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Rusty & Doug Kershaw

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Musician Russell Lee “Rusty” Kershaw, brother of fiddler Doug Kershaw and former member of the Rusty & Doug performing and recording duo, died Tuesday (Oct. 23)2001 in New Orleans of a heart attack. He was 63.

Kershaw, who was born in Louisiana Feb. 2, 1938, joined his brothers Doug and Nelson (“Pee Wee”) in 1948 to form the Cajun band Pee Wee Kershaw & The Continental Playboys. He was the group’s guitarist. From 1953 to 1955, the Kershaws performed on KPLC-TV in Lake Charles, La. They also began appearing on the Louisiana Hayride in 1955 but moved the following year to become members of the Wheeling Jamboree on radio station WWVA in Wheeling, W. Va.

Rusty Kershaw’s first record with Doug was “No, No It’s Not So,” recorded in the early ‘50s for Feature Records in Crowley, La. Now performing as Rusty & Doug, the brothers came to Nashville and signed with Hickory Records, an Acuff-Rose affiliate. Their first single on Hickory, “So Lovely Baby,” was released in 1955 and went to No. 14 on the country charts. For their follow-up two years later, they did a cover of Jill Corey’s 1957 pop hit, “Love Me to Pieces.” It too reached No. 14.

Rusty & Doug joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1957. Over the next three years, the Kershaws charted three more singles for Hickory, the highest one being “Louisiana Man,” which went to No. 10. The duo signed to RCA Records in 1963. The next year, however, Rusty left the duo.

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