Country music matriarch Maybelle Carter brought the joyful songs of her family to audiences for nearly 50 years and raised a generation of musicians to carry on her name. We remember Carter’s life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.
Country music matriarch Maybelle Carter brought the joyful songs of her family to audiences for nearly 50 years and raised a generation of musicians to carry on her name. Playing alongside her husband and daughters in the Carter Family, she helped popularize a finger-picking style for the guitar that came to be known as the Carter Scratch and remains a favorite of folk and country performers to this day. We remember Carter’s life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.
2017: Jim Bunning, Hall of Fame pitcher who later became a US congressman, dies at 85.
2013: Gypie Mayo, English guitarist and songwriter who played with Dr. Feelgood as well as the Yardbirds, dies at 62.
2004: Robert Merrill, U.S. operatic baritone who appeared in the musical comedy film “Aaron Slick From Punkin Crick,” dies of natural causes at 87.
In his 31 consecutive seasons with the Metropolitan Opera, Merrill performed virtually every baritone role in the operatic repertoire. He earned admiration for his interpretations of dozens of roles, including Escamillo in “Carmen” and Figaro in “The Barber of Seville,” reportedly his favorite opera. Merrill once said opera “is the toughest art of all.” “It’s a human instrument,” he said. “Your voice, so many words, so much music. … There’s a lot of emotion.” Read more
1996: Diana Trilling, U.S. literary critic and author, dies at 91.
1994: Robert Lansing, U.S. actor who starred on the television series “87th Precinct,” dies of cancer at 66.
1989: Armida, U.S. actress, singer, and dancer who starred in the movie “On the Border,” dies at 78.
1983: Jessica Savitch, U.S. television newscaster who was the weekend anchor of “NBC Nightly News,” dies at 36 by drowning in an auto accident.
1983: Tamara Shayne, Russian-born U.S. actress who appeared in “The Jolson Story,” dies of a heart attack at 80.
1978: Maybelle Carter, U.S. country singer and matriarch of the Carter Family, dies of a respiratory ailment at 69.
For the matriarch of the Carter Family, motherhood was such a crucial part of her identity that she was known as Mother Maybelle. And indeed, she helped found a country music dynasty – daughters June, Helen, and Anita, and son-in-law Johnny Cash – that’s still revered among the very greatest of the Grand Ole Opry. Read more
1957: Christian Dior, French fashion designer, dies of a heart attack at 52.
1952: Susan Peters, U.S. actress whose films include “Random Harvest” and “Song of Russia,” dies of kidney failure at 31, seven years after being paralyzed by a bullet while on a hunting trip with her husband.
1950: Al Jolson, U.S. singer, actor, and star of “The Jazz Singer,” dies at 64.
1939: Zane Grey, U.S. writer whose novels about the American West include “Riders of the Purple Sage,” dies at 67.