Musician Billy Grammer dies

August 11th, 2011 - 10:59 pm ICT by Aishwarya Bhatt  

Benton, Ill., Aug 11 (THAINDIAN NEWS) Musician Billy Grammer has died at the age of 85. Grammer was a member of Grand Ole Opry. Relatives say the “Gotta Travel On” singer died at a hospital in Benton, Ill. on Wednesday. The singer has been battling with ill-health for more than two decades now. He retired from singing to concentrate on his health.

Grammer is widely known for the 1959 hit song “Gotta Travel On.” He started out in the US army before moving on to Hawkshaw Hawkins and Grandpa Jones. Grammer later joined Jimmy Dean’s local television show as a band member. He moved on later to release several singles. His albums included Country Guitar and Gospel Guitar.

Grammer was actually considered one of the most underrated musicians of his generation. He was a guitarist and played on stage with the likes of Louis Armstrong, Charley Pride and others.

He came up with the Grammer Guitar in 1964. The business was a collaboration between himself and investor Clyde Reid. On the personal level, Grammer was married to his wife for 64 years.

In February of 2009, Grammer and wife, Ruth, celebrated the 50th anniversary of joining the Grand Ole Opry.

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