Obituaries: Eddy Arnold, D. C. MInner and more

Eddy Arnold, whose mellow baritone on songs like “Make the World Go Away” made him one of the most successful country singers in history, died May 8, 2008.

Folksy yet sophisticated, Arnold was a pioneer of “The Nashville Sound,” also called “countrypolitan,” a mixture of country and pop styles. He was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1966 and received the Country Music Association’s first Entertainer of the Year Award in 1967.

Arnold was born May 15, 1918, on a farm near Henderson, Tenn., the son of a sharecropper. He sang on radio stations before becoming nationally known. Initially, he was managed by Col. Tom Parker.

Arnold’s hits included “What Is Life Without Love,”  “The Last Word in Lonesome Is Me,” “Anytime,” “Bouquet of Roses,” “I Want to Go With You,” “Somebody Like Me,” “Lonely Again” and “Turn the World Around.” Most of his hits were done with guitarist Chet Atkins.

Arnold revitalized his career in the 1960s by adding strings, a controversial move for a country artist back then. His recent albums were Looking Back (2002) and After All These Years (2005). Joe Galante, chairman of Sony BMG Nashville, said just a few weeks ago, Arnold was talking about making another record.

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Jerry Wallace
, 79, who shot to fame with the hit song “Primrose Lane,’’ died May 5, 2008, at his home in Victorville, Calif.

Wallace scored his first major hit in 1958 with “How the Time Flies,’’ followed a year later with “Primrose Lane.’’ Wallace had more than 45 chart successes on the pop and country hit parades, according to the Hit Parade Hall of Fame Web site.

Born in Kansas City, Mo., on Dec. 15, 1928, Wallace was the son of a grocery store owner. A Navy veteran who served around the time of World War II, he retired in the late 1970s, stopped recording and mostly stopped performing, too.

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D.C. Minner, 73, who became a respected blues musician and later introduced the genre to Oklahoma schoolchildren, died May 6, 2008, in Rentiesville, Okla.

Minner served in the Army as a medic during the Korean War. He later turned to music, scoring gigs as a bass guitarist for Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley and Freddie King. In 1999, Minner was inducted into the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame.

In the late 1980s, Minner and his wife, Selby, transformed his grandmother’s former home into the Down Home Blues Club, where they hosted an annual blues festival. The couple also created the Blues in the Schools program through the Oklahoma Arts Council.

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Thomas Humphrey, 59, a guitar maker whose instruments were played by renowned concert musicians, died at his Gardiner, N.Y., home April 16, 2008.

Humphrey’s classical guitar designs helped increase volume and projection. He designed his best-known model, the Millennium, in 1985 off a sketch that came to him in a dream, he said on his Web site.

Humphrey also licensed his design to the guitar company C. F. Martin for a line of instruments that included one built to the specifications of the rock star Sting.

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Tristram Cary, 82, an electronic music  pioneer who helped design one of the first portable synthesizers and who composed scores for the British TV series “Dr. Who,” died April 24, 2008, in Canberra, Australia.

Cary was a co-designer of

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