Jack Greene (1930-2013)

Jack Greene (1930-2013)

The “Jolly Green Giant” was a much-loved member of the Grand Ole Opry, a multiple Grammy Awards nominee and winner of Male Vocalist of the Year, Single of the Year, Album of the Year and Song of the Year honors at the first CMA Awards in 1967. Born and raised in Maryville, Tenn., he began performing on WGAP/Maryville at age 17. After working extensively as a guitarist, bassist and drummer in his hometown and Knoxville, Greene moved to Atlanta, where he joined Lem Bryant and Speedy Price to form the Cherokee Trio and subsequently joined the Rhythm Ranch Boys. He was also a regular on WTJH’s “Georgia Jubilee.” After leaving to serve with the United States military in Korea, Greene returned to join the Peachtree Cowboys. Moving to Nashville in 1962, he was recruited to play drums and sing with Ernest Tubb’s Texas Troubadours. Greene’s solo career took off with “The Last Letter,” released in 1965. He followed with the Top 40 hit “Ever Since My Baby Went Away” in 1966. “There Goes My Everything” hit No. 1 in 1967; his album of the same name lodged at the top of the Country charts for a full year. That same year, he joined the Grand Ole Opry and became the first Country artist to ride in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. “All the Time,” “Statue of a Fool,” “What Locks the Door” and “You Are My Treasure” all peaked within the Top 5 from then to 1969. A number of duets with Jeannie Seely won acclaim in the 1970s. Greene released his last album, Precious Memories, Treasured Friends, in 2010. Greene died peacefully at home in Nashville on March 15, 2013, of complications from Alzheimer’s disease.

Jack Greene donates his three CMA Awards back to CMA in 2011.

Jack Greene donates his three CMA Awards back to CMA in 2011.

Here’s a video of Jack and Jeannie Seely performing the Dallas Frazier song “If It Ain’t Love (Let’s Leave It Alone)” from their 1973 “Two For the Show” album.