The famous country singer and guitarist Stonewall Jackson passed away on Saturday, December 4th, 2021, after a battle with vascular dementia.
Jackson was born in Tabor City, North Carolina, on November 6th, 1932, and raised on a farm in southern Georgia. His real given name was indeed “Stonewall” after the legendary Civil War general Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson.
Country singer Ernest Tubb acted as Jackson’s mentor when he was young, purchasing his first stage clothes for him and hiring him as an opening act. But his break came when the president of Acuff-Rose Music, Wesley Rose, heard his demo tape. He then got a chance to audition for Grand Ole Opry and was taken onto the show. In 1958, he was signed by Columbia Records.
Jackson sang with the Grand Ole Opry for more than 50 years and had several chart-topping hits, such as “Life to Go,” “Waterloo,” “Don’t Be Angry,” “B.J. the D.J,” “Why I’m Walkin’,” “A Wound Time Can’t Erase,” and “I Washed My Hands in Muddy Water.” He began singing for the Opry in 1956 and was still performing in 2010. Over that time, he got 44 singles onto the Billboard country chart.
Despite their long history, Jackson and the Opry were not always on the best of terms. In 2008, at the age of 75, Jackson filed an age-discrimination lawsuit against the Opry, which he claimed had begun cutting back his appearances in 1998. He was asking for $10 million in compensatory damages and $10 million in punitive damages, but the terms of the eventual settlement were never publicly disclosed.
In 1991, Jackson privately published his autobiography,”From the Bottom Up.” In 1997, he was presented with the Ernest Tubb Memorial Award for his contributions to country music.
In his final years, Jackson developed vascular dementia, a memory-loss condition that is generally caused by decreased blood flow to areas of the brain due to damage in the blood vessels. The disease can result in confusion, slowed thinking, memory problems, unsteady gait, confusion, trouble paying attention and concentrating, difficulty with organization, restlessness and agitation, depression, or apathy.
Opry, the longest-running radio show in history, announced Jackson’s death in a news release. Jackson is preceded in death by his wife, Juanita, but survived by his son, Stonewall Jr.
Rest in peace, Stonewall Jackson. Your music has inspired countless fans and will continue to live in our hearts. We’ll always remember how you came to the Opry “with a heart full of love and a sack full of songs.”Whizzco