In 1991, the world mourned for the loss of one of the greatest stars during the country music’s honky-tonk heyday – and that’s no other than the flamboyant singer, Webb Pierce.
Pierce died on February 24, 1991, at his home in Nashville at the age of 65. The music legend had a long battle with pancreatic cancer and had been going back and forth from the hospital for nearly a year before his death. A part of his colon was removed in 1984, and he went through open-heart surgery three years later.
Webb Pierce and His Flourishing Career
Webb Pierce‘s loud, nasal, high-pitched, tenor voice dominated country music in the 1950s. In fact, he racked up more No. 1 hits comparable to country icons like Hank Williams and Ernest Tubb. Fifty of Webb Pierce songs even made it to country music charts’ Top 10. Among his hits are “In the Jailhouse Now,” “Tupelo County Jail,” “Honky Tonk Song,” and so much more.
Remarkably, Cash Box magazine hailed Pierce as the top male vocalist eight times from 1952 to 1963.
But it was really his lavish lifestyle – with flamboyant Nudie suits and twin silver dollar-lined convertibles – that made him one of the most recognizable faces of the genre. In the early 1970s, he built a luxurious guitar-shaped swimming pool at his Nashville home that attracted nearly 3,000 tourists each week. This caused his neighbors to file a lawsuit which Pierce eventually lost.
Nevertheless, he continues to be one of the keystone figures of honky tonk, both for his success and his artistic accomplishments. He stands out as one of the country artists with the most flourishing careers in the genre’s history.