Opry Star Billy Grammer Dies at 85

Singer joined Opry in 1959.

Grand Ole Opry star Billy Grammer passed away of natural causes in his home state of Illinois, Wednesday morning (Aug. 10), at the age of 85.

Billy was known as a recording artist, outstanding session musician and Grand Ole Opry performer. His debut single, “Gotta Travel On,” hit No. 5 in 1959 and led to a spot on the Opry, which he joined that same year.

Billy hosted his own syndicated television series in 1965 and also found success as a designer of guitars. He donated his first model to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in 1969. Billy also delivered the invocation at the opening of the new Grand Ole Opry House in 1974, with President Richard Nixon in attendance.

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