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: Over the Rhine presents its version of holiday songs – Shortly before performing Merle Haggard's downer Christmas song, "If We Make It Through December," Over The Rhine co-leader Linford Detweiler remarked how his wife (and other half of OTR) Karin Bergquist recently described the act's holiday sounds as "reality Christmas music." And when a duo includes a song like "My... »»»
Concert Review: Perhaps not country, but Urban stars – After Keith Urban scorched a version of "Days Go By," a man in his mid-50s in a Led Zeppelin T shirt said to his rhinestone clad lady friend, "This is not country music, that guy's a rock star." Indeed, the chart topping Aussie further contributes to country's multiple personality disorder, but in a category other than pop.... »»»
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

The Devil Makes Three examine salvation, sin For nearly a decade and a half, The Devil Makes Three has concocted an amazing blend of bluegrass, folk, country, blues, rockabilly and whatever happens to bubble to the surface, and applied it liberally to their songwriting ethic.... »»»
For Shires, home is where the family lies Mercy Rose Isbell recently celebrated her first birthday and, ironically, the album she helped inspire has just been released. Synchronicity is a beautiful thing. Mercy Rose is, of course, the daughter of singer/songwriters Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires, two of the most gifted Americana artists working today... ... »»»