Musician and songwriter Gene McKown passed away on May 18, 2011, due to a heart attack. He was 78 years old. McKown originally came from Osceola, Missouri, but moved to California in the 1950s where he started his musical career. He appeared on such shows as the Town Hall Party or "Country America" and recorded for he Aggie label, including the song "Rock-a-Billy Rhythm." Eventually, he moved to Kansas City where he continued his career. He spent his last years in Osceola.