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: For Doug Seegers, no pinching needed – Doug Seegers probably should be pinching himself these days. He's not some country music cover boy or hunk wearing a baseball hat or highlighting a bunch of tattoos. If looking for opposites of what passes for a country musician these days, Seegers would probably just about be the top pick. Yes, he lives in Nashville, but he just retired after... »»»
Concert Review: Cynics be damned, Carter girl endures – Cynical naysayers without a clue would aim their vitriol at Carlene Carter. Yes, she is one of the progeny of the Carter family, the first family of country music. And she is quite proud of it. So much so that after watching Maybelle Carter perform with her sisters and being the daughter of June Carter Cash (not to mention Johnny Cash's... »»»
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

Finally, Skaggs and White duet Perhaps there are few more beloved names in the world of country and bluegrass music than Ricky Skaggs and his wife Sharon of the country music family act The Whites. The two have been close friends since their teenage years through music, first meeting at a festival where White was performing with her father Buck White and sister Cheryl, and Skaggs was playing with Keith Whitley.... »»»