Country-western bandleader Forest Rye entertained in Detroit nightclubs, and on radio from the 1920s through the 1950s. Rye was the first Detroiter (of many) to perform at the "Grand Ole Opry."
Don Rader sang country and rock ’n’ roll for more than forty years. In 1958 Rader cut his first record, “Rock And Roll Grandpap.” Fifty years later, Rader personified the title of his song as he sang country and vintage rock ’n’ roll with a rock band in Southeast Michigan nightclubs.
One of the best voices associated with country-western music in Detroit, Ricky Riddle was a singer's singer. His records give out flawless vocal performances, and an easygoing style you recognize as soon as Riddle begins to sing.
A sometime member of the Roy Hall, Eddie Jackson, and Chief Redbird bands in Detroit, Hal Clark made a name for himself – literally and historically – as Hal Southern, author of the song “I Dreamed Of A Hillbilly Heaven” after moving to Southern California in 1951.
1949 was a banner year for the three-year-old Fortune Records company in Detroit. Billboard magazine reviewed several country platters that Fortune issued by Detroit artists, including the only one ever made by Skeet Ring. Ring’s disk was also the last commercial record made by a country music pioneer.
On Sunday, October 14, before dawn, musician Ford Nix passed away in his sleep. A popular, yet humble man, Nix played an important role in Detroit's 20th century country music scene.