My survey of the productions of Rick Hall, creator of the Muscle Shoals, Alabama recording scene with his Fame Studios, scene of countless hit records from 1962 on. Hall died of prostate cancer on January 2.
I recently compiled four Spotify playlists of essential recordings by George Jones spanning nearly his entire career, surveying at the famous, the obscure (and bizarre), the sacred and the collaborations. The above is not a logo, but the cover of a CD set released a few years ago.
My take on Don Henley's recently released country album Cass County: a far cry from the Eagles.
Record producer Bob Johnston, who died Friday of heart failure at 83, shortly after the passing of his colleague, Epic Records Nashville producer Billy Sherrill, produced all but one track of Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited, and went on to oversee his late 60's-early 70's output: Blonde On Blonde, John Wesley Harding, Nashville Skyline, Self Portrait and New Morning. Two of Simon & Garfunkel's most important albums, Sounds of Silence and Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme were Johnston productions, though his predecessor Tom Wilson produced the "Sounds of Silence" track.
Elvis Costello, Billy Sherrill, George Jones: Nashville, 1978
Billy Sherrill's 2010 induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame was no surprise. From 1966 through the 1980's he created some of the music's most enduring material. The irony: Sherrill, who died in Nashville Tuesday at 78, was not a Nashville insider or even a country fan at the start.
Interviewed for a 1991 Jones documentary, Johnny Cash said, "People ask me who is my favorite country artist. I say, you mean besides George Jones."
George Glenn Jones, aka "The Possum," a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, died today at age 81 at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. His health had been precarious for some time, the result of respiratory problems. Since last fall, he struggled to complete his Farewell Tour, which to stop at the Palace Theater in Greensburg in July and end in Nashville in November. He'd been hospitalized since last Thursday with both breathing and blood pressure problems. Essentially his lungs seem to have given out.
Already considered one of country music's greatest vocalists, for several decades he carried the title of Greatest Living Country Singer. There's good reason for that. Jones was a vital link between the raw, emotional singing of early greats like Roy Acuff and Hank Williams, Sr., both childhood heroes of his.