Archive for the Woodlawn Memorial Park (TN) Category

Little Jimmy Dickens

Posted in Woodlawn Memorial Park (TN) with tags , on January 4, 2015 by Cade

dickens1December 19, 1920 – January 2, 2015

James Cecil “Little Jimmy” Dickens stood just 4’11”. But the persona he left behind loomed much, much larger. Dickens was known for his outlandish, rhinestone-laden outfits and novelty hits such as “May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose.” He was a member of both the Grand Ole Opry and the Country Music Hall of Fame. Dickens made public appearances well into his nineties, keeping his sense of humor with him the entire time. He died of cardiac arrest a little over a week after suffering a stroke on Christmas day.

Burial

Woodlawn Memorial Park – Nashville, TN

dickens - feb 18 2014 - nashville, TN

Taken in February of 2014

Specific Location

Cross Mausoleum, Third Floor – Enter the main entrance on the south side of the mausoleum, go left up the flight of stairs, then take your second right, Jimmy’s crypt is in an alcove on your left after you pass the cross aisle hallway.

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Van Stephenson

Posted in Woodlawn Memorial Park (TN) with tags , on March 28, 2014 by Cade

stephensonNovember 4, 1953 – April 8, 2001

Van Stephenson was a notable Nashville songwriter who wrote hits for the likes of Crystal Gayle, Dan Seals, Kenny Rogers and the band Restless Heart. But, beyond writing, he also had a career as a performer and recording artist. He had a number of solo albums in the 1980’s, but is perhaps most remembered as one third of the 1990’s country act, BlackHawk. Stephenson enjoyed success with the group for the better part of the decade. He left the group in 2000 due to being diagnosed with Melanoma. He died from the disease the next year at the age of 47.

Burial

Woodlawn Memorial Park – Nashville, TN

Specific Location

Cross Mausoleum, Third Floor – Enter the main entrance on the south side of the mausoleum, go left up the flight of stairs, then take your second right, Van’s crypt is in the second to last (fourth) alcove on your left, just above head height.

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Eddy Arnold

Posted in Woodlawn Memorial Park (TN) with tags , on March 13, 2014 by Cade

arnold2May 15, 1918 – May 8, 2008

In the vast landscape that is American country music, few artists – if any – had the type of unbelievable success that Richard Edward “Eddy” Arnold had in the late 1940’s and 1950’s. Arnold played the radio station circuit for years before breaking into the country charts with 1945’s “Each Minute Seems a Million Years.” Over the next decade, he would chart more than 40 singles on the country charts – many of which hit and stayed at No. 1. The 1950’s brought Rock ‘n’ Roll to the forefront and Eddy’s career waned. But, thanks to TV shows and some savvy studio experiments, Arnold was able to remain in the public eye and create songs that had appeal beyond the country audience. His foray into more “pop-friendly” recordings created (can be blamed for?) the so-called “Nashville Sound” – replacing traditional honky tonk instrumentation with popular string/orchestral arrangements – that would eventually give rise to modern country-pop music. Eddy Arnold continued to produce music and perform for decades. He received a number of awards and recognitions for his work in the industry and is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Grand Ole Opry. He died in a Nashville nursing home of natural causes in 2008. He was 89 years old.

Burial

Woodlawn Memorial Park – Nashville, TN

Specific Location

Chapel Garden H; Two rows in from the main road, a few yards north of the sidewalk.

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Dobie Gray

Posted in Woodlawn Memorial Park (TN) with tags on March 7, 2014 by Cade

gray1July 26, 1940 – December 6, 2011

Dobie Gray was a singer/songwriter who’s career spanned a number of genres. His biggest hit was 1973’s “Drift Away” which peaked at #5 on the Billboard pop chart. Later in his career he found himself in Nashville writing successful songs for many other artists like Ray Charles and George Jones. He was also wildly popular in South Africa for some reason and successfully toured there. Which was odd, because…well, apartheid. Nevertheless, Gray continued to record modest hits on the pop and country charts well into the 1990’s. In 2003, “Drift Away” was resurrected by Uncle Kracker (with Gray also appearing on the recording) and found a whole new audience. Some times, you just get one song. But, in Dobie Gray’s case, he made the most of it. Dobie died in Nashville at the age of 71 following a long battle with cancer.

Burial

Woodlawn Memorial Park – Nashville, TN

Specific Location

Everlasting Life;  Four rows down (west) and about 15 spaces right (south) of a white statue of a seated Jesus.

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Marty Robbins

Posted in Woodlawn Memorial Park (TN) with tags , on March 5, 2014 by Cade

robbins1September 26, 1925 – December 8, 1982

Martin David Robinson (Marty Robbins) was a singer, actor and sometime NASCAR driver who found his career by way of the Navy and a small-time Phoenix television show. His major country hits “El Paso” and “A White Sport Coat and a Pink Carnation” were also successful on the pop charts. Robbins appeared in a couple of films such as Guns of a Stranger and the Clint Eastwood movie, Honkytonk Man. In his spare time, Marty liked to race cars. Like, professionally. He managed to race in some of NASCAR’s biggest races such as Daytona and Talladega. He even landed a couple of top 10 finishes despite only doing it as a glorified hobby. He once illegally removed the restrictors from his own carburetor because he “just wanted to see what it was like to run up front for once.” Marty Robbins suffered 3 heart attacks in the last years of his life. He died at the age of 57 following heart surgery. The west Texas town of El Paso later named a park after him.

Burial

Woodlawn Memorial Park – Nashville, TN

Specific Location

Gethsemane; Just to the west of the smallest tree in this hilly section, Marty and his wife’s full-sized markers are fairly easy to spot among the smaller ones.

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Dan Seals

Posted in Woodlawn Memorial Park (TN) with tags on March 3, 2014 by Cade

seals1February 8, 1948 – March 25, 2009

Dan Seals was a popular music and country artist who, like his big brother Jim (of Seals & Crofts fame) scored a number of hits throughout his career. His biggest hit was as a member of the soft rock duo England  Dan and John Ford Coley. Their “I’d Really Love To See You Tonight” reached as high as #2 on the Billboard pop chart. After England Dan (a childhood nickname given to him by Jim) and Coley parted ways, Seals embarked on a pretty successful solo country career. Recording more than a dozen albums and scoring a few modest hits, Dan was a fixture on the country scene for the better part of two decades. After undergoing a number of procedures to battle lymphoma, Dan Seals died at the age of 61.

Burial

Woodlawn Memorial Park – Nashville, TN

Specific Location

Sunset A; In the extreme southeast corner of the park, about three rows in from the eastern edge.

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Johnny Paycheck

Posted in Woodlawn Memorial Park (TN) with tags , on February 28, 2014 by Cade

paycheck1May 31, 1938 – February 19, 2003

Donald Eugene Lytle, known to the world as Johnny Paycheck, was a country singer/songwriter whose biggest hit became an anthem for disgruntled employees for generations. Paycheck recorded “Take This Job and Shove It” in 1977 and it became his only number 1 hit. Though, Johnny had a number of smaller hits throughout his career, too. He was part of the “outlaw” movement of country music in the 1970’s. But, unlike many of his other outlaw contemporaries, Johnny lived it. Sure others had drug and alcohol issues like he did, but not many of them spent time in prison for shooting someone. But I digress. Johnny’s later years were spent in declining health and bankruptcy. When he died in 2003, longtime friend George Jones donated a burial plot for Johnny to be laid to rest. He was 64.

Burial

Woodlawn Memorial Park – Nashville, TN

Specific Location

Jones Family Estates; Just a few yards north of George Jones.

woodlawntn_paycheck

Webb Pierce

Posted in Woodlawn Memorial Park (TN) with tags , on February 25, 2014 by Cade

pierce3August 8, 1921 – February 24, 1991

Webb Michael Pierce was a flashy honky tonk singer and guitar player who was one of the most recognizable talents on the 1950’s. Pierce topped the country charts with his like “In The Jailhouse Now” and “Wondering” and was a member of the fabled Grand Ole Opry. His was a persona and a life of excess. His custom-made suits, silver-dollar-lined cars and piano-shaped swimming pools were indicative of his personal tastes. Even though he had a reputation as a hard drinker, Pierce continued to work in the industry, recording duets with the likes of Willie Nelson and his daughter, Debbie, though his popularity was never as high as it was early in career.  Webb Pierce died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 69.

Burial

Woodlawn Memorial Park – Nashville, TN

Specific Location

Gethsemane; Two rows to the west of Marty Robbins.

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Tammy Wynette

Posted in Woodlawn Memorial Park (TN) with tags , on February 19, 2014 by Cade

wynette2May 5, 1942 – April 6, 1998

Virginia “Tammy” Wynette Pugh was one of the most popular female country artists of all time. Her impact on women in the genre and her hits like the iconic “Stand By Your Man” earned her the nickname “The First Lady of Country Music.” While working as a hairdresser, Wynette signed to Epic records at the age of 24 and began churning out hit after hit. She married fellow country singer George Jones after Jones professed his love for her following an altercation between he and her second husband. The power couple would record a number of hits together, even after the marriage ended. Tammy’s life was riddled with health problems. She had dozens of surgeries and overcame an addiction to painkillers, only to be struck down by cardiac arrhythmia at the age of just 55. The country music community mourned her and has been lauding her legend ever since. All in all, not too shabby for a hairdresser from Birmingham.

Burial

Woodlawn Memorial Park – Nashville, TN

Specific Location

Cross Mausoleum, Third Floor – Enter the main entrance on the south side of the mausoleum, go left up the flight of stairs, then take your second right, Tammy’s crypt is in the second to last bank down this hall on the right side, two rows up.

NOTE: The name on her crypt was changed in 2012 to her given first name and her fifth husband’s given surname.

woodlawntn_wynette

Jerry Reed

Posted in Woodlawn Memorial Park (TN) with tags , on February 19, 2014 by Cade

reed3March 20, 1937 – September 1, 2008

Jerry Reed was a singer, songwriter and actor. He had some hits. He was in some movies. I could write things about all of that.  But, wouldn’t we all just rather watch this?

R.I.P. Snowman

Burial

Woodlawn Memorial Park – Nashville, TN

Specific Location

Cross Mausoleum, Third Floor – Enter the main entrance on the south side of the mausoleum, go left up the flight of stairs, then take your second right, Jerry’s crypt is in the bottom row of the last (fifth) alcove on your left, just a few feet past Tammy Wynette.

woodlawntn_reed