Charlie Walker 1926-2008

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Honky-tonk singer and Grand Ole Opry star Charlie Walker died Friday at age 81 from colon cancer.

Walker died Friday morning in the Nashville suburb of Hendersonville, TN. Walker became a top country music disc jockey on San Antonio's KMAC in the '50s while he recorded regional hits, including his first charting song "Only You, Only You." His biggest hit was in 1958 with the "Pick Me Up on Your Way Down."

He joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1967, and became a member of the Country Music Disc Jockey Hall of Fame in 1981.

“The Grand Ole Opry family will miss our friend and Opry member, Charlie
Walker, We are truly grateful for all of the musical moments he has shared with
us on the Opry stage and over the airwaves as a disc jockey. We will dedicate
this weekend’s Opry shows to his memory.”
--Pete Fisher, Opry vice president and general manager.

His biography from the Opry's website ends by saying "Newer country music fans that may not know his name will recognize Charlie’s Texas swing, country shuffles, and solid honky-tonk. Chances are, if (his music) sounds familiar, it’s because today’s young artists heard it first from Charlie Walker." Now, that is a such a true statement. He is a true legend of the music.

When a member of the Opry passes away, it is a truly sad day for country music. However, the show must go on and The Grand Ole Opry. It is tonight, and in the customs of the Opry, the show is dedicated to his memory. However, the Opry doesn't get sad, rather celebrates and honors the music and life of the artist.