Hall Of Fame Member Ken Nelson Dies

Ken Nelson, well-known record executive and member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, died Sunday, Jan. 6, at his home in California, nearly two weeks short of his 97th birthday.

Nelson produced such pioneering acts as Hank Thompson, Merle Haggard and Buck Owens and is often credited for helping define the so-called Bakersfield Sound made popular by Buck. His big break came when he produced Hank Thompson's 1952 hit, "The Wild Side of Life," which topped the charts for an amazing 15 weeks. Nelson was also a well-respected executive for Capitol Records, where he served until 1976, and was considered a major force behind the creation and growth of the Country Music Association. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001.

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