Giants took their final bow this year — Country Music Hall of Fame members Kitty Wells, Earl Scruggs and Frances Preston
and superstars such as Andy Griffith, Whitney Houston, Levon Helm and that consummate aggregator of musical talent, Dick Clark.
was also the year that said adieu to the creators of such classic songs as “Sea of Heartbreak,” “I Never Promised You a Rose
Garden,” “Statue of a Fool” and “Islands in the Stream.”
Here is a list of the music world’s common losses for 2012:
Ackerman, 73, studio and road drummer and former Hee Haw and Grand Ole Opry band member, Dec. 13, in Nashville.
Blackburn, 70, former head of the country divisions of Columbia/Epic and Atlantic Records, Nov. 30, in Franklin, Tenn.
Butler, 69, songwriter, musician and producer of many of Kenny Rogers’ hits, Jan. 20, in Pensacola, Fla.
82, television personality and producer with numerous ties to the country music industry, April 18, in Santa Monica, Calif.
Clark, 73, songwriter, painter and wife of songwriter Guy Clark, June 28, in Nashville.
Charlie Collins, 78, longtime
guitarist in Roy Acuff’s Smoky Mountain Boys band, Jan. 12, in Nashville.
Jan Crutchfield, 74, songwriter whose hit
compositions included “Statue of a Fool” and “It Turns Me Inside Out,” Nov. 1, in Nashville.
Hal David, 91, pop songwriter
whose country hits included Don Gibson’s “Sea of Heartbreak,” Marty Robbins’ “The Story of My Life,” Ronnie Milsap’s “It Was
Almost Like a Song” and Willie Nelson and Julio Iglesias’ “To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before,” Sept. 1, in Los Angeles.
“Doug” Dillard, 75, virtuoso banjo player and member of the Dillards who gained his greatest national recognition as a member
of the fictional Darling family on The Andy Griffith Show, May 16, in Nashville.
Frank Dycus, 72, songwriter
whose chart successes included George Strait’s “Marina del Ray” and “Unwound,” George Jones’ “I Don’t Need Your Rockin’ Chair”
and Mark Chesnutt’s “Gonna Get a Life,” Nov. 23, in Lyons, Ga.
Chris Ethridge, 65, bassist, founding member of the
Flying Burrito Brothers and a former member of Willie Nelson’s band, April 23, in Meridian, Miss.
Robin Gibb, 62, singer,
songwriter and member of the Bee Gees who co-wrote the Kenny Rogers/Dolly Parton hit “Islands in the Stream,” May 20, in London.
Griffith, 86, the actor best known for his leading role in The Andy Griffith Show and his championing of bluegrass
and country music, July 3, in Dare County, N. C.
Levon Helm, 71, whose soulful vocals and drumming as a member of The
Band helped define American roots music in the ’60s and ’70s, April 19, in New York.
Donna Hilley, 65, prominent figure
in Nashville’s music publishing community, June 20, in Nashville.
Whitney Houston, 48, pop singer and actress who spent
14 weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart with her recording of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You,” Feb.
11, in Los Angeles.
Martha Hume, 65, former managing editor of Country Music magazine and author of books such
as The Entertainers of Country Music and You’re So Cold I’m Turnin’ Blue: Martha Hume’s Guide to the Greatest in
Country Music, Dec. 18, in Nashville.
Charlie Lamb, 90, journalist, publisher, advertising salesman, talent manager,
record label executive, concert promoter, publicist, producer, actor and trade association organizer who helped create Music
Row and build it into an international music center, March 7, in Nashville.
Everett Lilly, 87, largely credited, along
with his brother Bea and their band mates Don Stover and Tex Logan, with introducing bluegrass music to New England, May 8,
in Clear Creek, W.Va.
George “Goober” Lindsey, 83, longtime Hee Haw cast member who gained national fame in
his role as Goober Pyle on The Andy Griffith Show, May 6, in Nashville.
Frank Peppiatt, 85, co-creator of Hee
Haw, Nov. 7, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
Frances Preston, 83, former president and CEO of BMI and a member of the
Country Music Hall of Fame, June 13, in Nashville.
Tom “Cat” Reeder, 77, veteran bluegrass and country music radio
host, most recently on the public radio outlet WAMU in Washington, D. C., June 30, in Virginia.
Kenny Roberts, 85,
country singer and yodeler whose novelty hits were “I Never See Maggie Alone” (1949) and “Choc’late Ice Cream Cone” (1950),
April 29, in Athol, Mass. He was also the father of talent booking agents Bobby Roberts and Jeff Roberts.
88, the most influential banjo player in the history of bluegrass music, member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and partner
in the trailblazing bluegrass group Lester Flatt Earl Scruggs the Foggy Mountain Boys, March 28, in Nashville.
Stanley “Snuffy” Smith, 66, banjo player and luthier, Feb. 3, in King, N. C.
Joe South, 72, singer and songwriter whose
hits included “I Never Promised You a Rose Garden” and “Games People Play,” Sept. 5, in Atlanta.
Billy Strange, 81,
guitarist, songwriter and arranger, Feb. 22, in Nashville.
Rollin “Oscar” Sullivan, 93, a Grand Ole Opry member for
38 years in the comedy duo of Lonzo Oscar, Sept. 7, in Madison, Tenn.
Donna Summer, 63, singer and songwriter
best known for such ’70s hits as “Last Dance,” “Hot Stuff” and “I Feel Love,” May 17, in Florida. She was a longtime member
of the Nashville music community.
Arthel “Doc” Watson, 89, Grammy-winning flatpicking guitarist, May 29, in Winston-Salem,
Kitty Wells, 92, whose gender-defending “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels” in 1952 led to her being called
“the Queen of Country Music,” July 16, in Madison, Tenn. She was a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.