Stonewall Jackson, Grand Ole Opry Star for Over 60 Years, Dies at 89

Nashville – Stonewall Jackson, a honky-tonk singer who overcame an abusive and difficult childhood and went on to enjoy a long and successful career in country music, including over 60 years as a member of the cast of the Grand Ole Opry. Saturday. He was 89 years old.

Aubrey’s family announced his death, after suffering from vascular dementia. She did not say where he died.

In “From the Bottom Up: The Stonewall Jackson Story as Told in His Own Words” (1991), Mr. Jackson said that his stepfather, a short-tempered farmer named James Leviner, often abused him, simply by raising him high and hitting him. Headed into a rock.

On another occasion, Mr. Jackson wrote, his stepfather beat him and left him lying meaningless in a field after the boy accidentally poured a bucket of water he was carrying.

“The physical scars and pain of being abused don’t last long, but the mental part of it does and does,” Mr. Jackson said.

Mr. Jackson’s 1962 recording of “A Wound Time Can’t Erase”, Top 10 by Bill D. Johnson, called to mind this early trauma.

“Is it the power I’ve won for the things I’ve done? What I’ve gained I think I’ll never see,” wonders Mr. Jackson aloud, grieving over the loud rhythms of the recordings and the tidy production.

“A Wound Time Can’t Erase” was the eleventh in a series of 23 consecutive singles that reached the top 40 for Mr. Jackson from 1958 to 1965. It later won eight consecutive Top 40 hits from 1966 to 1968, and eventually put 44 singles on the state charts before the hit singles came to a halt in 1973.

Waterloo, a compelling book by John D. Loudermilk and Marijohn Wilkin, was his biggest hit, as it ranked first on the state chart for five weeks in 1959 and crossed into the pop top 10, “BJ the DJ,” began His other #1 single to soar up the charts at the end of 1963.

Most of Mr. Jackson’s recordings were recorded in the traditional method known as the solid state: a soft, mixing sound accentuated by the heavy violin and steel guitar. Eleven of his singles, including “Life to Go,” a prisoner’s lament written by George Jones, and “I Washed My Hands in Muddy Water,” Johnny Rivers’ top 20 pop hit in 1966, reached the top ten in the country.

Stonewall Jackson was born on November 6, 1932, in Tabor, North Carolina, his biological father, a railroad engineer named Waymond David Jackson, wanted to be named after Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson, a Confederate general who claimed to have an inn, but he died A complication of a hernia before Stonewall, the third of his three children, was born.

Mr. Jackson’s mother, born Lolo Lauren Turner, remarried after his father’s death.

Fearing for their safety, Mr. Jackson’s mother left the children’s abusive stepfather and moved the family to Georgia, where they lived in a cottage on the boys’ paternal grandmother’s farm and her stepfather. Stonewall had been working in the fields and cutting timber there before he was ten.

Hoping to escape the rigors of a farmer, Mr. Jackson, who had only limited education, lied about his age and joined the army when he was sixteen. He was fired as soon as the deception was discovered.

The following year, he joined the Navy, serving on the submarine rescue ship Kittiwake and began honing his skills as a guitarist and songwriter. Four years later, he returns to Georgia to farm a small plot of land before moving to Nashville to try his luck as a songwriter.

Despite his many records of success, Mr. Jackson’s biggest claim to fame was his six-decade run on the Grand Ole Opry. He is still the only singer who was invited to join the Opry before releasing a record, let alone a hit.

Mr. Jackson, who lived in Brentwood, Tennessee, reported that in 1956, during his first visit to Nashville, he introduced himself without warning at the Acuff-Rose Music offices in the hope of securing a songwriting deal. Wesley Rose, son of Fred Rose, the Acuff-Rose CEO who gave Hank Williams his start, invited Mr. Jackson to do a demo recording and was impressed with the results.

Mr. Jackson was quoted as saying in notes on the set of 1972 called “The World of Stonewall Jackson”: “Call WSM, the radio station that owns and operates the Grand Ole Opry, and tell them about me.” “He asked if they would give me a test the next day and asked if I wanted to try Aubrey.”

In 2007, Mr. Jackson’s relationship with the show soured when he sued Gaylord Entertainment, Aubrey’s parent company, for age discrimination after his appearance on the show was scaled back to make room for younger artists. The lawsuit was settled, for an undisclosed amount, in October 2008, and Mr. Jackson resumed performing on the show.

No information was immediately available on survivors. His wife Juanita Ware-Jackson passed away in 2019.

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