Friday, March 15, 2013

Grand Ole Opry Member Jack Greene Passes Away at 83

Jack Greene, a 40-year member of the Grand Ole Opry and 1967 ACM Male Vocalist of the Year, has passed away at the age of 83. He died at home yesterday from complications with Alzheimer's.

Greene was born on January 7, 1930, in Maryville, Tennessee. In the early 1950s, he moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where he formed his own band, The Peach Tree Boys as a lead vocalist, drummer, and guitarist. In 1959, he moved back to Tennessee and settled in Nashville and formed his own band, The Tennessee Mountain Boys. One day in 1961, the band opened for Ernest Tubb, and Ernest noticed Jack's talents and asked him to join his band, which he did.

For the next few years, he was a drummer, guitarist, vocalist, and M.C. in Ernest Tubb's band, The Texas Troubadors. He soon was starting to open shows for Ernest playing guitar and singing and in 1964, Jack released his first solo record with "The Last Letter" which first appeared on one of Tubb's live albums. The song got attention from Ernest's record label Decca Records who released it as a single. Another single followed in 1965 with "Don't You Ever Get Tired Of Hurtin' Me" but this didn't chart as it came out at the same time as Ray Price's version. Tubb encouraged him to pursue a solo career, and Greene achieved great success right away. His first Top 40 hit came in early 1966 with "Ever Since My Baby Went Away". Later that year, he released a song that put him on top. The song was "There Goes My Everything" and it was a monster hit, staying on top of the Country charts for 7 weeks, and even becoming a crossover hit, the album stayed No. 1 for an entire year.

The success continued into 1967 as well with another number 1 smash in "All The Time" (on top for 5 weeks) and a number 2 hit with "What Locks The Door". In 1967, he received the prestigious awards for Male Vocalist of the Year, Single of the Year, and Album of the Year from the Country Music Association. In all, he has recorded nine number one country hits on various charts including 5 number one Billboard hits. His success continued into 1968 with another number 1 with "You Are My Treasure" and the top 5 hit "Love Takes Care Of Me". In 1969, he had 2 number 1 hits with "Until My Dreams Come True" and "Statue of a Fool". He completed the year out with the Top 5 "Back In The Arms Of Love".

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