Obituaries

Country Music Hall of Fame member Ralph Emery has passed away at age 88. Emery was a legendary disc jockey and television host who rose to fame during the late-night hours on Nashville's WSM, where he hosted and allowed many new artists a chance to be heard for the first time. Throughout his career, Emery hosted Pop! Goes The Country, Nashville Now, Ralph Emery Live, Ralph Emery’s Memories, and more. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2007 and in 2010, he was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame.

Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member Dallas Frazier has passed away at age 82. Frazier penned hits such as “Elvira,” “There Goes My Everything,” “Alley Oop” and more. Artists such as Jack Greene, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Diana Ross, Engelbert Humperdink, Brenda Lee, Willie Nelson, Gene Watson, Merle Haggard, Charlie Louvin, Rodney Crowell, Poco, George Jones, Connie Smith, Charley Pride, and more recorded his songs.

Fellow artists mourn the loss of their friend and share fond memories that have left them forever inspired by the timeless Dallas Frazier:

Country music legend Stonewall Jackson passed away early Saturday at age 89 after a prolonged battle with vascular dementia. Some of Jackson's hits included "Life To Go," penned by the late, great George Jones, "Smoke Along the Track," "B.J. the D.J.," and "Waterloo," which later became his signature song. Over his career, Stonewall landed 44 singles on the Billboard country chart. His 1971 Recorded Live at the Grand Ole Opry was the first "live" album ever recorded at Nashville's 'Mother Church of Country Music', the Ryman Auditorium.

Five-time Grammy award winner and Grammy Hall of Fame inductee, B.J. Thomas, died today at home in Arlington, Texas at the age of 78 from complications due to stage four lung cancer.

Few artists have left a more indelible mark on America’s musical landscape than B.J. Thomas. With his smooth, rich voice and unerring song sense, Thomas’s expansive career crossed multiple genres, including country, pop, and gospel, earning him CMA, Dove, and Grammy awards and nominations since his emergence in the 1960s.

It is with great sadness that we confirm the passing of Poco co-founder, Rusty Young, at the age of 75. Young suffered a heart attack last week. A beloved member of the Blue Élan Records family, Young was best known as the heart and soul of Poco - the band widely considered to be one of the founders of the classic Southern California country rock sound. Young was an integral member of the band throughout their influential six decade career.

Singer/songwriter Ed Bruce passed away Friday, January 8th at age 81. As a songwriter, artists such as Crystal Gayle (Restless), Charlie Louvin (See The Big Man Cry), Tommy Roe (Save Your Kisses), Tanya Tucker (Texas When I Die, The Man That Turned My Mama On), and Willie Nelson (Mama Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys) are just a few who have recorded his songs. As an artist, Bruce’s hits include “The Last Cowboy Song”, “Love’s Found You And Me”, “Ever, Never Lovin’ You”, “After All”, “My First Taste Of Texas” and more.

Howard Johnson, veteran jazz musician, tuba innovator and founding member of the Saturday Night Live band, died at home in New York on Jan. 11, 2021, following a long illness, according to his longtime partner, Nancy Olewine. 

Charley Pride, whose rich baritone voice and impeccable song-sense altered American culture, died Saturday, December 12, 2020, in Dallas, Texas of complications from Covid-19 at age 86.

Born a sharecropper’s son in Sledge, Mississippi, on March 18, 1934, Pride emerged from Southern cotton fields to become country music’s first Black superstar and the first Black member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

“No person of color had ever done what he has done,” said Darius Rucker in the PBS American Masters film Charley Pride: I’m Just Me.

"Charlie’s been like a brother to me since the early ‘70s. He’s one of the greatest, kindest people I’d ever met in my life. Not only Charlie - but he surrounded himself with incredible people that I love, especially his wife Hazel. We did a duet of a song Charlie wrote called 'Willie Jones' and it was one of the most fun studio sessions I’ve been in. I’ve always loved playing Volunteer Jams through the years - I will miss my dear friend." - Bobby Bare, Country Music Hall of Fame and Grand Ole Opry member

Grammy Award winning, Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame member, Little Richard, the mastermind behind legendary hits “Long Tall Sally,” “Rip It Up,” “Good Golly Miss Molly,” “Tutti Frutti” and many more, has passed away at the age of 87. Little Richard's music broke racial barriers and his impressionable style shattered all that was standard. The eccentric star paved the way for other stand-out acts with his unique nature, flamboyant flair and inspiring innovations to culture. With an unmatched career of stellar achievements, the musical giant leaves behind an unforgettable legacy.

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