9/12/2021

Don Maddox – Final Member of Maddox Brothers & Rose – Has Died

dawnsears.com - Don Maddox was arguably the oldest living legend inward country music. And he volition rest a legend, today together with forevermore. But his time every bit ane of the final living links to the very formation of land music has officially ended. Don Maddox of The Maddox Brothers & Rose has died at the historic period of 98.

Don Maddox


The Maddox Brothers together with Rose were quite literally there equally hillbilly music, rockabilly, together with rock together with whorl were formed, in addition to when they ultimately split up into separate genres, alongside the band influencing all iii inward really pregnant ways. Their colorful stage suits were the inspiration for Elvis’s stage wear. An upwards-as well as-coming vocalist from Texas named George Jones one time opened from them. And though they never seem to have their proper due, those who know, they know that American music would sound similar something fundamentally different if it weren’t for the Maddox Brothers and Rose.

Born on December 7th, 1922, fiddler, vocalist, too band comedian Don Maddox moved with his family unit to California from Boaz, Alabama during the 1930’s too the early on stages of the Depression. Tired of working equally itinerant farmers, they decided to go entertainers too The Maddox Brothers were born inwards 1937. At the outset, Don was too immature for the band, but when he came of age he joined his brothers too sis as the fiddle player as well as comedian alongside the nickname “Don Juan.”

The Maddox Brothers and Rose were known equally “The World’s Most Colorful Hillbilly Band” for their vivid embroidered Western suits inspired past the silver concealment actors in Hollywood where the got their start. They wore Nudie suits earlier anyone knew what a Nudie adapt was. Seminal to both the California Country too Bakersfield scenes, they also toured the US as a headliner act, together with played The Grand Ole Opry and The Louisiana Hayride in the early on stages of the institutions. According to Don, they were responsible for Elvis adopting his flashy phase attire.

“We were playing a show with Elvis inwards Beaumont, TX at the auditorium.” Don told Saving Country Music inwards a 2012 interview. “A packet show. And we had on our fancy outfits, the ones with the bell bottoms on them in addition to all the flowers together with all of that stuff. Elvis, he was but coming on the scene at that fourth dimension. And they came in with their street clothes. That’s all they had at that time. It was pretty hot downwardly in Beaumont therefore we took off our fancy jackets as well as hung them in the dressing room backstage. And when nosotros came off phase as well as went dorsum there to acquire our jackets, Elvis had on 1 of our fancy jackets and was parading backstage too he said, ‘One of these days I’k going to acquire a fancy outfit like this.’ So eventually Elvis got himself a fancy outfit, non like ours but fifty-fifty more than fancier. But it had bell bottoms on it, thus the storey is he got the thought from seeing bell bottoms on our outfits at that fourth dimension.”

Maddox Brothers & Rose (Don far correct)



Two of the nearly important contributions to music from the band came from Don’s sister Rose, together with his brother Fred. Rose Maddox has been called anywhere from the queen, to the female parent, to the grandmother of rockabilly music. Emmylou Harris and Dolly Parton both name her every bit a significant influence.

Brother Fred Maddox who played upright bass is given credit for developing the slap bass approach to the instrument. “Well the reason he did a slap bass was because he didn’t know how to play the bass.” Don Maddox explains. “All he was doing was playing rhythm anyhow. He didn’t know the notes thus he’d simply slap the bass for the rhythm part. Everybody thought he lay on a cracking present as well as thought he was the best bass player there was.”

In the mid 50’s, Maddox Brothers as well as Rose officially disbanded. They determined their vogue of music had peaked. “The coin was going out faster than it was going inwards,” says Don. So Rose, along alongside brother Cal who played guitar, as well as mother Maddox who was the family’s director, left for Nashville to hopefully get in large inward country music. They thought Rose was the real star, together with could make more coin without all of the other brothers. Rose did hold some moderate success, but never striking it big, and inward subsequent decades, the contributions of the Maddox Brothers too Rose faded more often than not to retentiveness.

But in recent years together with retrospectives, the importance of the Maddox Brothers in addition to Rose has come up sharper into focus. When the Country Music Hall of Fame inward Nashville opened a major exhibit on the Bakersfield Sound inwards 2012, Merle Haggard was quoted equally proverb, “If you lot don’t get Don Maddox back hither for this exhibit, you mightiness as well non have it at all.” And thus amongst the aid of Marty Stuart, they did. Marty is the owner of many of the group’s colorful phase suits, in addition to these constituted the rattling first off matter yous saw every bit you lot walked into the exhibit that ran until 2014.

Then inwards the 2019 Ken Burns documentary on state music, the 2d episode of the serial focused extensively on the contributions of The Maddox Brothers together with Rose, in addition to specifically included an interview amongst Don Maddox. They were also featured inward the third episode of the series. This in one case once more helped underscore the band’s importance. But despite the renewed involvement inwards the band, and the efforts of people such equally Marty Stuart, The Maddox Brothers as well as Rose have got nevertheless yet to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame—something many fans were hoping mightiness hap while Don was all the same live. His last sibling to transcend away was Rose on April fifteen, 1998.

Don Maddox was 37-years-quondam when the Maddox Brothers and Rose disbanded, as well as was living inwards Hollywood at the fourth dimension. Don enrolled inward a college of agriculture that taught the cattle concern, together with later graduating, drove his ’57 pinkish Cadillac northward from Hollywood inwards search of a ranch to buy. He wanted to purchase inwards the Napa Valley just north of San Francisco, but eventually settled inward Ashland, OR, just over the California border, where he found a 300-acre plot but eastward of town. They wouldn’t have his pinkish Cadillac inward trade, but he was able to buy the home for $27,500.

Don then bought a legendary Angus bull named “Ben Bond Revolution #73,” together with started a “revolutionary” cattle ranch. Don kept the Revolution Ranch running for decades, and the barn that reads “Maddox Revolution Angus” that overlooks Ashland, OR on a bluff is a landmark of the area.


Don Maddox – Final Member of Maddox Brothers & Rose – Has Died


The irony inwards Don’s story is that fifty-fifty though he was i of the Maddox Brothers members who wasn’t seen every bit “skilful enough” to hold going when Rose tried to go far big in Nashville, he was the 1 able to take the wealth the family unit enjoyed from the twoscore’s together with 50’s through performing, in addition to get in terminal. So when Rose’s career came to a halt in Nashville, she, along amongst blood brother Cal and mother Maddox moved to Ashland, OR where Don sectioned off five-acre plots of the ranch for them to live on. Mom, Rose, in addition to Cal lived in that location for the remainder of their lives.

Don Maddox continued to fiddle in addition to perform upwardly until the last few years, including flight out to play the Muddy Roots Festival inward Cookeville, TN, as well as playing the West Coast Country Music Festival in Greensprings, Oregon. He would also regularly perform with the Oregon Old Time Fiddlers inward the Southern Oregon part.

The decease of Don Maddox is really the stop of an era inward American music.

He is survived by his married woman Barbara, who he affectionately referred to as his “child bride.”