Archive for Country Musicians

Chet Atkins

Posted in Harpeth Hills Memory Gardens with tags , , , on February 15, 2021 by Cade

atkins3
June 20, 1924 – June 30, 2001

Iconic guitarist, instrumentalist and producer, Chester “Chet” Atkins rarely basked in the limelight during his 50+ year career. He was more than happy to play on a friend’s record, or churn out hit after hit from the helm of the now-legendary RCA Victor studio in Nashville, Tennessee. That is not to say he wasn’t gifted in his own right. You don’t win 14 Grammys, 9 CMA awards or earn the nickname “Mr. Guitar” by being a slouch. But his biggest contribution to the music industry was undoubtedly his time spent cultivating the “Nashville Sound” that allowed Country music to successfully cross over to Pop audiences throughout the 1950s and ’60s.

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Jimmie Rodgers

Posted in Oak Grove Baptist Cemetery with tags , on January 18, 2021 by Cade

September 8, 1897 – May 26, 1933

“The Singing Brakeman”
“The Blue Yodeler”
“The Father of Country Music”

Jimmie Rodgers learned to play music at a very young age. His father, a railway foreman, tried to deter young Jimmie’s wont to become a traveling entertainer by getting him a job at the railyard. Jimmie spent his rail days learning to better play guitar from other workers and passing hobos…as one does. The urge to travel and play never left him and when tuberculosis ended his railroad career at the age of 27, it was all the confirmation Jimmie needed to take a real shot at being a musician.

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Glen Campbell

Posted in Campbell's Cemetery with tags , , , , , on November 23, 2020 by Cade

April 22, 1936 – August 8, 2017

Glen Campbell was not the first “Rhinestone Cowboy,” but he’s arguably the most famous. At least, that’s what you might suspect judging him solely by his biggest hit.

Despite personally resonating with the titular character in the chart-topping 1975 song, Campbell was so much more than a sequined journeyman waiting for his turn in the spotlight.

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Minnie Pearl

Posted in Mt. Hope Cemetery (TN) with tags , , on November 16, 2020 by Cade

October 25, 1912 – March 4, 1996

All together now: “How-DEEE!”

The stage of the Grand Ole Opry is hallowed ground. Whether it was the historic stage of the famed Ryman Auditorium, or the newfangled stage at the modern Opry House, setting foot upon it can be life-changing for anyone with the fortune to do so. It transforms performers. None more literally than a young comedienne named Sarah Colley, who stepped onto the Opry stage and became…Minnie Pearl.

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Patsy Cline

Posted in Shenandoah Memorial Park with tags , , on November 2, 2020 by Cade

cline1September 8, 1932 – March 5, 1963

If country music has official royalty, Patsy Cline was its first queen.

Virginia Patterson Hensley knew she wanted to be a singer from the very beginning. Though she worked odd jobs in her Virginia hometown out of a need to help her family, it wasn’t long until she was aiming higher and soliciting auditions wherever and whenever she could. Following a brief illness at the age of 15 that affected her throat…and therefore her voice, Ginny realized quickly that she had been given a gift. Local radio shows and a stint with a regional country band followed and soon, her gift was being shared on television and larger radio markets.

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Little Jimmy Dickens

Posted in Woodlawn Memorial Park (TN) with tags , , on January 4, 2015 by Cade

dickens1December 19, 1920 – January 2, 2015

James Cecil “Little Jimmy” Dickens stood just 4’11”. But the persona he left behind loomed much, much larger. Dickens was known for his outlandish, rhinestone-laden outfits and novelty hits such as “May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose.” He was a member of both the Grand Ole Opry and the Country Music Hall of Fame. Continue reading

Van Stephenson

Posted in Woodlawn Memorial Park (TN) with tags , on March 28, 2014 by Cade

stephensonNovember 4, 1953 – April 8, 2001

Van Stephenson was a notable Nashville songwriter who wrote hits for the likes of Crystal Gayle, Dan Seals, Kenny Rogers and the band Restless Heart. But, beyond writing, he also had a career as a performer and recording artist. He had a number of solo albums in the 1980’s, but is perhaps most remembered as one third of the 1990’s country act, BlackHawk.Stephenson enjoyed success with the group for the better part of the decade. He left the group in 2000 due to being diagnosed with Melanoma. He died from the disease the next year at the age of 47.

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Eddy Arnold

Posted in Woodlawn Memorial Park (TN) with tags , , on March 13, 2014 by Cade

arnold2May 15, 1918 – May 8, 2008

In the vast landscape that is American country music, few artists – if any – had the type of unbelievable success that Richard Edward “Eddy” Arnold had in the late 1940’s and 1950’s. Arnold played the radio station circuit for years before breaking into the country charts with 1945’s “Each Minute Seems a Million Years.” Over the next decade, he would chart more than 40 singles on the country charts – many of which hit and stayed at No. 1.The 1950’s brought Rock ‘n’ Roll to the forefront and Eddy’s career waned.

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Marty Robbins

Posted in Woodlawn Memorial Park (TN) with tags , , , on March 5, 2014 by Cade

robbins1September 26, 1925 – December 8, 1982

Martin David Robinson (Marty Robbins) was a singer, actor and sometime NASCAR driver who found his career by way of the Navy and a small-time Phoenix television show. His major country hits “El Paso” and “A White Sport Coat and a Pink Carnation” were also successful on the pop charts. Robbins appeared in a couple of films such as Guns of a Stranger and the Clint Eastwood movie, Honkytonk Man. In his spare time, Marty liked to race cars. Like, professionally. Continue reading

Johnny Paycheck

Posted in Woodlawn Memorial Park (TN) with tags , , , on February 28, 2014 by Cade

paycheck1May 31, 1938 – February 19, 2003

Donald Eugene Lytle, known to the world as Johnny Paycheck, was a country singer/songwriter whose biggest hit became an anthem for disgruntled employees for generations. Paycheck recorded “Take This Job and Shove It” in 1977 and it became his only number 1 hit. Though, Johnny had a number of smaller hits throughout his career, too. He was part of the “outlaw” movement of country music in the 1970’s. But, unlike many of his other outlaw contemporaries, Johnny lived it. Continue reading