New York-Country star Mickey Gilley died in the nationwide wave of Western-themed nightspots with the Texas Honky Tonk of the same name that inspired the 1980 movie “Urban Cowboy.” He was 86 years old.
Gilley died Saturday in Branson, Missouri, helping run the Mickey Gilley Grand Shanghai Theater. He has been performing as recently as last month, but has been hurting his health for the past week.
According to a statement by Mickey Gilley Associates, “he passed by peacefully with his family and close friends.”
Gilly, a cousin of rock and roll pioneer Jerry Lee Lewis, opened Gillies, the “world’s largest honky-tonk,” in Pasadena, Texas, in the early 1970s. By mid-Decade, he was a successful club owner and had his first commercial success in the “Room Full of Roses.” He started making country hits on a regular basis. “Window Up Above,” “She pulls me back again,” and Honky-tonk’s national anthem, “Make sure all girls don’t get clean when the store closes.”
Overall, he had 39 top 10 country hits and 17 No. 1 songs. He has won six country music awards and is an actor, with her appearances in “Murder She Wrote,” “The Fall Guy,” “Fantasy Island,” and “The Dukes of Jazzard.”
“If you have one wish in your life, you want more time,” Gilly told The Associated Press in March 2001 to celebrate her 65th birthday. The singer said he didn’t do anything different.
“I’m doing exactly what I want to do. I play golf, fly planes, and play at theaters in Branson, Missouri,” he said. “I love doing shows for people.”
Meanwhile, the charm of the giant nightspot, including the famous mechanical bull, was recognized by many as a count version of Travolta’s 1977 disco smash “Saturday Night Fever,” starring John Travolta and Debra Winger. It led to the 1980 movie “Urban Cowboy”. The film, inspired by Gilly’s club, was based on Esquire’s article by Aaron Latham on the relationship between the club’s two regulars.
“Thanks to John Travolta every night for helping me save my career,” Gilly told AP in 2002. The film had a big impact on my career, and it’s still the case. “
The soundtrack included hits such as Johnny Lee’s “Lookin’for Love,” Boz Scaggs’ “Look What You’ve Done for Me,” and Gilly’s “Stand by Me.” The film drew the Pasadena Club overnight to tourists and spread pearl snap shirts, long-necked beer, steel guitars and mechanical bulls nationwide.
However, the club was closed in 1989 after Gilley and his business partner, Sherwood Cryer, argued over how to operate the location. It was immediately destroyed by a fire.
A luxury version of the old Gilly nightclub opened in Dallas in 2003. In recent years Gilly has moved to Branson.
He married three times, most recently Cindy Loeb Gilley. He had four children, three with his first wife, Geraldine Garrett, and one with his second wife, Vivian McDonald.
Originally from Natchez, Mississippi, Gilly grew up poorly and studied boogie-woogie piano on Ferriday, Louisiana, with Lewis and his cousin Jimmy Swaggart (a future evangelist). Like Lewis, he sneaked into the window of a Louisiana club and listened to rhythm and blues. He moved to Houston for construction work, but he played the local club scene at night, recording and touring for years before catching up with the ’70s.
Gilly has had health problems in recent years. He underwent brain surgery in August 2008 after a specialist diagnosed hydrocephalus, which is characterized by increased water content in the skull. Gilly suffered from short-term memory loss and acknowledged the surgery for stopping the onset of dementia.
After taking a step forward, he underwent further surgery in 2009, forcing him to cancel his scheduled performance at Branson. In 2018, he suffered a broken ankle and a broken right shoulder in a car accident.
Country music star Mickey Gilley, who inspired the movie “Urban Cowboy,” dies at age 86 – Chicago Tribune
Source link Country music star Mickey Gilley, who inspired the movie “Urban Cowboy,” dies at age 86 – Chicago Tribune