Folks I was doing some yard work today and a dear friend from the Virginia area posted
on my wall that Country Legend Marlow Tackett had passed away.
I called some Pike County friends to confirm this and he has indeed been called home
I want to tell you about how this man blessed the world with music and goodwill
to others and what I know of his life.
I know he was a devout Christian man and I spoke with him on the phone once
and he was kind and loving to me and his heart beat country music.
Marlow was the 12th of 16 children born in 1945 and also had two adopted
siblings. And was raised in Pike County Kentucky his father was a coal miner
who worked two jobs. Marlow recalled his father coming home from the mine
to have supper and lie on the front porch until it was served.
He would then ride to another mine to work the night shift.
As a boy he idolized Elvis Presley and he played a broom like a guitar
and sang songs constantly.
When he was nine he won a talent show at school dressing up like Elvis
and sang “Blue Suede Shoes”. He won 2.50 and a whole box of Milky Way bars.
His father bought him his first acoustic guitar at the age of ten.
And soon they became inseparable. His father encouraged his playing
and when company came over would put him on a small stage he built in the
house for him.
His playing was so intense he was banned from riding the school bus
because of he would not stop playing on the bus.
He was often caught with songbook tucked into his schoolbooks.
He stayed in school and sang for anyone who asked at any time.
Often just out of the blue.
When he was sixteen he went to Fort Wayne Indiana to work when
his father was too worn to continue working both jobs.
He got gigs at various places performing and singing.
He was approached by a musician who payed him double to
come with him to Nashville and he began living his dream.
In 1975 he opened Marlow’s Country Palace and thrived there for
thirty years. Many people came to play the theater and he
recalled fitting 1200 fans inside for George Jones.
In 1977 Ralph Emery broadcast Marlow live and the bottom fell out
for him from then on. Ralph featured him on many shows
including “Pop Goes The Country” and “The Porter Wagoner Show”.
He signed with RCA and also appeared on the Opry stage.
After three years with RCA Marlow decided not to renew his
contract and just play in his own club.
Marlow Tackett was one of the highest respected and well known
humanitarians in Country Music.
He played any school or church or organization that ever called upon him.
One time he was approached by a little girl who asked for help to
obtain Christmas gifts. This began his well famous Christmas program for
needy children in Pike county.
He was nicknamed “The Mountain Santa” by Country Legend Ernest Tubb.
He played more benefit shows than any other Country Legend in history
and raised more funds for storm victims than anyone.
He was once presented with a plaque naming him an honorary superintendent.
Part of U.S. Route 23 is named in his honor.
He had been recently doing country and gospel shows about 100 a year.
And was doing a lot of publishing and songwriting.
His last release was “A New Set Of Wings”.
It was produced by Dan Huff of Big Appal Studios.
He died in his home in Elizabethtown Tennessee and will be buried
in Pike County Kentucky.
No arrangements have been announced nor has his cause of death.
He was 69 years old.