MAINE, USA — Who is the most successful musician to come out of Maine in the last 75 years? One can make a strong argument that it’s Dick Curless.
For evidence, look no further than the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville. It just opened an exhibit called “Dick Curless: Hard Traveling Man from Maine,” and it comes as no surprise that some of its employees have long admired the man known as the Baron of Country Music.
“There are several of us on staff, myself included, who are big fans of Dick Curless and his music,” Mick Buck, the Country Music Hall of Fame's curatorial director, said.
Born in Aroostook County, Curless was in elementary school when his family moved to Massachusetts. As an adult, he came back to Maine and called it home for most of the rest of his life until his death at the age of 63 in 1995.
“Though he is best known for his 1965 national hit, the truck-driving anthem, ‘A Tombstone Every Mile,' Dick Curless had a wide-ranging repertoire and a smooth, sonorous delivery that made him popular not only in his native northeast but nationally as well. During his storied career, Curless placed more than twenty hit recordings on ‘Billboard’ country charts," the Country Music Hall of Fame noted.
The exhibit will be on display at the Country Music Hall of Fame through January 2024. What does the Hall of Fame hope visitors take away from it?
“A basic knowledge and awareness of who Dick Curless was. And also hopefully they’ll go away with a sense of what a unique and soulful human being he was,” Buck said. “Everyone who knew him seemed to hold him in such high regard as a person as well as an artist--and that’s not something you necessarily come across all the time in the music business."