When country music Hall of Famer Tom T. Hall passed away on August 20th, 2021 at the age of 85, it was safe to assume his death was due to health or natural causes, as is commonly the case with someone at such an advanced age. It was likely an open and shut case.
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
Capturing a classic country sound with a faraway feel, Nick Sizemore carried a handful of his original songs into the studio with producer Brett Robinson and captured just about the perfect mood for this material. Morose and melancholy, Nick Sizemore seizes the essence of the sad country song both in writing and sound.
Hank Williams Jr. was finally inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame on November 21st, 2021, and unfortunately, if you weren’t there in person, you weren’t able to see it for yourself. We are able to part and piece together what Hank Jr. said in his acceptance speech though.
Announced on Monday, October 26th, The Waylon Jennings estate has partnered with talent agency WME to manage Waylon’s posthumous career moving forward as part of the company’s Legacy Division. The company will manage Waylon’s name, image, likeness, and other assets.
the wild success Taylor Sheridan has enjoyed recently has somewhat overshadowed what was the third film in the screenwriter’s neo-Western trilogy about “the modern-day American frontier,” which also included ‘Sicario’ and ‘Hell or High Water.’ Called ‘Wind River’ …
Colter Wall, Elizabeth Olsen, Gabby Petito, Graham Greene, Hell or High Water, Jeremy Renner, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Scott H. Biram, Sicario, Taylor Sheridan, Townes Van Zandt, Waylon Jennings, Whiskey Myers, Wind River, Yellowstone
Tom T. Hall had the simple wisdom for life of Don Williams. He could find wit in the everyday world like Roger Miller. But nobody, nobody could tell a story within the medium of country music like Tom T. Hall. Nobody.
Country music traditionalist Jamey Johnson has become known over the last few years more and more for filling the majority of his concerts with classic country songs written by others, along with pulling from his catalog of originals. For some this approach to his concerts feels strange.
Some assume that with a name like Saving Country Music, I, Trigger must think that I’m the one doing the saving—that I’m country music’s savior. But of course it’s not me, but the bands and artists highlighted here that are doing the saving, along with addressing the important issues.
Though he most always towed the line even in his heyday, and held to a promise he made to his mentor George Jones to always “keep it country,” Jackson had his dalliances on the commercial side of country as well, namely on one of his biggest hits, 1993’s “Chattahoochee.”
Maybe you’ve heard of him, and maybe you haven’t. But his legacy and influence is intertwined with a lot of the music you most certainly have enjoyed over the years. And now a legacy that started in Idaho and stretched all across the country and world has come to a close.
Yes, it’s the fact that a woman is singing these songs is what makes this exercise so interesting, and more than just an average tribute record. Without really rearranging much of anything, the songs take on an entirely different though paradoxically similar inverted meaning.
This is the story of Waylon’s notorious relationship with cocaine told through the improbable tale of a police officer and lawyer turned drug smuggler from Kentucky, and a cocaine-eating bear. Country History X, which looks to tell the history of country music, one story at a time.
“Set In Stone” feels like a really solid and inspired mid career selection from Tritt, well-produced by Cobb, with some great instrumental performances, and no signs of rust or heavy wear from the time away. Undoubtedly though, this is a Boomer record, and in more ways than one.
In 1975 when Charlie Rich whipped out his lighter, and burned the card announcing John Denver as the 1975 CMA Entertainer of the Year, it was considered to be one of the greatest moments of protest in country music history. But was it truly his intent to protest John Denver’s win?
ACE, Billy Sherrill, Charlie Rich, Charlie Rich Jr., CMA Awards, Darrell Royal, Dolly Parton, George Jones, Jerry Lee Lewis, John Denver, Loretta Lynn, Olivia Newton John, Ronnie Milsap, Sun Studios Johnny Cash, Tammy Wynette, Tompall Glaser, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson
Over the last couple of weeks there’s been a big fight in Nashville over the fate of the iconic venue called the Exit/In. Opened in 1971, and named for the fact that the entrance was in the back, it’s one of those venues that’s housed so many memories and iconic moments.
Of course you usually say nice things upon someone’s passing. But when Dolly Parton said, “I wouldn’t be here if he hadn’t been there” as she eulogized Uncle Bill after his passing on Wednesday, April 7th at the age of 85, you known it’s the honest truth.
“Well, I’m taking this one,” Richie Albright told to Waylon Jennings, meaning he was willing to be the fall guy for the cocaine package. Waylon recalled in his autobiography, “Sometimes I thought Richie would’ve leapt in front of a freight train for me.” But Waylon wouldn’t allow it this time.
Richie Albright was the most important drummer in country music history, and one of the most influential side players in the genre ever, and did it from an instrument traditionally frown upon in country music for stepping out, if even being present. “There’s another way of doing things, and that’s rock ‘n roll,” is the quote.
There are many legendary country songs, and many legendary country songwriters. But few songs are as synonymous with country music to the point where they’re so well-recognized and can be recited by those well outside the country fold like “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys.”
The second night of a two-night residency at the The Ryman Auditorium in Nashville—a.k.a the “Mother Church of Country Music”—Waylon Jennings held court with a now legendary band, and numerous special guests. It did constitute a proper final bow.
“She said Jimmy Rabbitt turned her on to my last album” is the line from David Allan Coe’s infamous song “Longhaired Redneck” where many got clued into this man’s importance. But his legacy goes much deeper as both a DJ and a performer.
Billy Joe Shaver wasn’t just a musical legend and icon, or an “Outlaw” as we like to call the artists who work outside of the Nashville system. He was a hero, in both music, and in life. What is a hero? A hero is someone who illustrates a level of bravery well beyond what most would be willing to.
The heart and soul of the songs and words of the American country music Outlaw movement has passed on. Billy Joe Shaver, with only three fingers on his right hand and an 8th grade education left an indelible mark on country music that will never be worn down.