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Whatever Happened To Mickey Gilley?

Country Music history has had some world class piano players (yes, I said piano players not ‘pianists’, somehow it just seems more comfortable).  One of the legends, Floyd Cramer, has a deserving spot in the Country Music Hall of Fame.

When I got started in radio at the tender age of 18 back in the early 1970′s, there were some beautiful piano pieces sprinkled through the country charts.  One of my favorites was Ronnie Milsap.  And there was another new guy, at least new to me.

In 1974 Mickey Gilley topped the Country singles chart 3 times with ‘Room Full Of Roses’, ‘I Overlooked An Orchid’ and ‘City Lights’.

Whoever this guy was, he was here to stay!

More #1 hits and Top Ten smashes followed, including one that i consider one of the best country ‘piano pounders’ of all time, ‘Don’t The Girls All Get Prettier At Closing Time’.

Coming out of Ferriday, Louisiana, to say Mickey came from a musical family would be an understatement.  Mickey grew up in something of a shadow of his famous cousin Jerry Lee Lewis  Did ‘The Killer’ influence Mickey?  I’m not sure, but it was fun when these two phenomenal entertainers got on stage together!

In 1980 the movie ‘Urban Cowboy’ gave an incredible boost to Country Music.  Filmed largely at Gilley’s in Texas, it propelled Mickey (and many others) onto yet another level of success.

Mickey’s last #1 hit came in the 1980′s.  And when you look at this man’s career, don’t you think he may well be deserving of induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame?

So whatever happened to Mickey Gilley?

Well you may have seen Mickey a few years ago on the hit TV series ‘American Pickers’ as Mike and Frank made a trip down to Texas!  It was in 2009, while helping move furniture, that Mickey fell and damaged several vertebrae..At 77 years old, Mickey is still recovering, still owns his own theater in Branson and hopefully still occasionally is able to tickle those keys!

Oh, and if you want to hear all those great Mickey Gillet Classics, just tune in to AM 1000 KXRB and KXRB.com.  We love Mickey Gilley!

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