Nearly all of today's country stars point to George Glenn Jones as an influence on their music. George Jones began his recording career at the Starday label, which produced his first Top Ten record, "Why Baby Why" in 1955. Since then, Jones has had over 75 Top Ten hits, including duets with his former wife, the late Tammy Wynette.
The son of a hardscrabble Arkansas cotton farmer, Johnny Cash's sincere approach to singing, and the trembling magnetism of his voice have made him one of country music's most fascinating performers.
A few years after her performance on an Arthur Godfrey Talent Scouts show in 1957, Patsy arrived in Nashville, just as the Nashville Sound was emerging. Her life ended early in a plane crash on March 5, 1963, but Patsy Cline's timeless recordings had already secured her in music history.
Early in the 1940's, Eddy Arnold was a featured vocalist for the Golden West Cowboys at the Grand Ole Opry. Soon an Opry favorite, Eddy embarked on a solo career by 1943, and the dignified performer continued making hits into the 1980's.
Born Loretta Webb in the coal fields of Kentucky, Loretta married Oliver "Mooney" Lynn at the age of 13, and was the mother of four by the age of 18. She taught herself guitar, and with Mooney's help, promoted her first hit "Honky Tonk Girl" in 1960. Her no-nonsense, forthright style soon made her the strongest female personality in country music.
One of the most widely recognized and beloved country artists of all time, Willie Nelson began his career in country music writing songs for others to sing, including such classics as "Crazy," "Night Life," and "Hello Walls."
James Travis Reeves' first big hit was 1953's "Mexican Joe," which brought him to the Grand Ole Opry two years later. Gentleman Jim's soothing voice soon became a staple of the emerging Nashville Sound, producing hit after hit until his untimely death in a plane crash in 1964.
First influenced, and later befriended by Hank Williams, Ray Noble Price's first hits featured a 4/4 shuffle rhythm that became his trademark. Later, he changed his sound and image from dancehall honky-tonker to smooth-voiced country-pop balladeer, as epitomized by his great 1970 rendition of "For the Good Times."