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Died May 21

Published: 5/21/2015
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Billy Walker (Jazz Archiv Hamburg/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

Billy Walker, the "Tall Texan," was a chart-topping country musician with 30 hit records to his name. He is well-known for his hit "(I'd Like To Be in) Charlie's Shoes" in 1962, his only No. 1 hit. He was a part of rock and country history, helping to arrange Elvis Presley's first radio appearance, and joining the Grand Ole Opry in 1960. He also had a brush with death in 1963, when a last-minute change of travel plans saved him from the same private plane crash that claimed the life of Patsy Cline. We remember Walker's life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.

Click to discover notable people who were born this day in history.

2013: Frank Comstock, U.S. composer who wrote and arranged music for television shows including Rocky and His Friends and Adam-12, dies at 90.

2013: Trevor Bolder, English bassist who was a member of the Spiders from Mars, who backed up David Bowie, and who also played with Mick Ronson and was a member of Uriah Heep, dies at 62.

2012: Otis Clark, U.S. preacher who was the oldest living survivor of the Tulsa race riot in 1921, who later became a butler for celebrities Clark GableCharlie Chaplin and Joan Crawford and who was the oldest living active preacher at the time of his death, dies at 109.

2006: Billy Walker, U.S. country music singer who had a No. 1 country hit with "Charlie's Shoes" and toured with Elvis Presley in 1955, dies at 77.

According to the Grand Ole Opry's website, Walker was born in Ralls, Texas, and built an early career as the Traveling Texan, the Masked Singer of Country Songs and later shared the stage with Elvis Presley. Walker joined the Opry in 1960. Read more




2005: Howard Morris, U.S. actor and director who was well-known for playing Ernest T. Bass on The Andy Griffith Show and was the voice of Jughead in the Archie cartoons, dies at 85.

In the 1950s he joined a comedy sketch group including Carl Reiner and Imogene Coca on several TV variety shows, including Admiral Broadway ReviewYour Show of Shows and Caesar's Hour. After his work on The Andy Griffith Show, Morris provided the voices for several animated television show characters, including Beetle Bailey and Atom Ant. He is also credited as the "third buffalo" in a Flintstones episode that aired in 1963. Read more


2000: John Gielgud, English actor who was a veteran of stage and film and had the rare honor of winning Oscar, Tony, Emmy and Grammy awards during his career, dies at 96.

2000: Barbara Cartland, prolific English author who wrote more than 700 books, which have reportedly sold more than 750 million copies, dies at 98.

1999: Bugz, U.S. rapper who was a member of the group D12, which included Eminem, dies at 21.

1998: Robert Gist, U.S. actor and director who appeared in Miracle on 34th Street and was married for a time to actress Agnes Moorehead, dies at 80.

1996: Lash LaRue, U.S. actor who was popular in the 1940s B-Westerns and taught Harrison Ford how to use a bullwhip for Raiders of the Lost Ark, dies at 78.

1996: Paul Delph, U.S. musician, singer and songwriter who played on the hit single "Mickey" by Toni Basil and performed with various artists including Donna Summer and Bryan Adams, dies at 39.

1988: Sammy Davis Sr., U.S. dancer who was the father of Sammy Davis Jr. and danced with his son in the Will Mastin Trio, dies at 87.

1987: Alejandro Rey, U.S. actor known best for starring in the television series The Flying Nun as Carlos Ramirez, dies of lung cancer at 57.

1984: Ann Little, U.S. film actress who was popular during the silent era and appeared mostly in Westerns, dies at 93.

1973: Vaughn Monroe, U.S. singer, bandleader and actor who was most popular in the 1940s and '50s and hosted his own TV show on CBS, dies at 61.

1970: Vinton Hayworth, U.S. actor who appeared in many TV series including Gunsmoke and had a recurring role on I Dream of Jeannie as General Schaeffer, dies at 63.

1968: Doris Lloyd, English actress whose movie appearances included the Tarzan films starring Johnny Weissmuller, dies at 71.

1952: John Garfield, U.S. actor and star in the 1940s, whose movies included The Postman Always Rings Twice, who was then blacklisted by the House Committee on Un-American Activities, di es of a heart attack at 39.

1935: Jane Addams, U.S. pioneering social worker, author and leader in women's suffrage who founded the Hull House in Chicago and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, dies at 74.

Click to discover notable people who were born this day in history.

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