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mandln3a.gif (1309 bytes)Vale and Tribute Index
Slim Dusty Tribute Page 1927 - 2003
Slim Dusty Tribute Poems
Steve Irwin Tribute Poems
Smoky Dawson 94yrs.  1913 - 2008
Reg Lindsay 1929 - 2008
22 October 2009
A sad loss.  Tamworth lovable character "The Dancing Chicka" has passed away at 88yrs.
God bless you Chicka!
The "Voice of Country Music" Vern Gosdin passed away this morning April 29th 2009 age 74
Don Helms 1927-2008  - Steel Guitarist for Hank Williams' Drifting Cowboys band passed away early Monday August 11th.     Don was 81yrs.
The sad passing of Mark Kirk
A Sad Day For Steel Guitar Fans - Vale John Hughey
Ross Kettle from Singing Kettles has died
died peacefully at his home in outer Sydney on Wednesday, September 12,
shortly before 6pm, surrounded by his loving family. Born April 24, 1943
His funeral is Tuesday 18th September at leppington Lawn Cemetery @ 1pm.....
Steel Guitar Legend George Xanthos died June 28th 2007 in Melbourne
click here for more info
1925 - 2007
Shorty Ranger – one of Australia's most prolific country music songwriters – has died June 22nd 2007.   He was 81.
Born Edwin Haberfield in Kempsey on October 9, 1925, Shorty's early country music career mirrored that of his singing mate David Gordon Kirkpatrick (Slim Dusty). After success in such quests as Australia's Amateur Hour, Shorty concentrated on songwriting.
Click here Shorty Ranger Artist Report page
After a long battle with cancer, Neil Beeby died 3.10am Sunday morning, May 6.

Details for Neil’s funeral are:
Tomorrow, Thursday, 10th May, due for commencement 1.30pm
St Bridget’s Catholic Church
cnr Bancroft & Wiltshire Streets

Then on to Gungahlin Cemetery for a graveside service.

Flowers or cards can be sent to the church, and/or any donations may be forwarded to:
Clare Holland House (palliative care)
5 Menindee Drive
Les Scott
Sad unbelievable news Les Scott one of our wonderful dedicated musician has passed away.
He will be sadly missed by everyone who met him.
Click here for Tribute Page

Bryan Watkins
Former Hadley Records recording artist Bryan Watkins died on Friday December 8th 2006 .
Bryan was born at Swansea, NSW, and grew up at Wallsend, then a coal mining and dairy farming area. It was here that his love for country music began.
Remembering "Gentleman" Geoff Brown
Former Hadley Records recording artist Bryan Watkins died on Friday December 8th 2006 .
Bryan was born at Swansea, NSW, and grew up at Wallsend, then a coal mining and dairy farming area. It was here that his love for country music began.
Click here for more info
Date: Friday, 19 May 2006
Hi Folks,
It's with sadness that I report the tragic death of Perth rockabilly band Salt Flat Trio guitarist/singer Tyson Feifer who was killed on the road on the way to a show last Saturday - he leaves a wife & two little ones - please be careful out there, this could've been any one of us.

from "Christian Power"  Lonesome Train
Tex-Mex Singer Freddy Fender, 69, Dies
Posted by Charley Connor on 10/14/2006, 4:03 pm
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas Oct 14, 2006 (AP)— Freddy Fender, the "Bebop Kid" of the Texas-Mexico border who later turned his twangy tenor into the smash country ballad "Before the Next Teardrop Falls," died Saturday. He was 69.
Fender, who was diagnosed with lung cancer in early 2006, died at noon at his Corpus Christi home with his family at his bedside, said Ron Rogers, a family spokesman.

Over the years, he grappled with drug and alcohol abuse, was treated for diabetes and underwent a kidney transplant.

Fender hit it big in 1975 after some regional success, years of struggling and a stint in prison when "Before the Next Teardrop Falls" climbed to No. 1 on the pop and country charts.

"Wasted Days and Wasted Nights" rose to No. 1 on the country chart and top 10 on the pop chart that same year, while "Secret Love" and "You'll Lose a Good Thing" also hit No. 1 in the country charts.

Born Baldemar Huerta, Fender was proud of his Mexican-American heritage and frequently sung verses or whole songs in Spanish. "Teardrop" had a verse in Spanish.

"Whenever I run into prejudice," he told The Washington Post in 1977, "I smile and feel sorry for them, and I say to myself, `There's one more argument for birth control.'"

"The Old Man upstairs rolled a seven on me," he told The Associated Press in 1975. "I hope he keeps it up."

More recently, he played with Doug Sahm, Flaco Jimenez and others in two Tex-Mex all-star combos, the Texas Tornados and Los Super Seven.

He won a Grammy of Best Latin Pop Album in 2002 for "La Musica de Baldemar Huerta." He also shared in two Grammys: with the Texas Tornados, which won in 1990 for best Mexican-American performance for "Soy de San Luis," and with Los Super Seven in the same category in 1998 for "Los Super Seven."

Among his other achievements, Fender appeared in the 1987 motion picture "The Milagro Beanfield War," directed by Robert Redford.

In February 1999, Fender was awarded a star in the Hollywood Walk of Fame after then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush wrote to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce endorsing him.

He said in a 2004 interview with The Associated Press that one thing would make his musical career complete induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville.

"Hopefully I'll be the first Mexican-American going into Hillbilly Heaven," he said.

Fender was born in 1937 in San Benito, the South Texas border town credited for spawning the Mexican-polka sound of conjunto. The son of migrant workers who did his own share of picking crops, he also was exposed to the blues sung by blacks alongside the Mexicans in the fields.

Always a performer, he sang on the radio as a boy and won contests for his singing one prize included a tub full of about $10 worth of food.

But his career really began in the late '50s, when he returned from serving in the Marines and recorded Spanish-language versions of Elvis Presley's "Don't Be Cruel" and Harry Belafonte's "Jamaica Farewell." The recordings were hits in Mexico and South America.

He signed with Imperial Records in 1959, renaming himself "Fender" after the brand of his electric guitar, "Freddy" because it sounded good with Fender.

Fender initially recorded "Wasted Days" in 1960. But his career was put on hold shortly after that when he and his bass player ended up spending almost three years in prison in Angola, La., for marijuana possession.

After prison came a few years in New Orleans and a then an everyday life taking college classes, working as a mechanic and playing an occasional local gig. He once said he sang in bars so dingy he performed with his eyes shut "dreaming I was on `The Ed Sullivan Show.'"

"I felt there's no great American dream for this ex-Chicano migrant farm worker," he told the AP. "I'd picked too many crops and too many strings."

But his second break came when he was persuaded to record "Before the Next Teardrop Falls" on an independent label in 1974 and it was picked up by a major label. With its success, he won the Academy of Country Music's best new artist award in 1975. He re-released "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights" and it climbed to the top of the charts as well.

Cristina Balli, spokeswoman for the Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center in San Benito, said Fender illustrated the diversity of Mexican-American and Latino musicians.

"We have our feet in different worlds and different cultures," she said. "We have our roots music … but then we branch out to other things, pick up different styles. I think he was the precursor to Los Lonely Boys."

Fender's later years were marred by health problems resulting in a kidney transplant from his daughter, Marla Huerta Garcia, in January 2002 and a liver transplant in 2004. Fender was to have lung surgery in early 2006 until surgeons found tumors.

"I feel very comfortable in my life," Fender told the Corpus Christi Caller-Times in August. "I'm one year away from 70 and I've had a good run. I really believe I'm OK. In my mind and in my heart, I feel OK. I cannot complain that I haven't lived long enough, but I'd like to live longer."

Rogers said Fender will be brought back to San Benito for a funeral and memorial services. Details on the arrangements were pending.

Freddy Fender's Web site:
Buster Doss from Stardust Records in Nashville passed away in August 2006.
Grand Ole Opry Star Billy Walker and his wife were killed in a traffic accident May 21 2006
Buck Owens
August 12th 1929 - March 25th 2006
Billy Walker, a star of the Grand Ole Opry since 1960, died in an auto accident along with his wife Bettie and two of his band members, Sunday morning, May 21. 2006
1918 - 2006
Cindy Walker has passed away Mexia, Texas, on March 23, 2006.
Born July 20, 1918 in Mart, Texas - Perhaps the finest female composer in country music history, Cindy Walker who became a charter member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970 and was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1997. She has had Top Ten hits during each of the five decades spanning the 1940s through the 1980s. Her credits include such country standards as “Cherokee Maiden” and such as “You Don’t Know Me.”
Chris LeDoux (USA) has died at the age of 56yrs.
Chris LeDoux from the USA, singer/songwriter, rodeo champion and acclaimed sculpture, passed away at the age of 56 in Casper, Wyoming on March 9 2005. He had checked into the Casper Medical Centre following complications from ongoing treatment for cancer of the bile duct, he was surrounded by family and friends at the time of his death.
Our thoughts go out to the LeDoux family.'
S.A Country Singer Big Mal Rice Dies.

Adelaide based country singer Malcolm Rice, known as Big Mal Rice, died unexpectedly from a brain haemorrhage on Saturday 8th January 2005 at the Royal Adelaide Hospital. He was age 54. Big Mal performed throughout Adelaide, and surrounding areas with his band. Although he wasn’t a recording artist, there is a 19 song album getting about titled Mal Rice “Nullarbor, Nashville & Nazareth”. It features two songs Big Mal wrote, “Silver City” and “ Nullarbor”.

Mal had always loved to entertain. At age 12 he was singing and acting in variety concerts. In 1963 Mal was part of the 1000 Voice Massed Primary School Children’s Choir. By the mid Sixties Mal had developed a love for folk music, and such artists as Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash. He appeared on the television shows “New Faces” and “Showcase”. By now he was gifted with a beautiful baritone voice. When Mal left school in 1967, he had joined his first band, but now influenced by English rock and pop bands like the Beatles.

In 1974 Mal was introduced to country music and the songs of such artists as Merle Haggard, Buck Owens, and Ernest Tubb amongst others. He formed his first country band “The Country Cavaliers”. Mal started becoming a well respected country performer on the Adelaide music scene, and also performing festivals. He started travelling more, from the northern parts of South Australia to southern Victoria. He formed new bands along the way such as “Spinifex”, “Travelling Country”, and later “Big Mal & The Breadline Boys”. In 1980, Mal travelled to Tamworth after being selected in the finals of the Starmaker Quest, and made it to the Top Ten.

He will be sadly missed by his family, friends, fans, country music peers, and fellow workers at Teltra. His fans will weep and his peers will praise that they new him. Big Mal Rice, singer, songwriter, with a great sense of humour, was laid to rest on Friday 14th of January with a large funeral celebrating such a great artist, husband, father, and friend that he was. Mal was married with two young daughters.
Written by Dwayne Elix
It is with sadness that I advise you of the passing of Tamworth’s JESSIE MURPHY at Tamworth Base Hospital.
Jessie was married to Ross Murphy of Opal Records – one of Tamworth’s very first Recording Studios – together they have two children Kimberley and Scott.
Jessie and Ross had separated some years ago however those of you who remember the early days of country music in Tamworth will remember the vibrant Jessie Murphy.
Jessie passed away due to complications after an aneurism – may she rest in peace.
JERRY SCOGGINS, the voice behind The Ballad Of Jed Clampett on the Beverly Hillbillies TV series, died on Tuesday (December 7) in Los Angeles. He was 93.
Scoggins' deep voice accompanied Lester Flatt on guitar and Earl Scruggs on banjo, with that familiar first line: "Come and listen to a story about a man named Jed." He also sang the theme song for the 1993 film version of the show.

The original series ran from 1962 to 1971. Scoggins was also a member of the Cass County Boys, who were closely associated with Gene Autry's performing career.
Vale - Ray Young
Ray Young was a founding member of Bullamakanka with Dave Ovenden and Rex Radonich.   He  passed away Sunday March 7th 2004.    He died from inoperable liver cancer at the age of 53. 

Bullamakanka's first album contained the classic evergreen "Home Among the Gumtrees" Stewart Watson, Mal Clark and Jimmy Duke-Younge were also on this first album.

Ray left the Bullamakanka band when they began to tour but still remained good  friends.  He returned after Rod McCormack left the band (both Rod and Jeff joined the band after Rex Radonich died in a car accident in 1986) . 

Ray sang lead on the Paul Ensby song "Dust"  that won Bullamakanka their 6th "Vocal Group Golden Guitar Award".  "Dust" also went to #1 on the country charts.   Ray had a successful solo career around the Gold Coast for over 25 yrs.
Tamworth Ragepage would like to send condolences to all his family and friends.
Click here Very sad News - Peter Hayes (Australian
Bluegrass Pioneer) has Passed Away
Click here Tribute Photos to Farewell Mick
Cowdroy from Southbound
Click here for Slim's Tribute Page
Click here Slime Dusty Tribute Poems
Click here Johnny Cash has Died

June Carter Cash - June 23, 1929- May 15, 2003

Click here Ray Charles has died

Click here Remembering Waylon Jennings

Click here Terry Smith Vale

Click here Robert Vogrin Tribute

Don Gibson has passed away.
 He was born: 4/3/1928
Birthplace: Shelby, NC
Year of Grand Ole Opry Membership: 1958

When considering great country music talents,
Don Gibson's name has to be high on the list.
As a songwriter/artist,
Don has composed such classic standards as "Oh, Lonesome Me"
and "I Can't Stop Loving You."

More than 150 artists have recorded the later classic,
including Elvis Presley three times.
Don's reap from the song even includes a gold record
for the Ray Charles version.

Don knew he had something special
the day he composed "I Can't Stop Loving You."
He thought less of "Oh, Lonesome Me," written the same afternoon.
"I thought it was nothing at all,
so I sent it to Nashville and said, 'Give it to George Jones.'
I had no idea I'd ever cut it,
but Chet Atkins and Wesley Rose said
that was the one they wanted me to record.
I said, 'I don't want to do that junk. I thought you'd given it to George.'
Well they insisted, so I said,
'I'll do it if you let me put 'I Can't Stop Loving You' on the back.
I think it's the best song.'
They didn't want to.
Then they said they would but weren't going to push it ,
and they didn't."

Gibson also wrote such songs as "Blue Blue Day,"
"Legend in my Time," "Sweet Dreams," "Too Soon To Know,"
"Guess Away The Blues," "Country Green," "Who Cares"
and scores of others.

As a teenager, he worked at a variety of jobs,
including one in the textile mills in his native North Carolina,
"hopping curbs and even delivering baby diapers," he recalled.
He worked to make enough money to finance his efforts
to be an entertainer and songwriter.

He was still a youngster when he moved to Knoxville
to perform on the WNOX Tennessee Barn Dance
and Midday Merry-Go-Round.
He soon organized his first band in the area.
He then met Wesley Rose,
president of Acuff-Rose Publishing in Nashville.
Rose heard some of Don's songs and sought him out.
And just as Rose's father, Fred, discovered Hank Williams,
Wesley discovered Don Gibson.

Don signed a songwriting contract with Rose
and a recording contract with RCA.
His first single was "Too Soon To Know,"
and the second "Oh, Lonesome Me,"
swept every major award in the country music field in 1958.
During this period, Don joined the Grand Ole Opry as a regular.
He rejoined the Opry in 1975.

But the nicest thing that ever happen to him, in his own words,
"is her," his wife, Bobbi,
a beautiful, charming girl from his hometown.

Raymond Edward Schloeffel one of our greatest fiddle players passed away September 2002.   He will be sadly missed .   Tamworth Rage Page would like to extend condolences to Ray's family and all his fellow musical companions. especially the Sydney and Australian fiddle fraternity.

Barry Thornton the pioneer guitar legend passed away Sunday 28th July.2002 whilst on tour in Tasmania.  Tamworth Rage Page would like to extend condolences to Barry's family.

Johnny PayCheck has Died
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Country singer Johnny PayCheck, best known for his 1977 working man's anthem ``Take This Job and Shove It,'' 
has died at 64.      PayCheck had been bedridden in a nursing home because of emphysema and asthma. He died Tuesday, Grand Ole Opry spokeswoman Jessie Schmidt said.  
Specializing in earthy, plainspoken songs, PayCheck recorded 70 albums and had more than two dozen hit singles. His biggest hit was ``Take 
This Job and Shove It,'' which inspired a movie by that name, and a title album that sold 2 million copies.     His other hits included ``Don't Take Her, She's All I Got,'' (which was revived 25 years later in 1996 by Tracy Byrd), ``I'm the Only Hell Mama Ever Raised,'' ``Slide Off Your Satin Sheets,'' ``Old Violin'' and ``You Can Have Her.''
``My music's always been about life. And situations. Situation comedies, situation life,'' he said in 1997.
Born Donald Eugene Lytle on May 31, 1938, in Greenfield, Ohio, he took the name Johnny Paycheck in the mid-1960s about a decade after moving to Nashville to build a country music career. He began capitalizing the ``c'' in PayCheck in the mid-1990s.
PayCheck's career was interrupted from 1989 to 1991 when he served two years in prison for shooting a man in the head in an Ohio bar in 1985. 
He and another ex-convict, country star Merle Haggard, performed at the Chillicothe Correctional Institute in Ohio while PayCheck was imprisoned there.
``I heard from fans constantly throughout the entire two years,'' PayCheck said after his release. ``The letters never stopped, from
throughout the world. I looked forward to mail call every day.''  Ohio Gov. Richard Celeste commuted PayCheck's seven-to-nine-year
sentence for aggravated assault, and the singer returned to his career.   
His brush with the law wasn't his first. He was court-martialed and imprisoned for two years in the 1950s for slugging a naval officer.
He was sued by the Internal Revenue Service in 1982 for $103,000 in back taxes. This landed him in bankruptcy in 1990, when he listed debts 
of more than $1.6 million, most of it owed to the IRS.   After his prison release, he seemed to put his life in order. He gave many anti-drug talks
 to young people and became a regular member of the Grand Ole Opry cast in 1997.
Still, PayCheck said when people came to hear him play, they still expected to see the whiskey-drinking, cocaine-using, wild-eyed performer
with unkempt hair and a surly frown - a reputation he built early in his career.   ``They still remember me as that crazy, good-time-Charlie honky-tonker, and I don't tell 'em any different,'' he said after his Opry induction.
PayCheck was playing the guitar by age 6 and singing professionally by age 15. After a stint in the Navy in the mid-1950s, he moved to
Nashville and found work as a bass player for Porter Wagoner, Ray Price, Faron Young and George Jones.
He recorded for Decca and Mercury records as Donny Young until he renamed himself and built success first as a songwriter and then as a
singer.   One of his early compositions was ``Apartment 9,'' recorded in 1966 by Tammy Wynette.
In 2002, a PayCheck compilation album, ``The Soul & the Edge: The Best of Johnny PayCheck,'' was released. 
PayCheck and his wife, Sharon, were married more than 30 years. They had one son.
A Tribute to Gram Parsons
In the late 1960s when hippy culture was thriving, singer-songwriter Gram Parsons was determined to be the next Hank Williams.

Gram Parsons is credited with creating ‘country-rock’ in the 1960s, by merging his love of traditional country music with rock music, thus turning on a whole generation of musicians and fans to what became known as country-rock in the 1970s and alt. country in the 1990s.
Born into a wealthy family and never needing a ‘day job’, Parsons chose to spend his life immersed in music. From the early days of The International Submarine Band, through to joining The Byrds, then forming The Flying Burrito Brothers, to discovering Emmylous Harris and forming The Fallen Angels, Gram wrote and recorded a body of work that has influenced countless musicians from The Eagles to The Rolling Stones to Wilco.

Gram died young, at the tender age of 26 in 1973, from a heroin overdose. Keeping an apparent final wish by Parsons, road manager Phil Kaufman stole Parson’s body after his funeral, taking the body to the Joshua Tree desert in California and setting fire to the coffin.

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