The population and proximity of Nashville’s music creators bring Music City together like a family. Thus, when Nashville loses one of his music stars, the city mourns, as does the rest of the family.
Despite their different genres, the accomplishments of the city’s artists leave a legacy that is equal to the lives they lived.
In 2022, many genre pillars have died, including country and gospel. A key staunch force in the arts community they loved and were blessed to work in has also died.
The Tennessean honors these music industry powers who passed away in 2022.
Ralph Emery (died January 15)
Walter Ralph Emery, a Country Music Hall of Fame broadcaster known to locals as the host of TNN’s primetime talk show “Nashville Now,” has died at the age of 88.
The broadcast star was known nationally for his informal, relaxed hosting style and candid interviews with country music stars. He is widely credited with expanding the reach of country music’s influence across the country during his 50-year career.
Beegie Adair (died January 23)
Bobby Long Adair, a revered jazz pianist on the Nashville jazz scene for 60 years, has died at the age of 84.
She produced over 35 albums with Roger Spencer on bass and drummer Chris Brown, known as the Beegy Adair Trio. The group held her nearly 30-year residencies throughout Nashville, including Loews Vanderbilt Plaza, Bennett’s Corner, F. Scott’s Restaurant, Jazz Bar, and most recently, the Nashville Jazz Workshop.
“I think the jazz situation here is probably the best it’s ever been, as opposed to elsewhere,” she told The Tennessean in 2012. — a very strong player.
Naomi Judd (died April 30)
Grammy-winning country vocalist Naomi Judd — one half of mother-daughter duo The Judds — died at the age of 76, a day before she and daughter Wynonna Judd were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
The duo had 14 No. 1 hits in 30 years, but disbanded as a performing act in 1991 after Naomi Judd was diagnosed with hepatitis. From 1984 to his 1991 alone, the Judds had his 20 top 10 hits and won 5 Grammy Awards, 9 of his CMA Awards, and 7 ACM Awards.
Since arriving in Music City in 1979, Naomi Judd (and her family) has been a fundamental part of country music’s continued pop evolution since the 1980s.
Deborah McCrary (died June 1)
Deborah McCrary, member of revered Nashville vocal group The McCrary Sisters, has died at the age of 67.
Along with her sisters, McCrary sang on stage and in the studio alongside dozens of country, Americana, rock and blues stars. Carrie Underwood, Eric Church, The Black Keys, Donnie McClarkin, Sheryl Crow, Maren Morris, Gregg Allman and many others were looking for rich, soulful harmonies.
The McCrary Sisters are the daughters of the late Rev. Samuel McCrary, pastor and principal member of Nashville’s gospel quartet The Fairfield Four.
Dr. Paul T. Kwame (died September 10)
Dr. Paul T. Kwame, the esteemed musical director of the Grammy Award-winning, world-famous Fisk Jubilee Singers for 28 years, has died at the age of 70.
During his tenure, Kwami led the Fisk Jubilee Singers, Nashville’s longest-running music institution, into its famous modern era. Founded in 1871, this touring group was the first to introduce the “Negro Spirituals” to a global audience. Over a century later, the Kwammi have taken them to scaleless peaks.
In 2021, they won their first ever Grammy Award for their album Celebrating Fisk, recorded live on stage at the Ryman Auditorium. In the same year, he returned to the stage to commemorate the 150th anniversary.
Loretta Lynn (died October 4)
Loretta Lynn, who went from a difficult upbringing to one of the most culturally significant female singer-songwriters in country music history, has died at the age of 90.
Many of Lynn’s songs were filled with details of her completely unique life, but they had a universal appeal. , wrote about intimate issues, but could get on the nerves of the collective. And without mentioning politics or women’s emancipation, her songs helped change long-held notions about gender roles. (With Lovin’ on Your Mind)” was a personal plea, not a political treatise, but an end to double standards.
Lynn did all of this at a time when women were most often the voices to hear men’s words and melodies. She was the first prominent woman in Nashville to write and record her own work, and she was also one of the first female music stars to create her own hits.
Leslie Jordan (died October 24)
Nashville’s neon lights wouldn’t be so bright without Leslie Jordan. Jordan, a diminutive entertainer who loved to make the room laugh, has died in a car crash in Los Angeles. he was 67 years old.
The Chattanooga native spent his later years tearing up Nashville’s red carpets in dazzling suits and applauding his favorite singer-songwriters on stage at the Ryman Auditorium.
Jerry Lee Lewis (died October 28)
Although he is mostly remembered as a rock and roll pioneer, Jerry Lee Lewis, who died at the age of 87, had more than a few ties to country music and Nashville from his pre-famous days to his final turn in the limelight. was.
When Tennessean asked Lewis about the Country Music Hall of Fame induction that took place in October, “Killer” replied with an unusual understatement.
“It’s been a while. But we appreciate it.”
From the moment his groundbreaking single “Whole Lot Of Shakin’ Going On” hit the airwaves in 1957, Lewis quickly became a country star. That’s because both “Shakin'” and the piano-thumping “Great Balls of Fire” that followed were radical at the time. Lewis went on to record songs by Hank Williams, Roger Miller and Charlie Rich in his early years.
Jeff Cook (died November 7)
Jeff Cook, co-founding member of trendsetters and Country Music Hall of Fame band Alabama, has passed away after a battle with Parkinson’s disease. he was 73 years old.
Guitarist, fiddler and vocalist in Cook, Alabama — With cousins Randy Owen and Teddy Gentry — It helped paint a blueprint for what a hitmaking band could achieve in country music. He and the band filled that sketch with a slew of hits that many now consider a must-listen to country music. “Southern Songs”, “Mountain Music”, “Hurry Up”, “Cheap Seats”, etc. “My Homes in Alabama”.
Peter Cooper (died December 6)
Award-winning country music journalist and Grammy-nominated musician Peter Cooper has died of head injuries caused by a fall. he was 52 years old.
A native of South Carolina, Cooper moved to Nashville in 2000 and joined Tennessean as a music writer. He soon established himself as a brilliant and unmistakable voice in country music criticism, filling his stories with his acquired insights, gentle wit, and well-placed references to baseball. rice field.
During his 15-year tenure, covering the death of George Jones and the rise of Taylor Swift, Cooper’s bylines were sought out by countless readers who picked up the day’s papers. It contained the legend he wrote. Chris Kristofferson once said that he “sees the world with the eyes of an artist and the heart and soul of a man,” while Hank Williams Jr. simply called him “just a writer.”
remembering those who died in 2022
- January 14th: Dallas FrazierThe songwriter who wrote the country classic ‘Elvira’ has died at the age of 82.
- January 15th: Dan EinsteinThe co-founder of trendsetter independent label Oh Boy Records and beloved local baker at 16th Street Bakery has died at the age of 61.
- January 20: Theatrical Rock Singer meatloafHe spent his last years in Middle Tennessee and died at the age of 74.
- January 30: Country Music Hall of Fame Session Players pig robinsAfter recording with Bob Dylan, Dolly Parton and Shania Twain, he died at the age of 84.
- March 10: bobby nelsonThe sister of Country Music Hall of Fame artist Willie Nelson and a member of his longtime family band has passed away at the age of 91.
- May 7th: Mickey Gilley The country singer best known for inspiring the 1980 film Urban Cowboy has died at the age of 86.
- July 31st: Ed HardyThe respected country music executive and media businessman has died at the age of 73.
- August 10: Ben FarrellThe promoter who helped orchestrate Garth Brooks’ extensive tour has died at the age of 76.
- August 29th: Luke BellA national favorite from his hometown of Nashville’s Americana and country star, he died at the age of 32.
- September 28th: Joe ChambersFounder of the Musicians Hall of Fame, died at the age of 68.
- October 10: Anita KerrThe vocalist who helped shape the famous ‘Nashville Sound’ has died at the age of 94.