Celebrate the Heart of Country, Americana, and Roots Music!

Drop Us A Line, Y'all

Y'all interested in advertising, partnering up, contributing stories, joining our team, or just got a question? Well, don't be shy, drop us a line!

Follow Us

Here Are Some Facts About Gary Stewart, The King of Honky Tonk

Gary Stewart Facts
by

Perhaps the world’s greatest honky-tonk singer, Gary Stewart left an indelible mark in country music with his high-pitched tenor and unique vocal quaver blended with an intense emotionalism. People would flock to his shows just to enjoy Gary Stewart songs about drinking, cheating, and the usual honky-tonk fare – that was even made more intense with his trembling, airborne vocals, and slide-guitar prowess.

But ever wonder what happened to Gary Stewart? Well, let’s take a deeper look at his interesting life with these facts below.

1. He’s a native of Jenkins, Kentucky. 

Born on May 28, 1944, Gary Ronnie Stewart was the son of a coal miner. Sadly, his father was injured during a cave-in while working in a coal mine. The family then moved to Fort Pierce, Florida – where Stewart started his musical career.

2. He was named after an American actor. 

Stewart’s mother named him after her favorite two-time Oscar winner, Gary Cooper. Stewart has eight more siblings with names that start with the letter “G.”

3. He taught himself how to play instruments. 

When he was in tenth grade, Stewart taught himself to play the guitar and piano and started his first band, the Tomcats. Soon after, Stewart dropped out of school to play in a local honky-tonk.

4. He was encouraged by country star Mel Tillis to write songs. 

It was Mel Tillis who told Stewart that if he wants to make it in the music business, he must write songs and pitch them to Nashville – some advice he took seriously. He met Tillis while playing in an Okeechobee, Florida, honky-tonk known as the Wagon Wheel.

5. His one leg is a half-inch shorter than the other. 

In 1980, Stewart had a car accident that resulted in a broken leg – making it a little shorter than the other, “and it always hurts like hell,” said Stewart.

6. His alcohol and drug addiction caused a toll on his career. 

Stewart’s addiction pretty much canceled out a large part of the ’80s. He came back to Florida and stopped recording for some time. 

7. He married young. 

Stewart fell in love fast and hard with Mary Lou Taylor, who was more than three years his senior. The two married when Stewart was only 17 and Lou was 20. They raised two children, Shannon and Joey, who committed suicide in 1988 at age 25.

Sadly, Stewart’s wife died after 43 years of marriage following a battle with pneumonia. He was so heartbroken and devastated that he canceled his scheduled concerts for the rest of the year. A month after Lou’s death, Stewart was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was 59.

Indeed, the music industry tragically lost Stewart – but he will be remembered forever.

Latest Stories

Cavendish Beach Musical Festival 2024

Cavendish Beach Music Festival 2024: What You Need To Know

Festival Title:Cavendish Beach Music Festival 2024Festival Duration:July 5-7, 2024Venue:Route 6 Ranch in Cavendish, Prince Edward Island, CanadaPerformers Include:Brothers Osborne, Tyler Childers, Zac Brown Band, and moreTicket Information:Get Your Tickets Here ...

Willie Nelson's 4th of July Picnic 2024

Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic 2024: What You Need To Know

Festival Title:Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic 2024Festival Duration:July 4, 2024Venue:Freedom Mortgage Pavilion in Camden, New JerseyPerformers Include:Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, and moreTicket Information:Get Your ...

Travis Tritt + Help Me Hold On

Travis Tritt Begs His Lover For One More Chance In “Help Me Hold On”

Country singer Travis Tritt scored his first number-one hit with his second release from his 1990 debut album Country Club titled “Help Me Hold On.” He co-wrote it with accomplished ...

Carrie Underwood Falls Off Stage on Tail End of South Carolina Concert

Carrie Underwood Rocks Carolina Country Music Fest Despite Rain

Country singer Carrie Underwood graced the last day stage of the Carolina Country Music Fest 2024 in Myrtle Beach and delivered one hell of a performance despite the massive downpour. ...

Billy Ray Cyrus Files for Divorce from Firerose, Seeks Annulment on Grounds of Fraud

Billy Ray Cyrus Files for Divorce from Firerose, Cites Fraud

American country singer Billy Ray Cyrus reached a breaking point with Australian singer Firerose just after seven months of marriage. According to court documents obtained by the Associated Press, Billy ...

Travis Tritt + Best of Intentions

Travis Tritt Made A Career Comeback With “Best of Intentions”

It was 2000, and it had been six years since Travis Tritt hit the top of the charts and three since his last appearance in the Top 10. The first ...

Sonny James Death

A Moment To Remember: Country Singer Sonny James’ Death At 87

Country singer Sonny James, known for his 1957 track “Young Love,” which topped both country and pop charts, passed away on February 22, 2016, at Nashville’s Alive Hospice. According to ...

Wynonna Sings Coal Miner's Daughter with Loretta Lynn's Granddaughter Emmy Russell - Idol

Wynonna Judd Joins Emmy Russell On Idol To Sing “Coal Miner’s Daughter”

Emmy Russell started her American Idol journey with an original song. She fittingly ended it with a tribute cover of “Coal Miner’s Daughter” for her late grandmother and country legend ...

Johnny Cash + Forty Shades of Green

“Forty Shades of Green”: Johnny Cash’s Ode to Ireland

Country legend Johnny Cash released an ode to Ireland appreciating its beauty with “Forty Shades of Green” as part of his album Ring of Fire: The Best of Johnny Cash ...

Randy Travis A Country Legend's Fight for His Voice and His Legacy

What Happened to Randy Travis After Massive Stroke and Dire Financial Situation?

What happened to Randy Travis? That has been the question of many of his fans after his massive stroke in 2013.  Randy Travis is a legend and an icon in ...