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Who Charlie Walker
When September 12, 2008
Where Hendersonville, TN
What 'Grand Ole Opry' member Charlie Walker dies at age 81
 

Charlie Walker, one of country music’s best-loved disc jockeys, a respected purveyor of shuffle-beat honky tonk and 40-year member of the Grand Ole Opry, died this morning in Hendersonville, Tenn. Mr. Walker was 81, and had been diagnosed recently with colon cancer.

Mr. Walker, born in Copeville, Texas, joined the Opry’s ranks in 1967, after establishing himself as a vastly respected country DJ with KMAC in San Antonio, starting in 1951. Walker recorded for Decca Records in the mid-’50s, and later earned his first big hit while part of the Columbia Records roster: 1958’s “Pick Me Up On Your Way Down,” one of the first songs written by Harlan Howard to become a country standard.

Mr. Walker maintained his performing career alongside his radio career, earning several other honky-tonk hits (“Who Will Buy the Wine” and “Wild as a Wildcat” among them) along the way. He similarly maintained his commitment to the Opry, performing there consistently up through this year.

“The Grand Ole Opry family will miss our friend and Opry member, Charlie Walker,” Opry vice president and general manager Pete Fisher said in a statement. “We are truly grateful for all of the musical moments he has shared with us on the Opry stage and over the airwaves as a disc jockey. We will dedicate this weekend’s Opry shows to his memory.”

Mr. Walker is survived by his wife Connie and 10 children: Ronnie, Cindy, Arthur, Charlie III, Elissa, Charlene, Catherine, Christina, Caroline and Charlton; along with 15 grandchildren; three step-grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

Visitation and funeral arrangements have yet to be announced.

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Contact Nicole Keiper
The Tennessean


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