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View Full Version : Longtime country singer, songwriter Mel Tillis dies



Tyr-Ziu Saxnot
11-20-2017, 09:38 AM
https://www.yahoo.com/music/longtime-country-singer-songwriter-mel-tillis-dies-170325564.html


Associated Press
Longtime country singer, songwriter Mel Tillis dies
Associated Press Associated Press 21 hours ago



FILE - In this July 6, 2013, file photo, Mel Tillis performs at the Oklahoma Twister Relief Concert at the Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla. Tillis, the longtime country star who wrote hits for Kenny Rogers, Ricky Skaggs and many others, and overcame a stutter to sing on dozens of his own singles, has died. A spokesman for Tillis, Don Murry Grubbs, said Tillis died early Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017, at Munroe Regional Medical Center in Ocala, Fla. He was 85. (Photo by Alonzo Adams/Invision/AP, File)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Mel Tillis, the affable longtime country star who wrote hits for Kenny Rogers, Ricky Skaggs and many others, and overcame a stutter to sing on dozens of his own singles, has died.

A spokesman for Tillis, Don Murry Grubbs, said Tillis died early Sunday at Munroe Regional Medical Center in Ocala, Florida. He was 85.

Grubbs said Tillis battled intestinal issues since 2016 and never fully recovered. The suspected cause of death is respiratory failure.

Tillis, the father of country singer Pam Tillis, recorded more than 60 albums and had more than 30 top 10 country singles, including "Good Woman Blues," ''Coca Cola Cowboy" and "Southern Rain." Among the hits he wrote for others were "Detroit City" for Bobby Bare; "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town," by Rogers and the First Edition; and "Thoughts of a Fool" for George Strait.

Although his early efforts to get a record deal were rebuffed because of his stutter, he was a promising songwriter in Nashville in the 1950s and 1960s, writing tunes for Webb Pierce and Ray Price.

In all, the Country Music Hall of Fame member wrote more than 1,000 songs and in 2012 received a National Medal of Arts for bringing "his unique blend of warmth and humor to the great tradition of country music."

He also dabbled in acting, appearing in such feature films as Clint Eastwood's "Every Which Way But Loose," and the Burt Reynolds movies "Cannonball Run I and II" and "Smokey and the Bandit II." He starred in several television movies and briefly had a network TV show, "Mel and Susan Together," with Susan Anton.

In 2007, Tillis became a regular performer on the Grand Ole Opry country music show.

"You know what? Another part of the dream has been fulfilled," he said at the time. "It's been a long, hard road."

Tillis was raised in Pahokee, Florida, and developed his stutter as a child while being treated for malaria. He dropped out of the University of Florida and instead served in the Air Force and worked on the railroad before relocating to Nashville in 1957.

Musical from an early age, he started performing in the early 1950s with a group called The Westerners, while stationed in Okinawa and serving as a baker in the Air Force.

He held a variety of odd jobs before breaking out, including being a truck driver, a strawberry picker, a firefighter on the railroad and milkman, which inspired his breakthrough song. Feeling down one day he began singing to himself, "Oh Lord, I'm tired. Tired of living this ol' way." He turned his lament into "I'm Tired," which became a hit for Webb Pierce.

Price, Skaggs, Brenda Lee and hundreds of others would cover his songs.

Tillis, meanwhile, became a major success on his own in the late 1960s and toured for decades, often using his stutter as a source of humor though his stutter disappeared when he sang.

"One of the reasons I worked it into my show is that it's my trademark," he once told The Associated Press.

He said that when he was in the Air Force as a flight leader, he marched airmen right into a wall.

"I couldn't get out the word 'halt,'" he said.

Grubbs says the Tillis family will release information about funeral services in Florida and Nashville.

High_Plains_Drifter
11-21-2017, 12:24 AM
I heard about this taking the truck up to the dealer to get my seat heat checked out this morning. I like channel 59 on the SiriusXM, "Willy's Roadhouse," and the DJ, Dallas Wayne, mentioned that Mel had passed and that he was playing Mel songs in his honor.

darin
11-21-2017, 01:20 AM
And then, when I started to school, I found out I couldn't talk. Mel Tillis


RIP and may God send his spirit to his loved-ones and friends for comfort.