In 2009, country music lost "The Voice," a Buckaroo, a Clinch Mountain Boy, a Virginia Boy, two
Herewith, CMT.com notes the passing and particulars of:
Leona Atkins, 85, widow of
Butch Baldassari, 56, founder of the Nashville Mandolin Ensemble, former member of the bluegrass band Weary Hearts and noted music teacher, Jan. 10, in Nashville.
Barry Beckett, 66, esteemed studio musician, member of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section and producer of such acts as Dire Straits,
Molly Bee, 69, country singer and television personality, Feb. 7, in Oceanside, Calif.
Jay Bennett, 45, former member of the band Wilco, May 24, in Urbana, Ill.
Tom Brumley, 73, steel guitar player, former member of
Stephen Bruton, 60, noted guitarist and songwriter, May 9, in Los Angeles.
John Dawson, 64, co-founder (with Jerry Garcia) of the
Billy Deaton, 74, veteran talent booker and former manager of
Jim Dickinson, 67, musician and producer who worked with such acts as the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, the Replacements and Ry Cooder and whose sons Cody and Luther Dickinson are members of the North Mississippi Allstars, Aug. 15, in Memphis.
Hal Durham, 77, former announcer for and manager of the Grand Ole Opry, March 28, in Cape Coral, Fla.
Donald "Ean" Evans, 48, bass player for Lynyrd Skynyrd, May 6, in Columbus, Miss.
Archie Green, 91, Canadian-born folklorist who specialized in the songs, language and customs of working-class Americans, March 22, in San Francisco.
Jon Hager, 67, of the Hager twins of Hee Haw fame, Jan. 9, in Nashville.
Dene Hallam, 56, radio programmer, Nov. 20, in Atlanta.
Loretta Johnson, 68, co-founder of the International Fan Club Organization (with her sisters, Loudilla Johnson and Kay Johnson), April 13, in Nashville. The Johnson sisters got their start in fan clubdom in 1963 when they formed
Larry Knechtel, 69, keyboard player for acts ranging from the Beach Boys to the
Tim Krekel, 58, guitarist and songwriter ("Cry on the Shoulder of the Road," "Turning Away," "You Can Feel Bad"), June 24, in Louisville, Ky.
Big Bill Lister, 86, former member of
Randall "Poodie" Locke, 56,
Tom McEntee, age unknown, founder of Country Radio Seminar (in 1969), Sept. 24 in Florida.
Irby Mandrell, 84, father and longtime manager of
Al Martino, 82, pop singer whose repertoire and recordings included many country songs, Oct. 13, in Springfield, Pa. He also played wedding singer Johnny Fontane in The Godfather.The last song he recorded was
Aubrey Mayhew, 81, producer, co-founder of Little Darlin' Records (with
Warren "Gates" Nichols, 65, former member of
Robert "R. D." Norred, 90, steel guitarist who played in Hank Williams' Drifting Cowboy band in late 1946 and early 1947, Oct. 25, in Dadeville, Ala.
Les Paul (real name: Lester William Polsfuss), 94, legendary guitarist and guitar designer, recording artist and studio technician, Aug. 13, in White Plains, N.Y.
Billy Powell, 56, keyboardist for Lynyrd Skynyrd, Jan. 28, in Orange Park, Fla.
Mike Seeger, 75, folksinger and music scholar, Aug. 7, in Lexington, Va.
Alan Shelton, 73, banjo player who toured and recorded as a member of
Shelby Singleton, 77, record producer, music publisher and owner of the Sun Records catalog, Oct. 7, in Nashville. It was on his Plantation label that
Mary Travers, 72, of the Peter, Paul & Mary folk trio, Sept. 16, in Danbury, Conn.
Rusty Wier, 65, singer and songwriter, Oct. 9, in Driftwood, Texas.
Ruby Wright, 69, recording artist and daughter of Country Music Hall of Fame member