obituary | Nashville Public Radio


courtesy Country Music Hall of Fame

One of Nashville's most prolific hit-makers died Sunday. Mel Tillis spent the last year dealing with intestinal issues, according to his publicist. He died at a hospital in Ocala, Florida, at age 85.

courtesy Country Music Hall of Fame

Smooth-singing Don Williams has died after a short illness. The Country Music Hall of Famer was known for being soft-spoken. Even many of his hits, like "It Must Be Love" were low-key.

Erika Goldring / courtesy CMA

The Nashville business legend known as country music’s matriarch has died at the age of 93.

As the director of the Country Music Association for nearly three decades, Jo Walker-Meador was critical in the founding of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, the creation of the CMA Music Festival and the CMA awards show, and an overall broadening in the genre’s fan base.

courtesy Tennessee Department of Veterans

A former Murfreesboro soldier is coming home. Technical Sergeant William O’Kieff died in a plane crash during the Vietnam War. It would take nearly 50 years for his remains to be identified.

TN Photo Services (file)

No one in the history of Tennessee served in its state legislature longer than Douglas Henry. The Democratic lawmaker represented West Nashville for nearly half a century. But that was just one of the ways Henry, who died Sunday night at age 90, showed his love for his native state.

courtesy Leon Russell Records

Leon Russell never was exactly a household name. But Elton John called the piano player and songwriter his idol. "He's the master, I'm the pupil," he said.

Leon Russell was a musician who worked his way to stardom and then nearly faded into obscurity. He died in his sleep over the weekend in Nashville.

courtesy NPT

The man behind "Tennessee Crossroads" has died.

Executive producer Ken Simington started working on the travel show when it launched back in 1987. It's now the highest-rated locally-produced show across the public TV system, according to Nielsen ratings.

Metro Photo Services

Nashville political figure Betty Nixon died Monday morning at age 80. She was a three-term Metro Council member and one of the *few women to run for mayor.

Tennessee Women's Hall of Fame / Tennessee Women's Hall of Fame

Jane Eskind is being remembered as a "political legend" after a career that began in Nashville more than 50 years ago. She died Thursday at age 83.