Country music star Mickey Gilley, who helped inspire "Urban Cowboy," dead at 86

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Country euphony prima Mickey Gilley dormant astatine 86

Country euphony prima Mickey Gilley dormant astatine 86 00:20

Country prima Mickey Gilley, whose namesake Texas honky-tonk inspired the 1980 movie "Urban Cowboy" and a nationwide question of Western-themed nightspots, has died. He was 86.

Gilley died Saturday successful Branson, Missouri, wherever helium helped tally the Mickey Gilley Grand Shanghai Theatre. He had performed arsenic precocious arsenic past month, but was successful failing wellness implicit the past week.

Mickey Gilley In this April 19, 2015, record photo, Mickey Gilley poses with the triple crown grant connected the reddish carpet astatine the 50th yearly Academy of Country Music Awards astatine AT&T Stadium successful Arlington, Texas. Jack Plunkett/Invision/AP, File

"He passed peacefully with his household and adjacent friends by his side," according a connection from Mickey Gilley Associates.

Gilley — relative of stone 'n' rotation pioneer Jerry Lee Lewis — opened Gilley's, "the world's largest honky tonk," successful Pasadena, Texas, successful the aboriginal 1970s. By mid-decade, helium was a palmy nine proprietor and had enjoyed his archetypal commercialized occurrence with "Room Full of Roses." He began turning retired state hits regularly, including "Window Up Above," "She's Pulling Me Back Again" and the honky-tonk anthem "Don't the Girls All Get Prettier astatine Closing Time."

Overall, helium had 39 Top 10 state hits and 17 No. 1 songs. He received six Academy of Country Music Awards, and besides worked connected juncture arsenic an actor, with appearances connected "Murder She Wrote," "The Fall Guy," "Fantasy Island" and "The Dukes of Hazzard."

"If I had 1 privation successful life, I would privation for much time," Gilley told The Associated Press successful March 2001 arsenic helium celebrated his 65th birthday. Not that he'd bash thing differently, the vocalist said.

"I americium doing precisely what I privation to do. I play golf, alert my airplane and execute astatine my theatre successful Branson, Missouri," helium said. "I emotion doing my amusement for the people."

Meanwhile, the elephantine nightspot's attractions, including its famed mechanical bull, led to the 1980 movie "Urban Cowboy," starring John Travolta and Debra Winger and regarded by galore arsenic a countrified mentation of Travolta's 1977 disco smash, "Saturday Night Fever." The movie inspired by Gilley's nine was based connected an Esquire nonfiction by Aaron Latham astir the narration betwixt 2 regulars astatine the club.

"I convey John Travolta each nighttime earlier furniture for keeping my vocation alive," Gilley told the AP successful 2002. "It's intolerable to archer you however grateful I americium for my engagement with 'Urban Cowboy.' That movie had a immense interaction connected my career, and inactive does."

The soundtrack included specified hits arsenic Johnny Lee's "Lookin' for Love," Boz Scaggs' "Look What You've Done for Me" and Gilley's "Stand by Me." The movie turned the Pasadena nine into an overnight tourer gully and popularized pearl drawback shirts, longneck beers, the alloy guitar and mechanical bulls crossed the country.

But the nine unopen down successful 1989 aft Gilley and his concern spouse Sherwood Cryer feuded implicit however to tally the place. A occurrence destroyed it soon after.

An upscale mentation of the aged Gilley's nightclub opened successful Dallas successful 2003. In caller years, Gilley moved to Branson.

He was joined 3 times, astir precocious to Cindy Loeb Gilley. He had 4 children, 3 with his archetypal wife, Geraldine Garrett, and 1 with his second, Vivian McDonald.

A Natchez, Mississippi, native, Gilley grew up poor, learning boogie-woogie soft successful Ferriday, Louisiana, alongside Lewis and chap relative Jimmy Swaggart, the aboriginal evangelist. Like Lewis, helium would sneak into the windows of Louisiana clubs to perceive to bushed and blues. He moved to Houston to enactment operation but played the section nine country astatine nighttime and recorded and toured for years earlier catching connected successful the '70s.

Gilley had suffered wellness problems successful caller years. He underwent encephalon country successful August 2008 aft specialists diagnosed hydrocephalus, a information characterized by an summation successful fluid successful the cranium. Gilley had been suffering from short-term representation loss, and credited the country with halting the onset of dementia.

He underwent much country successful 2009 aft helium fell disconnected a step, forcing him to cancel scheduled performances successful Branson. In 2018, helium sustained a fractured ankle and fractured close enarthrosis successful an automobile accident.

In: obituary

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