Opry Legend Jack Greene Dies at 83

photo by Curtis Hilbun/AFF

Jack Greene, a beloved member of the Grand Ole Opry, passed away from complications of Alzheimer's disease, Thursday (March 14), at age 83. Jack recently celebrated his 83rd birthday in January and performed at the party, despite his failing health.

Jack began his professional music career as the drummer in Ernest Tubb's band before embarking on a solo career. He made his chart debut in 1965 with "Ever Since My Baby Went Away," which peaked in the Top 40. But his follow-up, "There Goes My Everything," established Jack as a country music star. The plaintive ballad, released in 1966, hit No. 1 for seven weeks. That was followed by another No. 1, "All the Time," which topped the charts for five weeks in 1967.

Jack became a part of country history when he won the first Country Music Association Award for Male Vocalist of the Year in 1967, while "There Goes My Everything" was the first song honored as Single of the Year. He also joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1967.

Jack's final No. 1 came in 1969 with "Statue of a Fool," later covered by Ricky Van Shelton. Jack went on to record more chart hits, both as a solo artist and with duet partner Jeannie Seely. Nicknamed the "Jolly Green Giant," both for his lanky frame and good-natured personality, Jack was one of the most popular performers on the Grand Ole Opry, and continued to play the venerable show on a regular basis.

Funeral arrangements will be announced soon.

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