Country Music Hall of Famer Eddy Arnold Passed Away This Morning

Brody Vercher | May 8th, 2008

  • Country Music Hall of Famer Eddy Arnold passed away early this morning at age 89.

    Before Garth Brooks came along, Arnold was easily country music’s biggest record-seller. Sales of his discs from the mid-1940s to the present, in every recorded medium from 78s to CDs, have topped 80 million. Along the way, Arnold became a key figure in “urbanizing” country music — smoothing it out, opening it to influences from the wider world of pop music — a trend you could almost guess by knowing that his early musical favorites were Vernon Dalhart, Gene Autry, Gene Austin, and Bing Crosby. The list of those he influenced is headed by Marty Robbins and Jim Reeves.

  • For a limited time you can listen to Eleven Hundred Springs‘ new release, Country Jam, on iLike. And, next Monday, founding members Matt Hilyer & Steve Berg will login to Galleywinter for a listening party and live chat.
  • Carrie Underwood and her high octane vocals didn’t disappoint the sold-out United Spirit Arena last night in Lubbock. She opened with “Flat On The Floor” and encored with Guns N’ Roses’ “Paradise City,” making five wardrobe changes in between. The crowd favorite was the hometown Texas Tech jersey.
  • After releasing his debut on Warner, Ray Scott decided to release the follow-up on his own label, Jethropolitan Records. Physical CDs will only be available from his website and concerts, but the ten track digital album will be available later this month.
  • Several Willie Nelson podcasts have been added to the Legacy Recordings podcast blog, including four new “True Outlaw Stories.” (via Still Is Still Moving)
  • Hayes Carll talks about his singing voice and affinity for what Jewly Hight calls rougher songs:

    “The gist is that I have a really strong Southern drawl and I sound intoxicated,” he says. “When I’m singing about those things, maybe those are more believable than if I was singing about the deļ¬cit or something. I wouldn’t believe ‘The Pilgrim’ if Mariah Carey was singing it, but when Kris Kristofferson sings it I’m like, ‘Fuck yeah.’ “

  • According the commenters reactions, Carrie Underwood‘s spot at No. 59 on Country Universe’s “100 Greatest Women” list hasn’t been the only controversial placement thus far, but it has certainly drawn out passionate opponents and proponents.
  • Dierks Bentley made an appearance on the Toyota Concert Series on the TODAY show yesterday morning to talk about his new greatest hits album and perform a couple of songs, “Sweet & Wild” and “Trying To Stop Your Leaving.” The lady singing harmony with Dierks on “Sweet & Wild” is the lovely Sarah Buxton, who posted about the event in her MySpace blog.
  • This Is Texas Music blogger Patrick, Austin Chronicle’s Jim Caligiuri, and Austin Music Source writer John T. Davis each have their own accounts of the Guy Clark, Joe Ely, John Hiatt and Lyle Lovett concert at the Paramount Theater on Monday and Tuesday.
  • Julie Roberts posted a couple of new songs to her MySpace.
  • Lady Antebellum vocalist Hillary Scott is excited about the new wave in country music, the wave that’s all about songwriters.

    “Taylor Swift has come and just exploded. You have James Otto, who’s worked so hard. There’s Ashton Shepherd. We say we’re songwriters first. We love to perform — that’s a big part of who we are — but this is the time of the songwriter. And that’s beautiful to me. There’s nothing more rewarding than being part of creating a song. It’s a really cool thing, and it’s what people are gravitating toward. I’m really excited about the next five or 10 years of country music.”

  • The AT&T Blue Room has an exclusive interview with James Otto. He dishes on his musical roots, when country music became cool to him and performing in the Navy. He follows the interview up with performances of “Just Got Started Lovin’ You,” “You Don’t Act Like My Woman” and “These Are The Good Ole Days.”
  • Honoring individuals who have been at the forefront in the development of country music, the Academy of Country Music awarded the The Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award to Brenda Lee, the Oak Ridge Boys and the late Conway Twitty and Porter Wagoner. And, Bill Anderson and the late Fred Rose will become recipients of the organization’s newest award, the Poet’s Award, honoring songwriters for outstanding musical and lyrical contributions to country music. Check out CMT for the list of musician, industry, and radio awards. Additionally, Garth Brooks will receive the inaugural Crystal Milestone Award for his sales achievements.
  1. Baron Lane
    May 8, 2008 at 11:01 am

    Jethropolitan Records is an inspired label name.

  2. Funk
    May 8, 2008 at 11:26 am

    I loved him on Greenacres.

  3. Rick
    May 8, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    I also disagree about Carrie Underwear’s ranking on the Country Universe list as I would not have included her at all. Carrie is a fine pop singer but I can’t stand that nasally voice of hers. She isn’t worthy to shine the shoes of the likes of Kiity Wells or Loretta Lynn…..

    That was great of Dierks Bentley to personally invite Sarah Buxton to sing harmony vocals on Good Morning America. GAC recently aired a show hosted by WSM DJ Bill Cody where he interviewed Taylor Swift, Kellie Pickler, and Sarah in 20 minute segments. I Tivo’d it and watched the Sarah segment as she is always a delightful interview subject. Now if Ltric Street would just take Sarah off the shelf and do something with her!!!!!!!!! (Maybe when Dierks starts his own label he can bring Sarah aboard….)

    Ray Scott’s “My Kind of Music” should have been a radio hit but it was both “too country” and was potentially offensive to country radio’s female listeners. Ray, like Jamey Johnson, carries on the “Outlaw” country tradition and I wish him success…

  4. Hollerin' Ben
    May 8, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    I don’t know about Ray Scott man. “My Kind of Music” was rad, but I thought the rest of that cd was awful.

  5. Mike W.
    May 8, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    I dont know, “Gypsy” was a solid enough song. It was ok, but yeah, the songwriting on a number of the songs were uninspired. To say the least.

    I do have hopes that Ray’s next album will be better, I mean, a number of the songs on Jamey’s first disc were rather weak (especially all the redneck songs), but his second album was the best album to come out last year, in ANY genre.

  6. Lanibug
    May 8, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    The vote on Carrie over at CU seems to be evenly divided — many people are saying that she was placed too high. I like the one guy who thinks she should have been in the top 20 – which for me is for people like Patsy Cline, June Carter Cash, Loretta Lynn, etc. Women whose music has withstood the test of time — hers has not yet without stood time…and only time will tell.

  7. Paul W Dennis
    May 8, 2008 at 4:51 pm

    Eddy Arnold (not the fellow that played on Green Acres) is still, to this day, the number Country singles artist of all time. Eddy’s last #1 came in 1968 (his first in 1947) but he continued to chart hits steadily thereout the 1970s and spasmidically thereafter with his last chart entry occuring in 2000

    Eddy could sing smooth or he could sing very country, but whatever he sang he sang well

  8. Jim Malec
    May 8, 2008 at 5:04 pm

    Eddy was a legend, icon, and master.

  9. Jeremy Potts
    May 8, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    Another sad day for country music. We’ve lost so many legends over this decade – it’s a very depressing time to be a country music fan.

  10. roger
    May 8, 2008 at 8:10 pm

    eddy’s passing reminds me of Dale Watson’s song “a real country song”…we are losing the legends left and right lately and thank god people like dale watson and justin trevino are keeping the country tradition going..if i won the lottery i would start a radio station without monetary reasons and play all of the classics and the current artists that play true country and i guarantee i could make it profitable in a few years…the deregulation of radio station ownership was the downfall of real country music…actually not just country music but anything that is truly original…prayers to the Arnold family tonight…we lost another good one

  11. northtexas
    May 8, 2008 at 10:16 pm

    “Carrie Underwear’s” Wow, how juvenile.
    Guess Rick won’t be at the Opry this weekend…LOL!

  12. Funk
    May 9, 2008 at 11:14 am

    Yeah, I might have combined Eddie Albert with Arnold Ziffel. Easy to mix up a pitchfork using banker and a multi-lingual, television watching pig.

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