Country music star Jack Greene passes away at 83
Singer was the CMA’s first ever male vocalist of the year winner
Grand Ole Opry star Jack Greene passed away in his sleep last night at his Nashville home after a five-decade career in country music. His death at age 83 was attributed to complications from Alzheimer’s disease.
The Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter/guitarist, nicknamed the Jolly Green Giant, charted 36 singles on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart between 1965 and 1972, nine of which went top 10. Of those, five were No. 1 hits: “There Goes My Everything” (which spent seven weeks atop the chart), “All The Time” (a five week No. 1), “You Are My Treasure,” “Until My Dreams Come True,” and “Statue Of A Fool.” He has been a member of the Opry cast since 1967.
Greene was born and raised in Maryville, Tenn., and began his career at age 17 working in radio in Maryville and nearby Knoxville. In the 1950s he moved to Atlanta and formed his first band, The Peach Tree Cowboys. After returning to Tennessee in 1962, he was recruited by country star Ernest Tubb to join his band, The Texas Troubadours, as the drummer. Before long, he was opening Tubb’s shows and was encouraged by Tubb to pursue a solo career, leading to Greene signing his is first recording contract with Decca Records.
His first album, “There Goes My Everything,” held the No. 1 chart position on the Billboard country albums chart for a full year, and the enduringly popular title song has been recorded 111 times, in 14 languages, according to Greene’s official bio.
In 1967, Greene swept the very first Country Music Association Awards by winning male vocalist of the year as well as album, song, and single of the year for “There Goes My Everything.” He was the first country star to participate in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1967.
In 1970, he partnered with his fellow Opry member Jeannie Seely to form duo, while he also continued his solo career.
He released his last album, a duets project called “Precious Memories, Treasured Friends,” in 2010.
Funeral arrangements are incomplete at this time.
Update, March 18: A memorial service will be held for Greene on March 27 at 11 a.m. (CT) at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium. The Ryman’s balcony will be open to the general public on an availability basis. No personal cameras will be allowed.
about the blogger
Veteran entertainment journalist Phyllis Stark has been reporting extensively on the music industry for two decades. As a freelance writer, her work appears regularly in numerous publications and sites. She previously was Nashville Bureau Chief at Billboard magazine.