Remembering Mel Tillis


November 20, 2017

The country music community is mourning the loss of Country Music Hall of Fame member, Mel Tillis. Tillis, died Sunday (Nov. 19) at the Munroe Regional Medical Center in Ocala, Florida at the age of 85.

A talented singer, songwriter, showman and actor, Tillis may best be known for his stutter - a lifetime speech impediment that became part of his act and endeared him to fans.

He began his career in Nashville as a songwriter. His song, “I’m Tired,” was a hit for Webb Pierce in 1957 but the following year, Tillis scored his own hit with “The Violet and a Rose.”

During the 1970s and 1980s, he hit his stride - both musically and as an actor. He scored hits like “I Ain’t Never,” “Good Woman Blues,” “Heart Healer,” “I Believe In You,” and “Coca Cola Cowboy.” Tillis also appeared in movies such as Every Which Way But Loose, Smokey and The Bandit II, Cannonball Run and more. Tillis also made frequent television appearances on episodes of the Dukes of Hazzard, The Love Boat, and Hollywood Squares.

Tillis was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 2007 (by his daughter, Pam) and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame that same year.

According to, Tillis underwent colon surgery in Nashville in January 2016 and returned to his home in Ocala, Florida, for medical care and physical therapy.

Country music stars and celebrities took to Twitter to express their condolences.