It’s been a bad day for Country music, losing both a latter-day star and one of the old timers from the 70s. While the death of Troy Gentry is more tragic, my own heart is a little heavier over the passing of Don Williams. My mother wore out the grooves on her copy of his Greatest Hits. So needless to say, Williams’ beautiful baritone is a fond and familiar one from my childhood.
At least Williams got the chance to live a long-ish and full life. Gentry’s death at 50 in a helicopter crash seems so much more unfair. As I get older myself, other people all seem to get younger, and 50 is too damn young. Traveling is as much of a hazard to musicians as too much drugs and alcohol; they spend so much of their lives on the road it makes a sad sense that that same road claims so many of them. My brain tells me this is just how it is, but my heart protests. At least their music will survive for all who loved them.