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The Few Remaining Icons

June 29, 2009 Kevin John Coyne 27

I’ve heard it said so many times in the past week: the death of Michael Jackson is my generation’s equivalent of the Death of Elvis Presley. (I can only assume that makes Kurt Cobain our Janis Joplin?)

He was a controversial figure, to be sure, and much like Elvis, a tragic figure even before his tragic death. Being a music fan first, I lost interest in Jackson a long time ago, simply because he’s made so little music in the past two decades – a mere three studio albums in more than twenty years.

But there’s no doubt that he’s an icon, the embodiment of the MTV age and the breakdown of barriers between pop, R&B and dance music. Who does pop music have left that’s in the same league? Only Madonna, but since she’s still very much at the top of her game and is anything but a tragic figure, don’t expect the mourning for her to begin any time soon.

But pop music isn’t the only genre running low on icons. What country acts remain that could garner significant coverage upon their death? Johnny Cash’s death made the cover of Time magazine, an honor usually reserved for former Beatles members. CNN broadcast live from Tammy Wynette’s funeral back in 1998.

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Please Re-Release Me

April 18, 2009 Kevin John Coyne 7

When Pam Tillis was at her commercial peak, I thought it was only a matter of time before Warner Bros. capitalized on her sucess by issuing the 1983 pop album she made for the label, Above and Beyond the Doll of Cutey.

They didn’t, so I had to settle for a cassette copy that a friend transferred to CD for me. Now, a full 26 years after its initial release, the album is being issued on CD for the first time, courtesy of Wounded Bird Records. It streets June 9.

It’s far from the best album that Tillis has released, but the completist in me will appreciate having it in digitally remastered sound. I’ve spent the past two weeks transferring old Dolly Parton albums, with and without Porter Wagoner, from vinyl to CD. It’s nice to finally have the songs in some form, and Paul W. Dennis of The 9513 was generous enough to fill in the gaps.

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My Start in Country Music

March 2, 2009 Guest Contributor 11

The following article is by guest contributor and Country Universe commenter, Craig R. My Start in Country Music By Craig Ross My memories only started collecting at age four. That year, 1969, my uncle was

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An Interview with Marty Stuart

February 10, 2009 Guest Contributor 16

Widely acclaimed as one of country music’s greatest warriors, Marty Stuart turned a childhood obsession into a lifelong career filled with hit records and collaborations with numerous Nashville legends.  A member of the Country Music Foundation and the Grand

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Buyer’s Guide: Dolly Parton

December 30, 2008 Kevin John Coyne 17

Building a music collection used to be a far more difficult thing, a dogged hunt through record stores and mail order catalogs, hoping to find what you were looking for.   The advent of the internet

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Discussion: Recommend a Track

December 12, 2008 Kevin John Coyne 16

I used to think that Dolly Parton’s early country tragedy songs were over the top.  Then I heard some of Porter Wagoner’s, and realized that she’d actually toned down some of his excesses.    Nothing is

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Six Pack: Dolly Parton, Songwriter

December 2, 2008 Kevin John Coyne 7

With more than a hundred chart hits to her name, including 25 #1 singles and 57 top tens, Dolly Parton is the most successful singles artist in country music history.     But even before she was

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