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Acuff, Roy (15 September 1903–23 November 1992), country music singer and composer, was born Roy Claxton Acuff in Maynardsville, Tennessee, just a few miles north of Knoxville in a spur of the Great Smoky Mountains, the son of Neil Acuff, an attorney and pastor, and Ida Florence Carr. The family moved to Fountain City, a suburb of Knoxville, when Acuff was sixteen, and he spent most of his high school years excelling in sports. After graduation he was invited to have a tryout at a major league baseball camp, but a 1929 fishing trip to Florida resulted in a severe sunstroke, and Acuff was bedridden for a number of months. During his convalescence he reawakened an early interest in music and began to hone his abilities on the fiddle. By the time he had recovered, he had given up his dreams of a baseball career and had determined to utilize his newly discovered musical talent....

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DeRose, Peter (10 March 1900–23 April 1953), composer of popular music and radio personality, was born in New York City, the son of Anthony DeRose, an Italian immigrant zither player, and Armelina Agresti DeRose, an Italian immigrant. Educated at DeWitt Clinton High School and tutored in music by one of his sisters, DeRose was working as a stock boy for the G. Schirmer music publishers in New York when, one day during his lunch hour, he turned out his first composition, “When You're Gone I Won't Forget You.” Fired for this transgression against the work rules, he sold the song for $25. During the next two years it sold two and a half million copies. DeRose then crossed the street to the G. Ricordi music publishing company, where he was hired as a junior salesman. He promised Ricordi he would write no songs on their time, but within four months the company was displaying six of his newly published songs. Flush with success, DeRose quit his job and in 1923 formed an orchestra with several of his siblings. In 1922 he became an early member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers....