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.
Rose Lee Maphis
The final half of the country music couple that was so revered and influential in the business they went by “Mr. and Mrs. Country Music” has passed on. Rose Lee Maphis, who along with her husband Joe Maphis, helped establish the Bakersfield Sound, died on Tuesday, October 26th.
With the recent deaths of some of country music’s oldest living legends and links to its past such as Don Maddox of Maddox Brothers and Rose at the age of 98, and Sue Thompson at 96, it seems like a suitable time to ask, who are some of the oldest legends of country music still living?
Bill Hayes, Bill Pittman, Billie Jean Horton, Bobby Bare, Bobby Osborne, CW McCall, Jesse McReynolds, Jim and Jesse, Leroy Van Dyke, Loretta Lynn, Merv Shiner, Ray Howard, Rose Lee Maphis, Stonewall Jackson, The Osborne Brothers, Violet Hensley, Willie Nelson
Finding her first big success with songs penned by John D. Loudermilk, once married to Western Swing banjo player Hank Penny, and recording multiple duet albums with Don Gibson, Sue Thompson left her mark on both pop and country with her girlish-sounding singing voice.