(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
Willie Nelson turned 85 on Sunday. He has a new album out, Last Man Standing, I'll be reviewing Friday on the "Believe Your Ears" music podcast. 43 years have passed since his first megahit: his remake of the 1947 Roy Acuff ballad "Blue Eyes Crying In the Rain" (penned by Fred Rose, Hank Williams's mentor) from the Red Headed Stranger concept album that established his Outlaw beachhead, taking him to stardom after over a decade of frustration making records that didn't present him as he thought he should be.
In a career that began before World War II and ended a decade into the 21st Century, Texas fiddler and electrified mandolin virtuoso John Paul Gimble played with some of the greatest in American music onstage and in the recording studio. His death at 88 on May 9, three weeks before his 89th birthday, coming nearly 40 years after the death of Bob Wills.truly ended an era.