Teddy Wilburn / Rosalie Allen / Ron Davies / Vince Matthews / Sylvester Rice / Bobby Hatfield / Arthur Conley / Dorothy Ritter
Teddy Wilburn, who formed the Wilburn Brothers with his older brother Doyle, died November 24 at age 71 from complications of Parkinson’s disease and heart failure. The Wilburns enjoyed considerable popularity as a country duo in the 1950s and ’60s, with dozens of chart hits and their own television show.
Rosalie Allen, dubbed the “queen of the yodelers,” was a popular singing cowgirl during the 1940s as well as one of the nation’s first female country music disc jockeys. A member of both the Western Music Hall Of Fame and Country DJ Hall Of Fame, Allen died of congestive heart failure on September 23. She was 79.
Songwriter Ron Davies died in Nashville on October 30 of a heart attack at age 57. Davies, the older brother of country singer Gail Davies, had songs recorded by artists ranging from David Bowie to Helen Reddy to Randy Travis to Ricky Skaggs. He also released several albums and starred in George Jones’ video for “Cold Hard Truth”.
Songwriter Vince Matthews died November 22 at age 63. He wrote several hits in the 1970s, including Gene Watson’s “Love In The Hot Afternoon” and Crystal Gayle’s “This Is My Year For Mexico”.
A longtime fixture in the Lubbock, Texas, music scene, Sylvester Rice was best known for being one of the original Flatlanders. He died on October 24 at the age of 72.
As one half of the Righteous Brothers, Bobby Hatfield helped to invent “blue-eyed soul.” A member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Hatfield died on November 5 before a scheduled performance in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He was 63.
Arthur Conley, an Otis Redding protege who achieved his own success with the 1967 hit “Sweet Soul Music”, died November 18 at his home in the Netherlands from intestinal cancer. He was 57.
Besides being the wife of singing cowboy Tex Ritter and the mother of actor John Ritter, Dorothy Ritter also had her own career in cowboy movies during the 1930s and 1940s and worked as an official greeter at the Grand Ole Opry in the 1970s. She died on November 5 of natural causes. She was 88.