Jerry Reed died 9/1/08 of emphysema. Faron Young committed suicide in December 1996. He had prostate cancer and other health problems.
The elderly country singers:
Johnnie Wright (95) - retired
Kitty Wells (90) - retired
Oscar Sullivan (90) - retired
Little Jimmy Dickens (just turned 89) - still performing at the Grand Ole Opry
Wilma Lee Cooper (88) - retired due to a stroke. She is supposedly okay but not well enough to perform.
Doc Watson (86) - not in the best of health. Still hosts MerleFest every year and tours.
Claude King (85) - health is not good, he just stopped full-time performing earlier this decade because of his health
Marvin Rainwater (84) - still performing
Earl Scruggs (84) - semi-retired
Slim Whitman (84) - still performing, and in good health (had to deny rumors about his death two years ago)
Kenny Roberts (83) - haven't heard about him in ages, most likely retired
Ray Price (83) - in excellent health, still touring. I saw him last March and he was dynamite!
Ferlin Husky (82) - having health issues, was hospitalized twice in 2008 for pneumonia and heart-related ailments; however, he still performs in Branson.
Carl Smith (82) - retired, although rumored to be making an album with his daughter, Carlene Carter.
Charlie Louvin (82) - still performing
Jimmy Dean (81) - retired
Jesse McReynolds (80) - still performing (his brother Jim died several years ago of cancer)
Leroy Van Dyke (80) - healthy and touring every summer on a "Country Gold" concert tour. DO NOT miss this show if you get a chance!
Sonny James (80) - retired
Frankie Miller (79) - unsure, may still be performing
Jack Greene (79) - still performing
Buck White (79) - in good health, still touring
Bobby Osborne of the Osborne Brothers (78) - still touring. Brother Sonny (73) has retired.
Billy Edd Wheeler (77) - unsure
Stonewall Jackson (77) - in good health, still touring
Mel Tillis (77) - in good health, still touring
Melvin Goins (76) - still performing
Roy Clark (76) - still performing, inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009
Stu Phillips (76) - still performing
Jim Ed Brown (75) - in good health, still performing (saw him with his sisters this year, best show I've seen this decade)
Hazel Dickens (74) - still performing, long live the queen of bluegrass!
Bobby Bare (74) - in good health, still performing (I've seen him twice in the last year)
Loretta Lynn (74) - in good health despite what the tabloids say, and still touring
Charlie Daniels (73) - in good health, performing and making GEICO commercials
Doug Kershaw (73) - still performing
Glen Campbell (73) - in good health, still performing
Tom T. Hall (73) - in good health, still performing
Red Steagall (72) - still performing
Bill Anderson (72) - in good health, still touring
Merle Haggard (72) - in good health, still touring
Wanda Jackson (72) - in good health, still performing
George Hamilton IV (72) - in good health, still performing
Ronnie Prophet (71) - stll performing
Norma Jean (71) - still performing (I saw her at Porter Wagoner's memorial, she looks great)
Don Williams (70) - still performing
Ray Stevens (70) - in good health, still performing
Barbara Mandrell is 61 on Christmas day, hardly an "elderly" performer. She was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2009. George Strait is 57 and still tours. May he never stop, country music needs him!