Journalist, Author Martha Hume Passes

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• December 20, 2012

Noted music journalist and author Martha Hume died in her sleep at home in Nashville on Monday night, December 17.

The former managing editor of Country Music magazine was the author of the books You’re So Cold I’m Turnin’ Blue: Martha Hume’s Guide to the Greatest in Country Music (1982) and Kenny Rogers: Gambler, Dreamer, Lover (1980). Hume was the wife of CMT columnist Chet Flippo.

Born in 1947, she grew up in Stearns, Kentucky, a company-owned, coal-mining town. Her first journalism experience was writing for the McCreary County Record, a weekly newspaper owned by her parents. She graduated from the University of Kentucky, then obtained a Master’s Degree in Journalism at the University of Texas in 1974.

Martha Hume and Chet Flippo initially rose to prominence as music journalists in New York. He became a reporter for Rolling Stone. She became managing editor at Country Music. By the early 1980s, she had also written for Texas Monthly, The Chicago Sun-Times, US magazine, McCall’s, Rolling Stone and more. She was the pop-music columnist for The New York Daily News.

After relocating to Nashville, she became the editor for several educational publications based in Knoxville. Martha Hume was the first writer to reveal the story of Hank Williams “lost” daughter, Jett Williams. She also wrote liner notes for recordings, including 1999’s Intimate Portrait: Women of Country. In later years, she worked for agencies combating substance abuse.

It was her wish to be cremated. Funeral and/or memorial services have not been announced.

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Robert K. Oermann is a longtime contributor to MusicRow. He is a respected music critic, author and historian.

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