70690001 I had no idea when I saw Buddy Killen back in August at the Ray Price thing, that he was sick.  It’s possible he didn’t know then, but, I was shocked to just hear that he died this morning of liver and pancreatic cancer. 

The Tennessean has a nice write up on Buddy.  Buddy also wrote an autobiography some years ago.  I doubt it’s still available, but, if you can find a copy and are interested in the early days of the Music Row, you should read this book.

One of the many, interesting things about Buddy, besides the fact he was a completely self-made man, was he was married to a cute, blonde, country singer back in the 50’s named June Webb. They had two girls and June was one of those women born without any maternal skills.  She wanted to sing, not change diapers (back in the 50’s, it was hard to do both.  Not many women did both back then).  Buddy was trying to support his family by playing bass for different artists, on the road and in the studio.  He also worked at Tree Publishing then, but, he’d have to come home during the day to make sure his little girls were being cared for since their mother was sorta uninterested in the whole thing.  They eventually divorced and he retained custody of his kids.  I just think it’s interesting that he had all those roles and responsibilities for a man of the 50’s and 60’s.  That was not the popular thing to do then.

One of my favorite Buddy Killen accomplishments is that he was the finger snapper on the original, Roger Miller recording of King of the Road.  Buddy also gave us that memorable, classic song of the 70’s, the prolific Ain’t Gonna Bump No More.  No joke..he co-wrote that with Joe Tex.  He also co-wrote the great Conway song I May Never Get To Heaven.

Buddy has not been quite as visible in recent years in the Nashville scene as he used to.  Remember when he owned the Stockyard and did all those radio commercials where he sang (not well) "I wanna be seen at the Stockyard?" 

For years, Buddy hosted the Easter Seals telethon every spring in Nashville.  I remember one telethon found me down at Channel 4 and I’ll never forget Buddy coming in the front door, pouring down rain, I mean, monsoon-like rain and there was not one "hair" on his head out of place.

It’s been a bad week for losing important fixtures in the music industry with the deaths of Marijohn Wilkin, Tillman Franks and now Buddy.  All our libraries are burning down and it’s sad.