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Luman, Bob (15 April 1937–27 December 1978), rockabilly musician, was born Robert Glynn Luman in Blackjack, Texas, near the Louisiana state line (although he generally stated that he was from Nacogdoches, Texas), the son of Joe G. Luman, a school custodian and farmer, and Lavine (maiden name unknown). Luman developed an early fascination with both music and baseball. He got his first guitar when he was thirteen and learned the basic chords from his father, who played country music at home on the fiddle, harmonica, and guitar....

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Nelson, Rick (08 May 1940–31 December 1985), singer and actor, was born Eric Hilliard Nelson in Teaneck, New Jersey, the son of Ozzie Nelson and Harriet Hilliard Nelson (née Peggy Lou Snyder), radio and television stars who did much to define the situation comedy. Nelson made his first professional appearance on radio in 1949 on “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.” He played the smart-aleck little brother to David Nelson, and his wisecracks were used as laugh-winning punch lines. Moving with his family to television, Rick used the medium to debut as a rock star in the early days of that musical form (1957), recording a cover version of Fats Domino’s “I’m Walkin’,” reportedly to impress a girl. The record sold more than 1 million copies in two weeks, highlighting the fact that the white treatment of rhythm and blues, called rock and roll, could sell, particularly if the singer were photogenic and nonthreatening, or at least not black....

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Parsons, Gram (05 November 1946–19 September 1973), country-rock vocalist and bandleader, was born Ingram Cecil Conner III in Winterhaven, Florida, the son of Ingram Cecil Conner, Jr., a semiprofessional country singer and songwriter known professionally as “Coon Dog” Connor, and Avis Snively, the daughter of a wealthy citrus grower. Connor was raised in a musical household and showed early interest in playing the guitar. However, Connor’s at-home exposure to country music ended at age thirteen, when his father committed suicide. His mother subsequently remarried, and he took his stepfather’s surname of Parsons. As a high school student, he played in several bands that featured the music of the Everly Brothers and ...

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Texas Ruby (?1908–29 March 1963), yodeling country and rockabilly vocalist, was born Ruby Agnes Owens in rural Wise County, Texas, the daughter of a cattle rancher father. Ruby was raised in a musical atmosphere; all the family members sang and played, and many went on to professional musical careers, including her older brother Tex. When she was in her early twenties, Ruby accompanied her father and brothers on a cattle drive to Fort Worth, where a Kansas City based cattle buyer/radio station owner heard her sing. She was hired on the spot to join his radio staff and soon was singing on a variety of stations, moving quickly from Detroit to Philadelphia and then to Cincinnati....