Sign up for newsletter
 

Grand Ole Opry star Billy Walker killed in car accident

Sunday, May 21, 2006 – Grand Ole Opry star Billy Walker, 77, was killed in a car accident Sunday in Alabama along with his wife and two band members.

Walker, known as the Tall Texan, first hit the charts in 1954 with "Thank You for Calling." Throughout his career, he had 65 songs hit the charts, including a number one of "Charlie's Shoes" in 1962.

Prior to that he was a regular on the Big D Jamboree radio show in Dallas as The Masked Singer in 1949. he also acted in the movies "Second Fiddle to a Steel Guitar" and "Red River Round Up."

Walker had escaped death once before - he was slated to be in the ill-fated plane that killed Buddy Holly, Patsy Cline, The Big Bopper and Hackshaw Hawkins. Walker had an emergency and had to return home. Hawkins overheard Walker's problem and switched tickets.

Killed Sunday were Bettie Walker, 61, and band members Charles Lilly, 44 and Daniel Patton, 40, all of Tennessee.

Walker's grandson, Joshua Brooks, 21, was hospitalized in critical condition following the crash in which their car apparently ran off an interstate highway near Montgomery, Ala.

Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Girls with Guitars show voices – With the official departure of Taylor Swift from the genre, country music is eager to find replacement star power. Pittsburgh's annual Girls with Guitars show is proving to be a nebula. This year's crop of artists featured former "The Voice" contestants (one winner), a television star and some local flair. Texas cutie... »»»
Concert Review: Washburn, Fleck give reasons to be happy  – "I sing because I'm happy," sang Abigail Washburn toward the end of her show with fellow banjo picker (not to mention, husband) Bela Fleck in the closing number of the night "His Eye is on the Sparrow." Washburn had a lot of reason to be on this night in a beautiful setting at Harvard University. The two held court over two... »»»
Subscribe to Country News Digest Country News Digest      Follow Country Standard Time on twitter CST      Visit Country Standard Time on Facebook CST

Elsewhere in the news

Currently at the CST blogs

Fullbright writes the "Songs" John Fullbright didn' grow up around musicians or like-minded songwriters in his little hometown of Bearden, Okla. You'd never know it, though, from his raw, stark, pure and honest songwriting that's drawn comparisons to Townes Van Zandt. His debut album, "From the Ground Up," was nominated for a 2013 Grammy as the Best Americana Album, catapulting him into the company of Bonnie Raitt, Mumford and Sons, The Lumineers and The Avett Brothers.... »»»