Beloved Singer “Mrs. Country Music” Dead At 98

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One of the most prolific and talented pioneers of country music — and in particular — the Bakersfield sound, has died at the age of 98.

Born Doris Schetrompf, the woman known as Rose Lee Maphis would go on to become a sensational musician on radio and television. Maphis’ reign across the charts peaked in the late 50s to early 60s and she was best known to perform with her husband, Joe Maphis.

Rose had her very own radio show at just the age of 15 before finding her way onto The Old Dominion Barn Dance show duetting with Mary Klick. On this show, she met many famous names like Flat & Scruggs, Mother Maybelle & The Carter Sisters, Mac Wiseman, and more.

That was also where she met her future husband!

Throughout the 1950s and 60s, Jim and Rose Maphis became one of the biggest duos in country music – often called “Mr. and Mrs. Country Music.”

He was known by the nickname “King of the Strings” and lauded as one of the greatest guitarists ever to play in country music. Rose joined him as a harmony singer and rhythm guitarist herself helping them soar to new heights of stardom!

They recorded hits like “Dim Lights, Thick Smoke,” “Whiskey Is the Devil in Liquid Form,” and “Where Honky-Tonk Angels Spread Their Wings.”

Rose only ever released a single record as a solo artist and that was in 1960.

Her husband Jim passed away in 1986 from lung cancer.

Later on, Rose was one of the first people visitors would see as they walked into the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville. She maintained her position there as a greeter for many years – and few folks knew that the woman handing out pamphlets was prominently featured in one of the exhibits!

Our thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends, and fans during this time as they mourn her passing on October 26th, 2021. 

Watch a cheerful celebration of her 90th birthday below.