US 23 Country Music Museum Artists
Frank Brown was nicknamed “Hylo” due to his ability to sing both high and low ranges. From the community of River in Johnson County, Brown’s first hit was “Lost to a Stranger.”
Lawrence County native Larry Cordle is a singer/songwriter most famous for writing “Murder on Music Row,” which was recorded by George Strait and Alan Jackson. He also wrote “Highway 40 Blues,” recorded by Ricky Skaggs.
Billy Ray Cyrus
Billy Ray Cyrus is a singer, songwriter, and actor best known for his Number 1 single “Achy Breaky Heart.” He was born in Flatwoods, a small community in Greenup County. Cyrus was an actor on the TV series Doc, and he also co-starred in the series Hannah Montana with his daughter Miley Cyrus.
Born Brenda Gail Webb, Crystal Gayle signed with Decca Records who suggested a name change to avoid confusion with labelmate Brenda Lee. Gayle, who is from Johnson County, is Loretta Lynn’s younger sister. She recorded several hit songs including “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue” and “I’ll Get Over You.”
Tom T. Hall
Born in Olive Hill in Carter County, Tom T. Hall is a country music singer, songwriter, novelist, and short-story writer. He wrote 11 Number 1 hits including “Harper Valley P.T.A.” Hall became known to fans as “The Storyteller” due to his storytelling skills in his songwriting.
Rebecca Lynn Howard
Magoffin County native Rebecca Lynn Howard is a singer/songwriter who started her career in Nashville immediately after graduating high school. Famous for her hit song “Forgive,” her musical career began with the Kentucky Opry Jr. Pros at the Mountain Arts Center in Prestonsburg, Ky.
The Judds were a Country Music duo comprised of Naomi Judd and her daughter Wynonna. Their greatest hits include “Mama, He’s Crazy” and “Love Can Build a Bridge.” After eight years as a successful duo, the Judds ceased performing due to Naomi’s health problems. Wynonna then began her career as a solo artist.
Patty Loveless is from Elkhorn City in Pike County. She has charted over 40 singles on the Billboard charts including 5 number ones. Among her most popular songs are “I’m That Kind of Girl” and “Timber I’m Falling in Love.”
From “Butcher Holler” in Johnson County, Loretta Lynn is also known as the Queen of Country Music. Her greatest hit, “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” is also the name of the movie portraying Lynn’s rags-to-riches story.
Bluegrass singer Ricky Skaggs is from Blaine in Lawrence County. He was inducted in the Grand Ole Opry in May 1982 at the age of 27, making him the youngest member to ever be inducted at that time. A few of his hit songs include “Crying my Heart Out Over You” and “Don’t Cheat in Our Hometown.”
Chris Stapleton, from Staffordsville in Johnson County, is a Country and Bluegrass singer/songwriter. He has written numerous hit songs records by artists such as George Strait, Luke Bryan, and Kenny Chesney. Stapleton is a 3-time CMA winner for Best Male Vocalist, New Artist of the Year, and Album of the Year. He has also won 2 Grammy Awards for Best Country Album and Best Country Solo Performance. Stapleton released his first album Traveller in 2015.
Born in Jenkins in Letcher County, Gary Stewart is best known for his Number 1 hit song “She’s Actin’ Single (I’m Drinking Doubles).”
Keith Whitley, from Sandy Hook in Elliott County, charted 19 singles on the Billboard Country Charts including “When You Say Nothing at All” and “Don’t Close Your Eyes.” He was married to fellow country music singer Lorrie Morgan.
Dwight Yoakam was born in Pike County and lived for a short time in Floyd County before his family moved to Ohio. His hit songs include “Guitars, Cadillacs” and “Honky Tonk Man.” Yoakam recorded “Readin’, Rightin’, Route 23,” which pays tribute to his childhood move from Kentucky.