Archive for Grand Ole Opry

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

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

Webb Pierce

Posted in Woodlawn Memorial Park (TN) with tags , , on February 25, 2014 by Cade

pierce3August 8, 1921 – February 24, 1991

Webb Michael Pierce was a flashy honky tonk singer and guitar player who was one of the most recognizable talents on the 1950’s. Pierce topped the country charts with hits like “In The Jailhouse Now” and “Wondering” and was a member of the fabled Grand Ole Opry. His was a persona and a life of excess. His custom-made suits, silver-dollar-lined cars and piano-shaped swimming pools were indicative of his personal tastes. Even though he had a reputation as a hard drinker, Pierce continued to work in the industry, recording duets with the likes of Willie Nelson and his daughter, Debbie, though his popularity was never as high as it was early in career.  Webb Pierce died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 69. Continue reading

Johnny Cash

Posted in Hendersonville Memory Gardens with tags , , , , on February 21, 2014 by Cade

cash2February 26, 1932 – September 12, 2003

Four words that changed American music forever:

“Hello, I’m Johnny Cash.”

John Cash defied genre. Sure, he is most remembered as a rebel country artist who’s trademark black clothes earned him the nickname “The Man In Black.” But, throughout his iconic career, he crossed over into many other genres including rock, gospel, folk and blues, netting millions of diverse fans along the way. He is one of only two artists (that I know of) who are inductees in the Rock and Roll, Country Music and Gospel Halls of Fame (the other being some kid named Elvis.)  Johnny’s life ran the gambit of highs and lows. He struggled with addiction to drugs and alcohol, infidelity and depression. On the flip side, he found a kindred in second wife, June Carter, re-embraced the Christian faith of his youth and enjoyed late career resurgences with both The Highwaymen – a supergroup of sorts with fellow “outlaws” Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson – and his final recording sessions with famed rock producer Rick Rubin. Continue reading

June Carter Cash

Posted in Hendersonville Memory Gardens with tags , , , on February 21, 2014 by Cade

cartercash1June 23, 1929 – May 15, 2003

Valerie June Carter was destined to be a musician. Born in 1929 into a talented family of musicians, June quickly joined her parents, uncle, aunt, cousins and siblings onstage and a prosperous career was started. June was a multi-instrumentalist, singer, dancer and songwriter who toured the country with her family, often playing the onstage role of the comedic sister. She also trained as an actor under legendary acting coach, Lee Strasberg. As popular and famous as the Carter Family was in the country and Opry circles, it was her relationship to third husband, Johnny Cash, that skyrocketed June into the public eye. Continue reading

Tammy Wynette

Posted in Woodlawn Memorial Park (TN) with tags , , , on February 19, 2014 by Cade

wynette2May 5, 1942 – April 6, 1998

Virginia “Tammy” Wynette Pugh was one of the most popular female country artists of all time. Her impact on women in the genre and her hits like the iconic “Stand By Your Man” earned her the nickname “The First Lady of Country Music.” While working as a hairdresser, Wynette signed to Epic records at the age of 24 and began churning out hit after hit. She married fellow country singer George Jones after Jones professed his love for her following an altercation between he and her second husband. The power couple would record a number of hits together, even after the marriage ended. Continue reading

George Jones

Posted in Woodlawn Memorial Park (TN) with tags , , , on February 18, 2014 by Cade

jones1September 12, 1931 – April 26, 2013

Up until April of 2013, George Glenn Jones, nicknamed “The Possum,” was considered by many to be the greatest living country singer. Dying has a way of altering that claim, but the legend of The Possum continues. With more than 150 hits spanning his half-century-plus career, Jones’ influence and impact on country music can’t be overstated. He shot to super-stardom  in the early 1960’s with hits like “White Lightnin'” and “She Thinks I Still Care” and enjoyed success for the rest of the decade. Continue reading