loss of three giants in our music industry is not something easy to write
about.  Slim Whitman, Chet Flippo, and Keith Adkinson are three men that
have been a part of a mold that no longer used in country music, but they
helped paved the way for our music to be of historical value to the
world.  Their contributions are gifts given free gratis that sometimes go
I think of Keith Adkinson, I think of a dear friend who was always there when I
needed advice, he never said no to me when I would call and ask if he and Jett would
attend a function, or support an activity that I thought was good for country
music, would always give his views to me straight to the point, and all of us
knew that we could always call him for advice and guidance in our good and bad
If I were to add up to cost of his advice and time, I would
be indebted to him for life.  I guess there are many of us mourning his
loss that know exactly what I mean.
never once pushed to the front of the limelight, just lingered around listening
to what was going on, and if asked, gave his opinion.  Straight ahead, no
funny business, just a great man, a smart man, and special man in my life and
the lives of so many others.  I will miss my friend tremendously. 
I think of Chet Flippo, I think of another dear friend that I could always
count on to advise me of how I wrote certain editorials and news items. 
He was always there for me to let me know I could have worded things
differently, or changed a word here and there, but always was supportive of my
Off The Cuff way of writing and sending out news.  I was always able to
call on him when I found myself in the middle of what I wanted to write, but
was scared to write, even though it was factual, so I would email him, and he
would always ask me if I believed in what I wanted to write and was it true,
and if so, then don’t write something that does not tell the complete
story, write the truth, so in many ways Chet Flippo was my mentor, and no doubt
did not know it.  There was no cost for the advice he gave to me, just
friendship through truth. 
knowledge of Slim Whitman goes back to “Indian Love Call-Rose Marie-I
Remember You-Una Paloma Blanca-I’ll Take You Home Again Kathleen,

and so many more.  No doubt there will be many who do not remember these
great songs and this great artist.  90 years of age and he gave so much to
country music.  Just think of the above great songs, and they will say it
all.  I was very fortunate early in my career in the 70’s to be on
two shows with Slim, so I do have memories of his great vocals and songs, and
the honor of having my band be his support band for the two shows.  He is
one of the great pioneers of country music and his achievements will speak volumes
for his life as a human being and his gift that he used so greatly to please
the millions of fans that loved his music, and I am one of those fans.
music industry will miss each one of these special men tremendously.  One
was an expert in legal matters, one was a master of words, and one owned one of
the most distinctive voices in all music from his time and forever.  He
was one of the first stylist in music and his voice will live on through the
ages.  I know they are now home with their Master, and I know that Keith
will be watching over us and taking notes, as we say goodbye to him this coming
Monday, and Chet will be writing psalms for the Book of Life, and Slim Whitman
will singing the praises of our Blessed Lord with background from the Masters
Heavenly Orchestra, and I sure that a steel guitar and fiddle will not be left
Fletcher Keith Of Nashville, TN
, a
dedicated ambassador to the country music community, serving on multiple boards
of directors, acting a legal liaison for celebrity friends and the ultimate
client the Estate of Hank Williams, passed away at the age of 69.  On
Wednesday, June 19, 2013, Fletcher Keith Adkinson was called home by the
He was a man of great knowledge and an
inspiration to all. He will be sorely missed by his family and his multitude of
friends and colleagues.
Funeral services for Keith Adkinson will be
conducted Monday, June 24 at 1 p.m. from the Alexander Funeral Home Chapel in
Lafayette, Tennessee with Reverend Sid Leak, officiating.
Serving as Active Pallbearers will be LeRoy Van
Dyke, Larry Finks, Lee Gillick, Jason Moore, Jeremy Parsons, Jeanne Pruett, and
T.G. Shepperd.
Honorary Pallbearers are Razzy Bailey, Kathie Baillie,
Moe Bandy, Emy Joe Bilbery, Keith Bilbrey, Bobby Bradley, Ty Brannon, Michael
Bonagura, Jim Ed Brown, Jay Chugg, Helen Cornelius, Christi Dalton, Jamey
Davis, Cliff Dinnen, Jim Dooley, Jimmy Fortune, David Frizzell, Eddie Fulton,
Guy Gilchrist, Danny Joe, Kelly Lang, Hank Adam Locklin, David McCormick, Sam
Moore, Collin Raye, Tom Roland, Carolyn Tate, Big Wayne, Kirt Webster, Jeremy
Westby, Bob Whittaker, Hilary Williams, Holly Williams, and Leona Williams.
A Private Interment will follow in the Adkinson
– Williams Cemetery.
Visitation will begin Sunday evening at the
Alexander Funeral Home Chapel from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. with Masonic Rights
starting at 7 p.m. by the Lafayette Masonic Lodge F& M #543.
Visitation will continue Monday morning from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
service time.
Keith is survived by wife Jett Adkinson
Williams of Hartsville, TN; son Frederick Keith Adkinson of Montana; and one
grandson. ALEXANDER FUNERAL HOME, Directors, in charge of arrangements. (615)
666-2189 or
Chet Flippo, country music’s
pre-eminent journalist whose career spanned from Rolling Stone magazine
to CMT, died Wednesday morning (June 19) at a Nashville hospital following a
lengthy illness. He was 69.

He served as editorial director of CMT and until his death.

“This is a stunning loss to all of
us,” CMT president Brian Philips said. “Chet was a stoic Texan,
fiercely loyal and intensely private. He was honest to the core and widely regarded
as a bit enigmatic, even among his closest colleagues. For all, it was a
terrific privilege to work with Chet Flippo.

“Chet Flippo was one of the early Rolling Stone writers
and a legendary rock critic. He was the author of seven books, including On the Road With the Rolling Stones. Long ago, I read
and re-read my frayed paperback copy of this book, living vicariously through
Chet’s exotic pirate stories. Chet’s 1978 Rolling Stone magazine cover story
“Shattered” — featuring his nose-to-nose confrontation with an angry
Mick Jagger — is the kind of no-holds-barred music journalism that doesn’t
exist anymore, anywhere.

“Chet was a fierce advocate for country
music long before country was cool. In books such as Your Cheatin’ Heart: A Biography of Hank Williams, in his writing for Texas Monthly and The New York Times and during his five-year tenure as Billboard magazine’s
Nashville bureau chief, Chet articulated the virtues and joys of country music
with a passion and intelligence that helped make the genre respectable even
among snobs and city slickers.

“Chet joined CMT in 2001 and brought that
same integrity to his role as editorial director. He interviewed with artists,
oversaw the music content of CMT programming and, perhaps most influentially,
wrote a regular column for called ‘Nashville Skyline’ in which he
celebrated artists who would benefit from his attention and took the industry
to task for crimes of trend-hopping, image manufacturing and anything that
smacked to Chet of disloyalty to country’s core values.

“He was not conservative in his tastes —
Chet championed legitimate musical innovation — but he loved country music too
much to let Music Row get away with fostering hypes and copycat artists on the
public. Because his criticisms came from a respected insider and known country
music-lover, his columns were taken very seriously by the Nashville community.
Chet kept everybody honest.”

Before joining CMT in 2001, he was country music
editor for From 1995 until joining Sonicnet in 2000, he was Billboard magazine’s
Nashville bureau chief.

Born in Fort Worth, Texas, he served in the U.S.
Navy during the Vietnam War and earned bachelor’s and master’s 
degrees in journalism at the University of Texas in Austin. After working as Rolling Stone‘s contributing editor while in graduate
school, he became the magazine’s New York Bureau chief, opening its East Coast
office in 1974. After Rolling Stone moved its offices from San Francisco to
New York in 1977, he became the magazine’s senior editor.

In addition to covering such artists and
subjects as the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Joseph Heller, Tom
Wolfe and the Who, he initiated Rolling Stone‘s
country music coverage, profiling such artists as 
, Dolly
, Tanya
 and Waylon
 and expanding their
fan base to a larger, younger audience.

He left Rolling Stone in 1980 to write Your Cheatin’ Heart: A Biography of Hank Williams. His
other books include On the Road With the Rolling
Stones: 20 Years of Lipstick, Handcuffs and Chemicals
(1985), Yesterday: The Unauthorized Biography of Paul McCartney (1989), It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll: My On-the-Road Adventures With the
Rolling Stones
 (1989), Everybody Was Kung-Fu Dancing: Chronicles of the Lionized and the
 (1991) and Graceland: The Living Legacy of Elvis Presley (1993).

From 1991 to 1994 Flippo was a lecturer in
journalism at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, before moving to
Nashville to work for Billboard. He
received the Country Music Association’s 1998 CMA Media Achievement Award. In
2006, the International Country Music Conference (ICMC) honored him with the
Charlie Lamb Award for Excellence in Country Music Journalism.

Flippo’s wife, music journalist and author
Martha Hume Flippo, died Dec. 17, 2012.

His survivors include sister Shirley Smith of
Brandon, Fla., and brothers Bill Flippo of Saginaw, Texas, and Ernest Flippo of
Abington, Mass.

Plans for a memorial service are incomplete. The
family asks that memorial contributions be made to the Country Music Hall of
Fame and Museum.

In the 1996 movie comedy
“Mars Attacks!” Slim Whitman’s yodeling, high-octave
rendition of “Indian Love Call” causes the heads of the invading
Martians to explode, saving Planet Earth.
Mr. Whitman, the country crooner with the weather-beaten
face, velvet voice and sentimental lyrics, was often the object of humor,
almost always good-natured. In the early 1980s a disc jockey offered Slim
Whitman makeup kits “complete with receding hairline, furry black
eyebrows and a cream to make your upper lip quiver.” In 1997 
Rush Limbaugh whimsically
suggested that when Mr. Whitman’s songs were played backward, the
Devil’s voice could be heard. (It couldn’t.)
In 2003 Jim Nayder, who hosts “The
Annoying Music Show!” on NPR, announced that he was giving Mr. Whitman a
lifetime achievement award. A generation of late-night television hosts joked about him.
The reason for all this jocularity about Mr. Whitman —
who died at 90 on Wednesday in Orange Park, Fla. — was his ordinary-guy,
squeaky-clean sincerity in writing and singing songs that were, depending on
one’s taste, inspiring love ballads aimed at middle-agers or pure
cornball. But the bottom line is that Mr. Whitman could laugh all the way to
the proverbial bank.
He recorded more than 500 songs, made more than 100 albums
and sold more than 70 million records. In the 1970s his recording of
“Rose Marie” was No. 1 on the British pop charts for 11 weeks, a
feat the Beatles never accomplished. Michael Jackson named Mr. Whitman one of
his 10 favorite vocalists. George Harrison credited him as an early influence.
Paul McCartney said Mr. Whitman gave him the idea of playing the guitar
Elvis Presley, in his first professional
appearance in Memphis in 1954, opened for Mr. Whitman. Mistakenly billed as
Ellis, he was paid $50; Mr. Whitman got $500. Mr. Whitman later let Presley borrow his trademark white rhinestone jacket.
Through an eclectic repertory that included Broadway show
tunes, European folk music, religious songs, cowboy songs and, of course, love
songs, Mr. Whitman said he strove to reach everyday people, to bring “the
big songs down to the people’s size,” as he put it.
For better or worse, he helped put a twist on how records
were sold. In 1979 he blitzed daytime and late-night television for months with
advertisements for a greatest-hits album, “All My Best.” Without
radio airplay or record-store sales, it became a strong seller. He followed up
with three more albums of old songs in the 1980s and ’90s.
“Twilight on the Trail,” his first studio album in 20 years, came
out in 2010.

Ottis (pronounced AH-tis) Dewey Whitman Jr. was born in
Tampa, Fla., on Jan. 23, 1923, and liked to listen to Jimmie Rodgers yodel on
the family radio. After leaving high schoolhe worked at a
meatpacking plant, where he lost part of a finger in an accident. In 1941 he
eloped with Alma Crist, who would help him overcome his severe stutter.

Marty Martel for Country Music News International

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