Monday, February 07, 2005
Yesterday, Merle Kilgore died at the age of 70 from
congestive heart failure from medical complications
related to cancer.
Kilgore was one of those country music industry
individuals that you may not hear from very much as far as
in music, but certainly was a very important part of the
industry. He will be missed greatly.
Kilgore was most known for co-writing"Ring of Fire" with
June Carter Cash. He also wrote "More and More" for Webb
Pierce and "Wolverton Mountain" for Claude King. Kilgore
also performed on his own, opening for Hank Williams, Jr.
that he managed.
Kilgore is probably most known for his management of Hank
Williams, Jr. He actually began his relationship with the
Williams family when Hank Williams, Sr. was playing on the
Louisiana Hayride in Shreveport, Louisiana where Kilgore
grew up. He asked Hank Williams, Sr. if he could carry
his guitar for him up to the studio, since the elevator
was out of service. Never did Kilgore know many years
later that he would be managing Hank Williams Sr.'s son.
Kilgore also was an actor, with a a part in "Coal Miner's
Kilgore was the Country Music Association's 1st Manager of
the Year in 1980. Kilgore was also was a member of the
board of director's, elected vice-president of the CMA,
president of the Nashville Songwriter's Association
International, president of the Nashville Songwriter's
Foundation, two term president of ROPE (the Rite of
Passage Experience), Louisana Hall of Fame inductee, and
also was named Honorary State Senator of Tennessee.
Kilgore's legacy will never burn out and will always be
apart of country music. His direct influence through the
management of Williams Jr., his entertaining way of
providing information about who Hank Jr., and of course
the penmanship of "Ring of Fire" with June Carter Cash
My heart filled condolences go out to the Kilgore family.