Archive for Musicians

Steve Gaines

Posted in Cremated, Jacksonville Memory Gardens with tags , , , on May 9, 2022 by Cade

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September 14, 1949 – October 20, 1977

Steve Gaines was a guitarist, vocalist and songwriter who grew up in Oklahoma idolizing pioneer rock bands of the ’60s . It was after attending a Beatles concert as a teenager that Steve convinced his dad to buy him a guitar and the young virtuoso never looked back. He bounced around several bands throughout his late teens and early 20s, eventually recording a solo album with various bandmates called One in the Sun. In 1975, Steve’s sister, Cassie, joined the skyrocketing southern rock band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, as a backing vocalist. Around the same time, Skynyrd guitarist, Ed King, abruptly left the band. Down to two guitarists from their customary three, the band went looking for a replacement for King. Cassie suggested that her brother try out.

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Billy Powell

Posted in Riverside Memorial Park with tags , , , on May 2, 2022 by Cade

June 3, 1952 – January 28, 2009

Billy Powell was most widely known as the keyboard and piano player for the American southern rock band, Lynyrd Skynyrd. Powell originated as a roadie for the fledgling band, but impressed the members with his piano playing during downtime. He was offered a position and went on to be one of the longest tenured members of the legendary group.

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Ronnie Van Zant

Posted in Jacksonville Memory Gardens, Riverside Memorial Park with tags , , , , on April 25, 2022 by Cade

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January 15, 1948 – October 20, 1977

Ronnie Van Zant was the oldest of three musical brothers from Jacksonville, Florida. In high school, Ronnie formed a band with classmates Gary Rossington, Allen Collins, Bob Burns and Larry Junstrom. The band changed names a couple of times before landing on the name Lynyrd Skynyrd – a tounge-in-cheek nod to their gym teacher, Leonard Skinner. Van Zant served as the singer and primary lyricist. Continue reading

Earl Scruggs

Posted in Spring Hill Cemetery with tags , , , , on September 27, 2021 by Cade

January 6, 1924 – March 28, 2012

There are banjo players…and then there’s THE banjo player.

Earl Eugene Scruggs not only reinvented how the instrument was used, but he opened the door for an entire new genre of music. As a young man, Earl joined the fabled Blue Grass Boys (led by the legendary Bill Monroe) where his patented 3-finger picking style helped shape and define the band’s sound. “Bluegrass” would eventually become an entire sub-genre in Country music and many of the sounds that came from the Blue Grass Boys became archetypes for the style. Maybe none more so than Scruggs’ fast-paced, solo banjo picking. Continue reading

Hank Snow

Posted in Spring Hill Cemetery with tags , , on September 13, 2021 by Cade

May 9, 1914 – December 20, 1999

Clarence Eugene “Hank” Snow grew up in Nova Scotia, Canada idolizing Country & Western legend, Jimmie Rodgers. Snow’s humble beginnings were marred with poverty, foster situations and abuse. But, the times he did get to live with his mother were relatively happy…and full of music. His mother was a talented singer and organ player and young Clarence soon began playing guitar and singing himself.

But, in Nova Scotia in the 1920s, music didn’t put food on the table, so Hank took various jobs – ranging from dock work to working on a fishing boat – to help make ends meet. All the while, he continued to stoke his passion for music. He eventually landed an audition at a local radio station which led to paying gigs and – eventually – a recording contract. He moved to Nashville in 1949. Continue reading

Roy Acuff

Posted in Spring Hill Cemetery with tags , , , on August 30, 2021 by Cade

September 15, 1903 – November 23, 1992

“He’s the biggest singer this music ever knew. You booked him and you didn’t worry about crowds. For drawing power in the South, it was Roy Acuff, then God.” – Hank Williams

As a young man in Tennessee, Roy Claxton Acuff wanted to be a baseball player. When that didn’t work out for him, he found solace in some country-western records his dad gave him. With his mind successfully off of baseball, he decided he wanted to be an entertainer and so he set out to become one. Continue reading

Jimmy Martin

Posted in Spring Hill Cemetery with tags , , , on August 2, 2021 by Cade

August 10, 1927 – May 14, 2005

One of the most iconic voices in all of Bluegrass, Jimmy Martin was a singer and guitar player who, at the age of 22, snuck backstage at a Bill Monroe concert to audition for the legend’s vacant guitar player spot. Martin was hired on sight and used his high tenor voice to help create and perfect the “high lonesome” sound alongside Monroe’s vocals. The two singing together became one of the most recognizable sounds in Bluegrass music.

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Keith Whitley

Posted in Spring Hill Cemetery with tags , , , on July 12, 2021 by Cade

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July 1, 1954 – May 9, 1989

Jackie Keith Whitley was a bright star in 1980s Country Music. He quickly gained attention as a bluegrass singer and guitar player and moved to Nashville from his native Kentucky in 1983 to start a recording career. His first three album releases charted a dozen hits, culminating in three straight number 1 hits off of his 1988 album, Don’t Close Your Eyes. Continue reading

Eric Carr

Posted in Cedar Hill Cemetery (NY) with tags , , on March 1, 2021 by Cade

July 12, 1950 – November 24, 1991

Paul Caravello grew up in Brooklyn, New York idolizing – like many kids of his time – early rock ‘n’ roll bands like the Beatles. Caravello started dabbling in his own music during high school. A talented kid, he learned to play guitar, piano, drums and was also a vocalist. Over the course of the next decade, he joined a number of bands in and around New York that met with little success. By the age of 30, he had grown weary and was about to call it quits on his music career when a friend mentioned that the iconic rock band, Kiss, was looking for a new drummer.

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Chet Atkins

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

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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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