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PENNY DEHAVEN (1946-2014)
Born Charlotte Belle DeHaven in Winchester, Va., this upbeat and engaging Country singer rose to national prominence in the late 1960s under the stage name Penny DeHaven. She succumbed to cancer on Feb. 23 at age 65.
She arrived in Nashville in 1968, following a stint during her teens on the “WWVA Jamboree” in Wheeling, W.Va. Her most successful records included the Cajun-flavored “Mama Lou” (1969) and a cover of Billy Joe Royal’s “Down in the Boondocks” (both in 1969), followed by remakes of the Beatles’ “I Feel Fine,” the Everly Brothers’ “Crying in the Rain” and Marvin Gaye’s “I’ll Be Doggone,” a duet on “Landmark Tavern” with Jim Reeves, and several other singles.
DeHaven’s albums include Penny DeHaven and a gospel release, A Penny Saved. She was a familiar guest on Country Music television shows, including “Hee Haw, “Nashville Now” and “That Nashville Music.” Throughout the 1990s, she performed at numerous Amway events. In 2002, DeHaven recorded and began touring with Porter Wagoner, with whom she also appeared often on the Grand Ole Opry.
Penny DeHaven and Porter Wagoner performed frequently together at the Grand Ole Opry. Photo: Billy Kingsley/Grand Ole Opry