|Birth name||Jack Henry Greene|
|Also known as||"The Gentle Giant"|
"The Jolly Greene Giant"
|Born||January 7, 1930|
Maryville, Tennessee, U.S.
|Died||March 14, 2013 (aged 83)|
Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
Jack Henry Greene (January 7, 1930 – March 14, 2013) was an American country musician. Nicknamed the "Jolly Greene Giant" due to his height and deep voice, Greene was a long time member of the Grand Ole Opry. A three-time Grammy Award nominee, Greene is best known for his 1966 hit, "There Goes My Everything". The song dominated the country music charts for nearly two months in 1967 and earned Greene "Male Vocalist of the Year", "Single of the Year", "Album of the Year" and "Song of the Year" honors from the Country Music Association. Greene had a total of five No. 1 country hits and three others that reached the top ten. Billboard magazine named Greene one of the Top 100 "Most Played Artists".
Greene was born in Maryville, Tennessee, and learned to play guitar when he was ten years old. His first involvement with the music industry came when he was still a teenager, working as a disc jockey at radio station WGAP in Maryville.
By the age of 18, Greene was a regular on the Tennessee Barn Dance show on WNOX (Knoxville, Tennessee). In the early 1950s he moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where he formed his own band, The Peach Tree Boys. Greene was lead vocalist, drummer, and guitarist for the group for eight years. In 1959, he moved back to Tennessee and settled in Nashville and formed another band, The Tennessee Mountain Boys. A major career break came Greene's way in 1961 when his band served as the opening act for Ernest Tubb. Impressed, Tubb asked Greene to become a part of his backing band, the Texas Troubadors in 1962.
Success and "There Goes My Everything"
For the next few years, Jack Greene was a drummer, guitarist, vocalist, and master of ceremonies for the Troubadors' performances. He soon began serving as opening act on a regular basis for Tubb, as well as playing in the band. In 1964, Jack released his first solo record with The Last Letter. The song originally appeared on one of Ernest Tubb's live albums but drew enough attention that Tubb's record label, Decca Records, released it as a single. Another single, "Don't You Ever Get Tired (Of Hurting Me)", followed in 1965 but failed to make the country music charts, having the bad luck to come out at the same time as Ray Price's version. Tubb encouraged Jack Greene to leave the Texas Troubadors and pursue a solo career. Said Greene in an interview, "Ernest told me 'Son I believe it's time to go.' But also said 'If you can't make it you can always come back and be a Troubador'."
Greene's first Top 40 hit came in early 1966 with "Ever Since My Baby Went Away", peaking at No. 37. Later that year, Decca released what would become his signature song, "There Goes My Everything". The song reached No. 1 and stayed on top of the country charts for 7 weeks while becoming a crossover hit. His success continued into 1967 with another No. 1 in "All The Time" (on top for 5 weeks) and a number 2 hit with "What Locks The Door". In 1967, he received the prestigious awards for Male Vocalist of the Year, Single of the Year, and Album of the Year from the Country Music Association. In all, he recorded nine No. 1 country hits on various charts including five No. 1 Billboard hits. His success continued into 1968 with another No. 1 with "You Are My Treasure" and the top 5 hit "Love Takes Care Of Me".
In 1969, he had two No. 1 hits with "Until My Dreams Come True" and "Statue of a Fool". He completed the year out with the Top 5 "Back In The Arms Of Love". It was also in 1967 that Jack Greene became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. He became an Opry mainstay, performing there frequently each year until his health failed.
In 1970, Greene gained a duet and a touring partner in Jeannie Seely. Together they had three Country hits including "Wish I Didn't Have To Miss You", which reached No. 2 on the charts and became Greene's last top-ten hit. Jack and Jeannie's stage show became one of the biggest touring acts during the 1970s. Jack continued to have both solo hits and duets with Seely. Among the biggest of these hits during the 1970s included "Lord, Is That Me" (1970), "There's A Lot About A Woman A Man Don't Know" (1971), and two more duets with Jeannie with "Much Obliged" (1972) and "What In The World Has Gone Wrong With Our Love" (1972).
Decca became MCA Records in the early 1970s but Greene kept on having chart success with "Satisfaction" (1973), "I Need Somebody Bad" (1973), and "It's Time To Cross That Bridge" (1974). Afterwards, his chart success declined rapidly as another song in 1974 and one song in 1975 were minor hits, and he was dropped by MCA Records in 1976.
Jack Greene enjoyed a brief comeback with the Frontline Records label in 1980 as the song "Yours For The Taking" peaked at No. 28 on the Country charts. The song would be Greene's last in the Country Top Forty. He achieved several more minor hits however on Frontline and then on EMH and Step One Records. He continued to tour regularly and appear on the Grand Ole Opry; 2007 marked his 40th anniversary with the Opry.
Final years and death
Greene continued to record sporadically in the 2000s including the duet "You Have Won My Heart" and "Stetson Cowboy" with Santana Maria. However, it failed to chart. Greene recorded his final studio album Precious Memories, Treasured Friends in 2010. An album of duets, it featured fellow Country stars like Lorrie Morgan and George Jones. In failing health, Greene retired from performing in 2011. He died on March 14, 2013, from complications of Alzheimer's disease at the age of 83 in Nashville, Tennessee.
- 1967 – Became a member of the Grand Ole Opry
- 1967 — Country Music Association – Male Vocalist of the Year
- 1967 – Country Music Association – Single of the Year
- 1967 – Country Music Association – Album of the Year
Selected studio albums
- There Goes My Everything (1966)
- "Jack Greene Amazon.com Bio". Amazon.com website. 2013. Retrieved March 16, 2013.
- "Country music's Jack Greene dies in Nashville". Associated Press via Yahoo News website. Retrieved March 31, 2015.
- "Jack Green biodata". Grand Ole Opry official website. 2013. Archived from the original on April 13, 2019. Retrieved March 31, 2015.
- "Jack Greene's official website biography". 2013. Archived from the original on December 3, 2013. Retrieved March 16, 2013.
- Roland, Tom (2003). All Music Guide to CountryCountry, 2nd ed. San Francisco: Backbeat Books. ISBN 0-87930-760-9.
- Dauphin, Chuck. "Country Star Jack Greene Dead At 83". Billboard Magazine via official website. Retrieved March 31, 2015.
- "Jack Green profile". Grand Ole Opry. Archived from the original on April 13, 2019. Retrieved June 29, 2012.
- "Opry Member List PDF" (PDF). April 23, 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 7, 2012. Retrieved June 29, 2012.