Let’s Remember The Country Greats Who Died In 2017
2017 saw the loss of several key figures in country music, and one of the most shocking deaths in recent memory.
The deaths in country music in 2017 included influential country songwriters, two members of the same legendary band and a number of celebrated musicians who were key players in the careers of other musicians. We also saw the loss of several all-time country greats who were elder statesmen of the genre, as well as the tragic early death of a country star who was considered a personal friend to many in country music.
Scroll through the photos below to look back on the lives and careers of all of the country artists who have died in 2017:
FRAZER HARRISON, GETTY IMAGES
Rock and Southern music legend Gregg Allman died at his home in Georgia on May 27 at the age of 69. The Grammy-winning founding member of the legendary Allman Brothers Band died of liver cancer.
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Sam Lovullo was instrumental in bringing Hee Haw to the airwaves. The TV producer and casting director died on Jan. 3 in California at the age of 88.
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Singer-songwriter Greg Trooper wrote songs for a wide array of artists including Vince Gill, in addition to an active solo career. The 61-year-old performer died on Jan. 16 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.
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Butch Trucks was a founding member of the Allman Brothers Band. The legendary drummer died on Jan. 24 at the age of 69 of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
JAMES CURTIS VIA YOUTUBE
Multi-instrumentalist and horn player Don Markham made a huge contribution to the career of Merle Haggard. He played with Haggard from 1974 until 2013. Markham died on Feb. 24 at the age of 85.
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Don Warden was a Steel Guitar Hall of Fame member and served as Dolly Parton’s manager for nearly five decades. He died on March 11 at the age of 87.
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Bob Wootton served as Johnny Cash‘s lead guitarist in the legendary Tennessee Three for nearly three decades. He died on April 9 of undisclosed causes.
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Former Nashville actor Powers Boothe died on May 14 died of natural causes at his home in Los Angeles. He was 68 years old.
PHOTO BY MILES SNYDER (VIA WBKR)
Moon Mullins, a Country Radio Hall of Fame inductee and the retired host of country radio’s WBKR morning show, died in May. His case of death has not been revealed.
Austin-based singer-songwriter Jimmy LaFave died on May 22 after battling cancer for a year. He was 61. LaFave was one of the 2017 inductees into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame.
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Norro Wilson was one of Nashville’s most influential behind-the-scenes figures as a songwriter, producer and publisher. In addition to writing classics like “The Grand Tour,” he helped launch the careers of Keith Whitley and Shania Twain, among others. He died at the age of 79 on June 8 after a stay in hospice care.
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Earl Cranston Clark
Earl Cranston Clark, who wrote songs for George Strait, Willie Nelson, Tanya Tucker, Tracy Lawrence and Tim McGraw, died on July 7, 2017, in Smyrna, Tenn. He was 70 years old.
Legendary steel guitarist Kayton Roberts, who played with Ricky Skaggs, Marty Stuart, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Randy Travis and Alison Krauss, died on July 13 at the age of 83.
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Songwriter Geoff Mack, best-known for writing “I’ve Been Everywhere,” died on Friday, July 21, in Australia. He was 94 years old.
JIM WILLIS VIA YOUTUBE
Singer-songwriter and guitarist Michael Johnson, a pop singer turned country hitmaker in the ’80s, died on July 25 at home in Minneapolis, Minn., after what’s described as “a long illness.” He was 72. His string of country hits included “I Know You by Heart,” “Give Me Wings” and “The Moon Is Still Over Her Shoulder.”
Billy Joe Walker
Producer, songwriter and musician Billy Joe Walker, Jr., died on July 25 at the age of 65. He wrote songs for Eddie Rabbitt, John Anderson, Trisha Yearwood, Tanya Tucker, Billy Currington and Jerrod Niemann, and produced artists including Travis Tritt and Bryan White.
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Glen Campbell, whose career encompassed music, movies and television, died on Aug. 8 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. He was 81.
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Jo Walker-Meador, former director of the Country Music Association, died on Aug. 16 at the age of 93 following a stroke. She helped spearhead the organization and bring it to prominence.
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Country legend Don Williams died on Sept. 8 at the age of 78 after a brief illness. His hits included “Good Ole Boys Like Me,” “Till the Rivers All Run Dry,” “It Must Be Love,” “I’m Just a Country Boy,” “Amanda” and “I Believe in You.”
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Montgomery Gentry singer Troy Gentry died on Sept. 8, 2017, in a helicopter crash prior to a scheduled Montgomery Gentry gig in New Jersey. Tragically, he was just 50 years old.
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Beloved road crew member Ben Dorcy died on Sept. 16 at the age of 92. Dubbed the “world’s oldest roadie” by longtime employer and friend Willie Nelson, Dorcy also worked with other stars including Elvis Presley, Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash.
Mark Selby, the songwriter behind the Dixie Chicks’ “There’s Your Trouble” and Kenny Wayne Shepherd’s “Blue on Black,” died after a battle with cancer on Sept. 18 at the age of 56.
KENNY BEARD MUSIC FACEBOOK
Songwriter Kenny Beard died on Oct. 1 from natural causes. His age was not reported. He wrote songs for Trace Adkins and Tracy Lawrence, and his hits included “As Any Fool Can See,” “Big Time,” “If The World Has a Front Porch” and “The Rest of Mine.” He’s also the writer behind Aaron Tippin’s signature hit,“Where the Stars and Stripes and Eagle Fly,” along with tracks recorded by Jeff Bates and Clay Davidson.
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Mel Tillis, whose career spanned performing, songwriting, movies and television, died on Nov. 19 after a long battle with intestinal issues. He was 85 years old.
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Jim Nabors, best known as Gomer Pyle on the Andy Griffith Show, died on Nov. 30 at the age of 87. His career spanned work on television and a rich catalog of music, including a stint in country music. Nabors appeared at the Grand Ole Opry and visited Nashville with friend Minnie Pearl.
Wrote and Recorded Such Hits as “Won’t Back Down,” “You Don’t Know How It Feels”
Rock legend Tom Petty has died. Petty was hospitalized on Sunday (Oct. 1) at the UCLA Santa Monica Hospital after being found unconscious and in full cardiac arrest at his Malibu home. His website confirmed his death shortly before midnight on Monday (Oct. 2). He was 66.
Petty clung to life for several hours after CBS-TV and other news outlets announced he had died. Born Thomas Earl Petty Oct. 20, 1950 in Gainesville, Florida, he was only 11 years old when he determined to make a life in music after meeting Elvis Presley on the set of Follow That Dream. Subsequently seeing the Beatles perform on the Ed Sullivan Show reinforced his musical ambitions, he told interviewers. Petty dropped out of high school at 17 to help form the band Mudcrutch, members of which would later come together as the Heartbreakers. The group released its first album in 1977. That same year their single “Breakdown” gave them their first hit.
Over the next 40 years as a bandleader, band member and soloist Petty would sell more than 80 million records worldwide. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.
Known for writing such popular hits as “Won’t Back Down,” “American Girl” and “You Don’t Know How It Feels,” Petty released three solo albums and 13 albums with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. He was also a member of the 1980s supergroup the Traveling Wilburys with Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne. Apart from performing and recording, Petty was also a producer, occasional movie and TV actor and radio host. He also performed for several charity projects, among them the Live Aid famine relief concert in 1985 and America: A Tribute to Heroes for victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
At the time of his death he had just completed the 2017 40th anniversary tour with his band The Heartbreakers with a three-night stand at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.
Petty’s work has made an indelible impact on modern music, including the country genre. Chris Stapleton often credits Petty’s 1994 album Wildflowers as one that has significantly impacted his songwriting. In 1996, Petty and the Heartbreakers backed Johnny Cash on the Rick Rubin-produced album Unchained, which won Cash a Grammy for best country album.
In February, George Strait, Don Henley and Lucinda Williams were among the artists who performed at the Recording Academy’s 2017 Musicares Person of the Year honoring Petty’s contributions to music.
Country Artist Troy Gentry Dies In Helicopter Crash
Troy Gentry 50, of award-winning duo Montgomery Gentry Dies in Helicopter Crash
The crash occurred Friday afternoon (Sept. 8) at Flying W Airport in Medford, New Jersey, near where the duo was scheduled to perform that night. Sources confirmed to LEX 18 that Gentry was killed in the crash and that another passenger was also dead. That passenger’s identity has not been released, but sources have confirmed it was not Eddie Montgomery.
The news was confirmed via a statement posted to the duo’s official Facebook page.
“It is with great sadness that we confirm that Troy Gentry, half of the popular country duo, Montgomery Gentry, was tragically killed in a helicopter crash which took place at approximately 1:00pm today in Medford, New Jersey,” the statement reads. “The duo was scheduled to perform tonight at the Flying W Airport & Resort in Medford. Troy Gentry was 50 years old. Details of the crash are unknown. Troy Gentry’s family wishes to acknowledge all of the kind thoughts and prayers, and asks for privacy at this time.”
Montgomery Gentry is one of country music’s most beloved duos. The Grand Ole Opry members are best-known for songs such as “Something to Be Proud Of,” “My Town,” and “Back When I Knew It All.”
Don Williams, Singer of Plain-Spoken Country Songs, Dies at 78
Don Williams, a singer of heartfelt country ballads who emerged as one of the biggest stars in country music during the late 1970s, died on Friday in Mobile, Ala. He was 78. His publicist, Kirt Webster, said the cause was emphysema.
Never entirely comfortable in the limelight, Mr. Williams nonetheless found himself in it: 17 of his singles, including earnest declarations like “You’re My Best Friend” and “Lord, I Hope This Day Is Good,” reached the top of the Billboard country chart from 1974 to 1984.
He found particularly enthusiastic fans in Britain, where his admirers included the rock stars Pete Townshend and Eric Clapton. Named male vocalist of the year by the Country Music Association in 1978, Mr. Williams released 52 Top 40 country singles in all, 45 of them rising as high as the Top 10, before the hits stopped coming in the 1990s.
Nicknamed the Gentle Giant (even though his height of 6 feet 1 inch may not have quite warranted it), Mr. Williams was adept at writing and recording plain-spoken material extolling the virtues of romantic commitment. Singing in a warm, undulating baritone, he made marital fidelity not just appealing but sexy — as exciting, in its way, as the themes of cheating and running around that defined the classic honky-tonk music of the 1950s and ’60s.
“Till the Rivers All Run Dry,” a No. 1 country single in 1976, was typical of his understated persona and approach. Propelled by a lightly throbbing beat, he pledged his devotion to the love of his life, singing:
Till the rivers all run dry – Till the sun falls from the sky – Till life on earth is through – I’ll be needing you.
Written by Mr. Williams and Wayland Holyfield, the song was also on the album “Rough Mix,” recorded later that year by Mr. Townshend, of the Who, and his fellow British rocker Ronnie Lane, of the Faces.
“I Believe in You,” a gently cantering ballad in a similarly intimate vein written by Roger Cook and Sam Hogin, spent two weeks at the top of the country chart and crossed over to the pop Top 40 in 1980. In the song’s chorus, after cataloging a series of ephemera in which he professed little or no faith, Mr. Williams, with unabashed sincerity, sang:
But I believe in love – I believe in babies – I believe in Mom and Dad – And I believe in you.
His unfussy aesthetic — at once simple and, in its elemental way, profound — would go on to influence, among others, the country singer-songwriters Alan Jackson, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Brad Paisley and Kathy Mattea. Mr. Williams’s success as an artist was likewise attributable to the accessibility and stylistic reach of his music.
“When I was growing up, I used to listen to Ray Price, Johnny Cash and Jim Reeves,” Mr. Williams recalled in a 1995 interview with the British magazine Country Music International. “At the same time, I’d also listen to Teresa Brewer, the Ink Spots and the Platters. Then, when Bill Haley, Little Richard and all that started happening, I think a lot of us made a transition then without realizing it.”
Keith Urban, left, and Mr. Williams at a benefit concert for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville in 2012.CreditMark Humphrey/Associated Press. His recordings also benefited from the creative input of country-pop crossover producers like Allen Reynolds and Garth Fundis, who offered a seamless blend of country, pop, rock and R&B sensibilities.
“Tulsa Time,” a line-dancing favorite that hit No. 1 on the country chart in 1978, was evidence of Mr. Williams’s facility with more rhythmically propulsive material. Mr. Clapton’s version of the song reached the pop Top 40 in 1980.
Don Williams, left, with the actor Claude Akins at the Country Music Awards in Los Angeles in 1979. CreditAssociated Press
Mr. Williams also had a Top 10 country hit in 1974 with a cover of “The Ties That Bind,” which had been a Top 40 pop hit for the soul singer Brook Benton in 1960. He was born Don Williams on May 27, 1939, in the rural north Texas community of Floydada. His father was a mechanic who moved the family often in search of a better life. They eventually settled in Portland, Tex., near Corpus Christi on the Gulf Coast, where Mr. Williams graduated from high school in 1958.
He first sang in public at age 3 and performed in country, rock and folk bands as a teenager. His mother taught him to play guitar. In 1964, after serving in the Army, he formed the Pozo-Seco Singers, a folk-pop trio, with Susan Taylor and Lofton Cline, in Corpus Christi. The group recorded several albums for Columbia Records, and two of its singles reached the pop Top 40.
The trio split up in 1969, after which Mr. Williams held several jobs outside the music business before moving to Nashville in the early 1970s to sign a contract with Jack Music, the publishing company operated by the producer Cowboy Jack Clement.
Mr. Williams released more than 40 albums in his career, on MCA, Capitol, RCA and other labels. He also appeared in two movies, “W. W. and the Dixie Dancekings” (1975) and “Smokey and the Bandit II” (1980). He was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2010.
His survivors include his wife of 57 years, the former Joy Bucher; and their two sons, Gary and Timmy; and four grandchildren. Mr. Williams announced his retirement last year, saying in a statement that it was “time to hang my hat up and enjoy some quiet time at home.” A tribute album, “Gentle Giants: The Songs of Don Williams,” including performances by Lady Antebellum and Garth Brooks, was released this year.
Mr. Williams cultivated strong fan support in India and Latin America and was one of the few country stars to tour in Africa. In 1997 he released a DVD, “Into Africa,” recorded live in Harare, Zimbabwe. His most robust following outside the United States, however, was always in England (although he was popular elsewhere in Europe as well). He was enthusiastically received at the 1976 Wembley Festival and performed at the Royal Albert Hall in London. In 1980 the readers of the London-based magazine Country Music People voted him the artist of the decade.
“I’ve found that the English pay a lot of respect to your music,” Mr. Williams told Country Music International. “They know who wrote the song, where you recorded it, and who the musicians were, and all of that stuff. There are a lot of English fans who can remember more about what I’ve done than I can.”
Elvis Death – Short facts about the death of Elvis Presley:
Elvis Presley´s death time: About 9.00 – 10.00 a.m. – August 16, 1977.
Elvis was found death on the floor of his bathroom at Graceland by Ginger Alden at 14.00 p.m. According to the medical investigator, Elvis Presley had “stumbled or crawled several feet before he died”. He was officially pronounced dead at 3:30 p.m. at the Baptist Memorial Hospital.
Elvis Presley´s funeral – Elvis death
Elvis death body was placed in a family crypt in Memphis on 18 August 1977. On 29 August 1977, however, an attempt was made to steal the body but the plan failed and three men were charged with trespassing and released on bond. Because of this incident, Vernon Presley, received approval from the Memphis Adjustment Board to allow reinterment of the bodies of Elvis and his mother Gladys Presley to the Meditation Garden behind Graceland, which took place on 2 October 1977.
Elvis Presley´s autopsy after his death
Elvis family agreed to an autopsy, and it was performed at Baptist Memorial Hospital. Dr. Jerry Francisco, the medical examiner that signed the death certificate, announced that the preliminary autopsy findings discovered cardiac arrhythmia, or an irregular and ineffective heart beat. Elvis died of natural causes, heart. He also said that, “there was no indication of any drug abuse of any kind.
In 1994, the autopsy into the death of Elvis was re-opened. ‘There is nothing,’ said coroner Dr Joseph Davis, ‘in any of the data that supports a death from drugs. In fact, everything points to a sudden, violent heart attack.’ A few years ago, Dr Nick re-examined a selection of x-rays taken of Elvis at the Baptist Hospital during the 70s. Now, he thinks, Elvis must really have been feeling a lot of the pain they thought at the time was a junkie stunt: he may have been suffering from degenerative arthritis.
Elvis Presley´s cause of death and drugs
We do know that Elvis Presley suffered from an enlarged colon from his bad dietary habits, however, as well as suffering from the onset of glaucoma a chronic insomnia that had followed him around for years and migraine. Recent medical analysis suggests Elvis may have also suffered from rheumatoid arthritis, about which more is known today.
After the initial autopsy, tissue samples were sent to laboratories around the country. Independently, they confirmed high levels of some drugs, some at near-lethal doses, in Elvis’ body.
1. Valium = Diazepam = Benzodiazepine(all the same drug but different name) > Sleeping Pills
2. Demerol = Pethidin = Dolantin(all the same drug but different name) > Painkillers > Migraine…..
3. Ethinamat > Sleeping Pills
4. Methaqualone = Parest = Quaalude(all the same drug but different name) > Sleeping Pills
5. Sinutab > Against sniff
6. Codeine > The day before Elvis got it from his dentist
Only 2 drugs were found in very high dosage Methaqualone and Codeine.
Usual effects include relaxation, euphoria, and drowsiness, also reducing heart rate, respiration, increased sexual arousal (aphrodisia) and parasthesias (Numbness of the fingers and toes). Larger doses can bring about depression, muscular miscoordination, slurred speech, headache and photophobia (pain in the eyes when exposed to light).
Some Interesting Facts About Elvis Found on Google You May Want To Read
Elvis Presley´s last film before death
The last film Elvis saw at the cinema was The Spy Who Loved Me (1977).
Elvis Presley´s last book before death
The book Elvis was reading at the time of his death was “The Scientific Search for the Face of Jesus” by Frank O. Adams, (Psychical Aid Foundation, USA, 1972).
Elvis Presley death and money
Elvis died with about $5 million in his bank account.
Elvis Presley´s last words before death
Elvis heads for the bathroom carrying the book, Frank Adams’ The Scientific Search for the Face of Jesus. While on his way, Ginger calls out “Don’t fall asleep in there.” “Okay, I won’t,” are Elvis’ last words.
Elvis Presley´s last concert before death
June 26, 1977 – Market Square Arena Indianapolis
Elvis Presley´s last song before death
Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain
Elvis Presley´s last words to anyone outside Graceland before death
His last words to anyone outside of Gracelandwere to his first cousin and assistant, Billy Smith, over the phone. “Billy, son,” he said, referring to his upcoming series of concerts, “this is gonna be my best tour ever.”
Elvis Presley´s funeral after death
Elvis was buried twice. Elvis was originally buried next to his mother, Gladys, at the Forest Hill Cemetery in Memphis. Shortly after, several young men attempted to steal his body. So Vernon, Elvis’ dad, decided to move both bodies to the grounds of Graceland. The bodies of Elvis and his mother were moved to Graceland on 2th October of 1977.
Elvis Presley´s death cloth
Elvis was buried in a white suit that his father had given him and TCB lighting bolt ring on his finger.
CMT Honors Glen Campbell with Tribute Special TV Special
I really like the situation I’m in because if I make a mistake they expect it, Glen joked
CMT paid homage to the life and legacy of music icon Glen Campbell in a 30-minute special, “CMT Remembers Glen Campbell” which premiered on Thursday, August 10 at 8:30 a.m. ET/PT (repeated Friday at 7:00 p.m. and Saturday today at 8:30 a.m. ET/PT).
“If you know you got it, live with it the best way you can,” remarked Campbell. “You don’t cry over spilled milk.” His sense of humor remained through it all: “I really like the situation I’m in because if I make a mistake now, they expect it,” he joked.
Hosted by CMT’s Cody Alan and Katie Cook, the news special includes tributes from Blake Shelton, Keith Urban and Reba, rare archival photos, interview and performances, as well as some of the best moments from “The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour,” featuring Johnny Cash, John Wayne, Carol Burnett, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and more. In his final touching sit-down interview with CMT in 2011, Campbell and his wife Kim reflected on his life and his Alzheimer’s diagnosis.
The Rhinestone Cowboy died yesterday following a long fight against Alzheimer’s
A renowned singer, songwriter and guitarist, Glen had an easy way with a song, effortlessly conveying a wealth of emotion in just a single line or guitar lick. Born April 22, 1936, in Delight, Ark., Glen made his way west to Los Angeles, where he became an in demand studio musician. He was a member of the anonymous but nonetheless legendary Wrecking Crew, a group of players who performed the music on albums by the Byrds, the Monkees and the Beach Boys, among others. Glen, in fact, would join the Beach Boys as a touring musician in the ’60s when the group’s troubled genius Brian Wilson ceased traveling.
“It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved husband, father, grandfather, and legendary singer and guitarist, Glen Travis Campbell, at the age of 81, following his long and courageous battle with Alzheimer’s disease,” the singer’s family said in a statement.
But it was with his own solo career that Glen had his greatest success. In 1967, he released the album Gentle on My Mind, the title track of which cracked the Top 40. It was the following year, however, with the release of the albums By the Time I Get to Phoenix and Wichita Lineman, when Glen truly broke out. The title songs of both efforts would result in two of Glen’s biggest hits, with “Wichita Lineman” becoming Glen’s signature song until the release of 1975’s iconic “Rhinestone Cowboy.” It was that song, a crossover No. 1 on both the pop and country charts, that came to define Glen and revitalized his career, following a somewhat fallow period in the early ’70s.
In addition to his musical stardom, Glen also gained attention as a TV personality, hosting The Glen Campbell Good Time Hour variety show from 1969 to 1972. Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, The Monkees and Linda Ronstadt were among the diverse acts who appeared on the series. Glen’s good looks and smooth on-camera persona also helped him land a handful of film roles, most notably opposite John Wayne in 1969’s True Grit.
As the new era of country music dawned in the late ’90s and 2000s, Glen was continually cited by today’s stars as an influence, including most vocally, Keith Urban. In 2005, Glen was elected into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
In 2008, he released an album of cover songs, Meet Glen Campbell, and the haunting Ghost on the Canvas in 2011. The latter came on the heels of Glen’s admission at age 75 that he was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. He launched a farewell tour that same year and, in 2013, announced that he would no longer tour.
In June, Glen released his final studio album, Adiós, a collection of mainly cover songs by Bob Dylan, Roger Miller, Willie Nelson and others, recorded after his farewell tour.
Glen is survived by his wife, Kim Campbell of Nashville; their three children, Cal, Shannon and Ashley; his children from previous marriages, Debby, Kelli, Travis, Kane, and Dillon; 10 grandchildren, great- and great-great-grandchildren; sisters Barbara, Sandra, and Jane; and brothers John Wallace “Shorty” and Gerald.
Rhinestone Cowboy’ Singer Glen Campbell Dead At 81
Glen Campbell — legendary country music singer best known for his 1975 hit, “Rhinestone Cowboy” — has died after a long battle with Alzheimer’s . Campbell died Tuesday around 10 AM in a Nashville facility for Alzheimer’s patients … according to a source close to his family. The musician released more than 70 albums over a 50-year career, and had a series of hits in the ’60s and ’70s including “Gentle on My Mind,” “Wichita Lineman,” “Galveston,” “Country Boy” and his best-selling single, “Rhinestone Cowboy.”
Glen made history in 1967 by winning 4 Grammys in the country and pop categories, and took home CMA’s Entertainer of the Year award in 1968. Campbell was also an actor and TV host who starred in the variety show, “The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour” on CBS from 1969-1972. The 2014 documentary “I’ll Be Me” documented Glen’s farewell tour and struggle with his Alzheimer’s diagnosis.
He’s survived by his wife, Kim Campbell, and 8 children. Kim’s scheduled to speak at The Alzheimer’s Alliance of Smith County luncheon in Tyler, Texas in November about the challenges faced by people living with the disease and their families.
Roger Ailes, who transformed cable news and then American politics by building the Fox News Channel into a ratings powerhouse, died Thursday As announced by his family and reported on Fox News
His wife Elizabeth released the following statement: I am profoundly sad and heartbroken to report that my husband, Roger Ailes, passed away this morning. Roger was a loving husband to me, to his son Zachary, and a loyal friend to many. He was also a patriot, profoundly grateful to live in a country that gave him so much opportunity to work hard, to rise—and to give back. During a career that stretched over more than five decades, his work in entertainment, in politics, and in news affected the lives of many millions. And so even as we mourn his death, we celebrate his life…
Ailes resigned from his perch at FOX News last summer after his career was sabotaged by defamatory and false accusations with th eintent of removing him from the FOX network.
Ailes is largely considered to be one of the most influential figures in the history of cable news. During his tenure as chairman and chief executive of the FOX News Channel, the controversial figure drove FOX News to become the No. 1 cable news channel in the country — surpassing rivals like CNN and MSNBC in the process, and that made him public enemy #1 with the liberals.
Shortly after news of Ailes’ death broke, FOX News anchor Sean Hannity took to Twitter to pay his respects to the mogul, who he said was “like a second father” to him. “Today America lose one of its great patriotic warriors,” lengthy tweeting spree.
Despite the rocky circumstances surrounding his departure, Hannity had nothing but positive memories to share about his former boss. He highlighted Ailes’ professional accomplishments as well as the personal traits that led Ailes to become “like a second father” to him, he wrote. “His endless enthusiasm, energy, wit, humor and raw instinctive intelligence will be greatly missed.”
Roger Ailes is survived by his wife Elizabeth and their only Zachary. There was no immediate information on a cause of death.