This is really weird. At the Lenny & the Piss Poor Boys rehearsal Thursday night we were watching this old movie called "Forty Acre Feud" that he was in. I mentioned to openbar that he was in really shitty health. And apparently he was.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Del Reeves, a Grand Ole Opry star who
sprinkled his performances with humour and hit No. 1 on the country
charts in 1965 with the song "Girl on the Billboard," has died. He
Reeves died Monday, New Year's Day, after an extended illness, Grand
Ole Opry spokeswoman Jessie Schmidt said Tuesday.
During his 40 years at the Opry, he was hailed as one of its best
entertainers because of his comic timing. In addition to his music,
he did impressions of stars such as Jimmy Stewart, Johnny Cash and
His "Girl on the Billboard" sold a million copies and earned him the
nickname of the Doodle-Oo-Doo-Doo Kid for the nonsense syllables that
he sang with the song's guitar intro.
His other hits included "The Belles of Southern Bell," "Women Do
Funny Things to Me," "Looking at the World Through a
Windshield," "Good Time Charlie's," "Be Glad" and "The Philadelphia
"I want to be remembered as a great showman and a nice guy," he told
The Associated Press in 1988. "That's all I could hope for."
Reeves became a regular performer on the Opry in 1966, and performed
for up to one million people a year on the long-running country show.
"I listened on the radio on Saturday nights and it was the ultimate,"
he said in 1988. "As a child, I told my daddy I was going to sing on
the Opry one day. He said, 'Yeah, sure you are.' I kept my goal in
mind and in '66 we achieved it."
"He was one of the best entertainers that ever came through the Opry,
I think," said Kelso Herston, who signed Reeves to the United Artists
label in the '60s and produced some of his early records,
including "Girl on the Billboard." "He was happy-go-lucky. He had a
positive attitude and was a great person. A great friend."
Reeves said he turned to impressions and light material early in his
"I couldn't really sell a ballad," he said. "It had to be material on
the lighter side. Under this clown's face, there's a serious guy. But
I never got to show it because I got tagged as that clown. I've been
clowning as long as I can remember."
In the late 1960s, Reeves had his own syndicated TV show, "The Del
Reeves Country Carnival." He also appeared in several movies,
including "Sam Whiskey," starring Burt Reynolds and Clint Walker.
He said he was born July 14, 1932, in Sparta, N.C., the youngest of
11 children, and was named Franklin Delano Reeves for then-
presidential candidate Franklin Roosevelt. He learned to play guitar
with his mother's help and was playing a regular gig on a local radio
show by age 12.
He attended Appalachian State College in Boone, N.C., and served in
the air force, performing and writing songs while stationed at Travis
Air Force Base in California. He was regarded as a rising singer-
songwriter by the time he moved from California to Nashville in 1962.
In the early 1990s, he promoted the emerging career of singer Billy
Ray Cyrus. The arrangement ended up in court with Reeves suing for
damages. The matter was settled out of court for an undisclosed sum.