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100 Greatest Men: #80. The Everly Brothers

October 4, 2011 Kevin John Coyne 5

100 Greatest Men: The Complete List

Their fraternal harmonies saturated stations across the radio dial in the fifties and early sixties, and today they’re best remembered as founders of both rock and country music as we know it.

Brothers Don and Phil Everly were born two years apart in the late thirties, and grew up listening to music that transitioned out of the depression and into the second world war. Their father, Ike, was a traveling musician and had his own radio show out of Shenandoah, Iowa.

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100 Greatest Men: #82. Fiddlin’ John Carson

September 26, 2011 Kevin John Coyne 0

100 Greatest Men: The Complete List

It’s no wonder that so many purists believe it just ain’t country if you don’t have a bit of fiddle. Thanks to Fiddlin’ John Carson, the first legitimate country hit had fiddlin’ all over it.

Like many performers of his generation, being a musician meant live performances. Hailing from Georgia, Carson traveled around the south for decades playing his signature fiddle. While the meager pay meant he had to work several other side jobs, one of which was manufacturing moonshine, Carson’s fame outpaced his fortune.

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100 Greatest Men: #83. Freddie Hart

September 21, 2011 Kevin John Coyne 2

100 Greatest Men: The Complete List

Back in country music’s golden age, an artist could maintain a solid career for two decades before suddenly reaching a massive height of popularity.

Freddie Hart was a great example of this. As one of fifteen children born to an Alabama sharecropper, Hart’s only chance at success was striking out on his own. Though he played guitar since the age of five, Hart’s first tour of the world was as a soldier at the age of fifteen. He lied about his age to join the service during World War II.

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100 Greatest Men: #84. Uncle Dave Macon

September 20, 2011 Kevin John Coyne 0

100 Greatest Men: The Complete List

Every country star with their salt longs to play the Opry stags. That’s thanks in large part to Uncle Dave Macon, who helped put the Opry on the map.

Macon began performing at a young age, learning skills from the wide variety of guests who passed through his family’s hotel. But he chose a career in freight trains instead, and settled for being an amateur performer until he was in his fifties.

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100 Greatest Men: #89. Sawyer Brown

March 20, 2011 Kevin John Coyne 9

At first, they were the very embodiment of a valid reason to suspect the credentials of TV singing contest winners. But over time, they became one of the most thought-provoking and substantial country music bands.

Sawyer Brown began as the backing band for Don King, who had a handful of minor country hits in the late seventies and early eighties. When King stopped touring in 1981, the band decided to strike out on their own. The original lineup of Mark Miller, Bobby Randall, Joe Smyth, Gregg Hubbard, and Jim Scholten named themselves Sawyer Brown after the Nashville street where they often rehearsed.

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