for a man that was an incredible ambassador for the genre through multiple avenues, and a timeless contributor to the country music canon.
Once again the 78-year-old Merle Haggard is suffering from serious heath issues that have resulted in him canceling upcoming shows. Scheduled to perform in New Mexico at the Inn of the Mountain Gods and the Farmington Civic Center on January 30th and 31st, Haggard has canceled both dates due to a double pneumonia. The news was confirmed on Thursday (1-28) by Haggard’s son and guitar player Ben Haggard.
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.
Bill Monroe, Billie Jean Horton, Bobby Osborne, Buck Owens, Buck White, Carter Stanley, Don Maddox, Eddie Arnold, Elvis, George Jones, Hank Snow, Hank Williams, Harold Bradley, Jan Howard, Jean Shepard, Jesse McReynolds, Jim and Jesse, Jim Ed Brown, Joe Pennington, Keith Whitley, Larry Sparks, Lee Ann Womack, Lefty Frizell, Little Jimmy Dickens, Maddox Brothers & Rose, Marty Stuart, Mel Tillis, Owen Bradley, Pee Wee King, Ralph Stanley, Ray Price, Red Simpson, Ricky Skaggs, Rose Maddox, Roy Acuff, Roy Orbison, Stonewall Jackson, Studio 'A', The Clinch Mountain Boys, The Grand Ole Opry, The Quonset Hut, The Stanley Brothers, The Whites, Tompall Glaser, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson