The Grand Ole Opry member died on Saturday at the age of 89.
Stonewall jackson – who made history in 1959 as the first artist to join the Grand Ole Opry before signing a recording contract – has been mourned by friends and admirers after the music legend’s death country Saturday at the age of 89.
“I had the pleasure of working a few gigs with Stonewall early in my career,” said TG Sheppard. “He always lit up every room he walked into. He was truly one of the great legends and pioneers of our industry. Gone, but never forgotten! “
Jackson “was a real character,” said Rhonda Vincent. “His style was reflected in everything he did. Most recently, I was driving through Nashville and noticed that his tourist bus was parked. Oh, the stories this bus could tell. He didn’t apologize for who he was. I admired his courage and the way he stood up for what he believed in. My sincere condolences to his family.
David Frizzell recalls: “I first met Stonewall in the late 1950s, just before entering the Air Force while working with my brother Lefty. Stonewall was always a lot of fun to be around and I loved hearing him sing all of his hit songs on the packages. It was always an honor to be on the same stage with him.
“The Grand Ole Opry has always been a meeting place for all artists,” said Lee Greenwood, “and I am saddened to hear of Stonewall’s passing. Although Stonewall and I have never recorded or performed together outside of the Opry, his songs have had and always will have a lasting impact on country music. Stonewall will be missed.
Jackson – described with admiration by Joe Bonsall of the Oak Ridge Boys as “one of the honky-tonk heroes of the 50s and 60s” – recorded his first hit single in 1958 with “Life to Go”, a song written by a youngster George Jones. He followed this up with charts such as “Waterloo” (which became his flagship song), “Smoke Along the Track”, “Don’t Be Angry”, “I Washed My Hands in Muddy Water” and “BJ the DJ “
Over the course of his decades-long career, Stonewall landed 44 singles on the Billboard country charts. The late Porter Wagoner would feature Jackson on his show saying he came to the Opry “with a heart full of love and a bag full of songs.” Its release in 1971 Recorded live at the Grand Ole Opry was the first live album ever recorded at Nashville’s “Mother Church of Country Music”, the Ryman Auditorium.
Saturday’s Grand Ole Opry performance was dedicated to Stonewall Jackson. Other arrangements are pending.