Grand Ole Opry’s Longest Running Member Passes Away

Grand Ole Opry’s Longest Running Member Passes Away

Country Music Star STONEWALL JACKSON passed away on December 4, 2021. His passing marked the completion of a truly legendary and fabled life. Born in Tabor City, N.C. on Nov. 6 1932, STONEWALL JACKSON (his real name) experienced a tough upbringing in South Georgia. Escaping a violently abusive stepdad, STONEWALL joined the Navy at 17, seeking a better life. Upon completing 4 years of duty, and a brief stint of farm work, Stonewall drove his old pickup truck to Nashville with a “sack full of songs” he had written, and stopped at a motel across the street from Acuff/Rose Music Publishing.

Stonewall was first to record a Live Album at the Grand Ole Opry

He worked up the courage to walk across the street to “see if anybody in the music business will talk to me”. To make a legendary short story even shorter – after playing a few songs, within 24 hours STONEWALL was given a five year contract to appear on the GRAND OLE OPRY! This type of arrangement had never happened in OPRY history – he had no recording contract, no performing experience, and no “show clothes” to wear, but his appearance in his old clothes was an immediate success – a real life Country “Cinder-fella” story.

Soon STONEWALL was touring with ERNEST TUBB as his “mentor”. He signed with COLUMBIA RECORDS, and a songwriting collaboration with GEORGE JONES brought STONEWALL his first hit; “LIFE TO GO”. His HIT RECORDING of “WATERLOO” (written by JOHN D LOUDERMILK and MARIJOHN WILKIN)  crossed over to the top of the POP charts, and STONEWALL never looked back.

STONEWALL JACKSON became a kingpin of the “golden” honky-tonk era of COUNTRY MUSIC. With over 40 major CHART HITS, his “WATERLOO” #1 also found him among the first of COUNTRY artists to land on the National POP TV Show, “DICK CLARK’S AMERICAN BANDSTAND”. STONEWALL was also the first COUNTRY artist ever to record a live album at the GRAND OLE OPRY, of which he was its LONGEST RUNNING MEMBER at the time of his passing.

Country Legends “Grandpa” Jones, Donny Richmond and Stonewall Jackson backstage at the Grand Ole Opry

Along the way, STONEWALL also wrote and recorded many GOSPEL songs. His “JESUS IS MY LIFELINE” duet with DONNY RICHMOND, written by STONEWALL, has the unique distinction of having been an international #1 Chart Hit 5 separate times, and during 4 different decades (1996/97, 2006, 2016, 2018, and 2021), a music history milestone. During its initial 1996/97 release, “JESUS IS MY LIFELINE” became the longest running #1 Chart Hit in the history of the National MUSIC CITY NEWS and GOSPEL VOICE Charts, where it remained #1 for over 4 months.

STONEWALL JACKSON can be credited with “discovering” DONNY RICHMOND via “JESUS IS MY LIFELINE”, and a TV SPECIAL they recorded together. In fact, similar to what had happened to STONEWALL at the beginning of his career, upon the two first meeting, and after DONNY performed a few songs, right away STONEWALL selected DONNY to appear on his legendary “STONEWALL JACKSON & SUPER FRIENDS” Album.

The Historic “Stonewall Jackson and Super Friends” Album

This found DONNY immediately in the recording studio, alongside a host of the top COUNTRY MUSIC Artists of all time, such as GARTH BROOKS, ROY ACUFF, VINCE GILL, TANYA TUCKER CHARLIE DANIELS, CONNIE SMITH, TIM McGRAW, and many others. This AMAZING ALBUM, with its unparalleled collection of major stars, demonstrates the great love the music industry has historically shared for STONEWALL JACKSON.

In recent times, DONNY RICHMOND was nominated BEST LEAD ACTOR IN A FEATURE FILM for his STARRING ROLE in the faith-based Movie, “SAVING FAITH”.  Enjoying a long list of CHART HITS internationally in COUNTRY, GOSPEL and POP, and having received a host of AWARDS, DONNY is now an inductee internationally of 5 DIFFERENT MUSIC HALLS OF FAME.

STONEWALL JACKSON was a SPIRITUAL MAN, who loved GOD, his FRIENDS and his FANS. Admirers, music lovers and fans from around the world will surely always cherish the memory, and respect the legacy of the Legendary STONEWALL JACKSON.



OFFICIAL LINKS:

https://music.apple.com/us/album/jesus-is-my-lifeline-single/854892125
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gl_3YJp3cm0&t=37s
https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004106653650
https://www.donnyrichmond.com
https://open.spotify.com/playlist/37i9dQZF1DZ06evO0pgnIY  
Doris Agency U.S.A. (865) 774 3400