Jack Greene, Opry stalwart, passes at 83
A prime example of country music's late-'60s era of mellow and polished crooners, Jack Greene's sound was old, no doubt, but epitomized a style still enjoyed today by countless Opry listeners, who continue tuning in each week not only to hear contemporary acts, but also the classic sounds of Greene and his peers.
Following a career that charted a number of hits, including "There Goes My Everything," "All the Time" and "Statue of a Fool," Greene passed away during his sleep in his Nashville home Thursday evening, from complications related to Alzheimer's disease. He was 83.
Born January 7, 1930 in Maryville, Tennessee, Jack Greene got his start as many of his era did by performing on local radio and in talent shows, before moving to Atlanta and forming his own band, The Peach Tree Boys. After performing as a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist in a number of groups, he got his big break in the early 1960s when Ernest Tubb hired him as a drummer and sometimes guitarist and backup vocalist. Greene would perform with Tubb's band for five years before striking out on his own.
As a solo artist and later in duets with country singer Jeannie Seely, he recorded several chart-topping hits in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The oft-covered "There Goes My Everything" would prove one of his biggest songs, hitting the charts in late 1966 where it spent seven weeks in the Number One spot. The following year, Greene would win Single of the Year for that song in the Country Music Association's inaugural award ceremony, as well as the award for Male Vocalist of the Year and Album of the Year. The song also won its writer, Dallas Frazier, the first ever CMA Song of the Year award. 1967 was also the year Greene would begin performing regularly at the Opry, remaining a member until his death.
Though his chart-topping success remained unmatched in decades to come, Greene continued touring, appearing on the Opry, and releasing records, his final a 2010 duets album featuring a number of country stars. He retired in 2011, but his influence is felt still today by contemporary artists like Chris Young, Sunny Sweeney and Blake Shelton, one of the first to announce his passing to the public this morning on his Twitter feed.
Very sad to hear about the passing of Jack Green. He and I performed his song "Statue of a Fool" at the Opry years ago.. True hero.
-- Blake Shelton (@blakeshelton) March 15, 2013
As of press time, you can still view a charming introduction message from Greene on his website.
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