Ten Acts Who Belong in the Country Hall of Fame: The Maddox Brothers & Rose (#4)

@FourWalls (14125)
United States
May 3, 2016 8:26pm CST
My other "top ten list" is a unique one, as I go through a list of ten acts that I think need to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. These discussions come up every year when various halls of fame announce induction classes for the year, and the Country Music Hall of Fame is no exception...except maybe a little more geeky in the discussion. #4: The Maddox Brothers and Rose There may not be a "Bakersfield Sound" without them. When you walked in the now-closed "Bakersfield" exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame the first faces you saw were those of the Maddox Brothers and Rose. June Carter may also never have been "Mrs. Johnny Cash" had Rose Maddox not turned down Cash's request for a date. Driven to California by the Great Depression, the Maddox Brothers and Rose began singing in the work camps near Bakersfield. They were soon discovered and moved to dance halls. The brothers played various stringed instruments while sister Rose did much of the lead singing. They tore it up on the west coast, putting Bakersfield on the musical map a decade before Wynn Stewart and Buck Owens (and, later, Merle Haggard). They were pioneers in a number of respects: the family all dressed in matching outfits, designed by Nathan Turk (who was a contemporary of the more famous country music outfitter, Nudie Cohen). They blended country, blues, and western swing in a manner that is considered by many to be a forerunner of rockabilly, if not rock and roll itself. All the while they sounded like they were having a blast. One of the hallmarks of Maddox Brothers and Rose records was Don (the sole survivor of the band, currently 93 years young) saying, "That's Friendly Henry, the working girl's friend" every time Henry took a mandolin solo. They whooped and hollered on their recordings as much as they did in live performances. They had countless fans, too. Among them, the late Merle Haggard. As I mentioned in my countdown of my favorite Hag songs, Haggard wrote a song ("Dusty Memories") about the Maddox Brothers and Rose, and sang backup on Rose's recording on her Grammy-nominated $35 and a Dream album. He also referenced the "friendly Henry" remark in his song "The Old Man From the Mountain" ("don't want no friendly Henrys warming up my bed"). Johnny Cash was also a fan...and, according to Rose Maddox's biography, a suitor to the young woman. While he was still married to his first wife he asked Rose for a date, but she turned him down because he was still married to his first wife. On the $35 and a Dream album Cash recorded comments about his love for her on a professional level. "She was about the most exciting performer I'd ever seen in my life," Cash said. "She captivated the audience. The songs that she sang are classics. She's an American classic." I agree with Cash, and I think that Rose and her brothers belong in the Country Music Hall of Fame. Maddox Brothers and Rose Don Maddox (born December 7, 1922) Cliff Maddox (1912-1949) Cal Maddox (November 3, 1915 - July 3, 1968) Fred Maddox (July 3, 1919 - October 29, 1992) Rose Maddox (August 15, 1925 - April 15, 1998) Henry Maddox (March 19, 1928 - June 18, 1974) All siblings born in Boaz, Alabama Claim to fame: singing group, musical and country music fashion pioneers Best work: "Sally Let Your Bangs Hang Down" "Philadelphia Lawyer" "South" "George's Playhouse Boogie" $35 and a Dream (Rose solo) The naughty-for-its-time "Sally Let Your Bangs Hang Down"
MADDOX BROTHERS AND ROSE sally let your bangs hang down 1949 ...4star 1398 HILLBILLY BOOGIE rockabilly roots JOHNNY OLENN
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2 responses
@JohnRoberts (59775)
• Los Angeles, California
4 May 16
Definitely. Rose and company were local staples in my mother's time. They should be in as pioneer influences.
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@teamfreak16 (41175)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
4 May 16
I wouldn't be surprised if I heard this at some point hanging out with my grandpa. He loved this stuff.
1 person likes this