Walter ‘D’ Kilpatrick Dies

Producer, music exec and Grand Ole Opry manager Walter David "D" Kilpatrick died of lung cancer May 21st at his Franklin, Tenn., home.

Kilpatrick, 88, is credited with making the Opry a household name by bringing in country artists including Porter Wagoner and the Everly Brothers at a time when Elvis Presley and rock ’n’ roll were taking over the nation.

He also helped found the Country Music Association in 1958, according to the Tennessean. Kilpatrick’s lengthy career included stints at the Capitol, Mercury, Warner Bros., and Athena as well as Acuff-Rose Artists Corporation.