Stonewall Jackson, country artist with the Grand Ole Opry, dead at 89

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Country artist Stonewall Jackson, known for his time on the Grand Ole Opry stage for more than five decades, died on Saturday after a lengthy battle with vascular dementia at age 89. 

The Opry, the longest-running radio show in history, announced Jackson’s death in a news release.

Jackson, a guitarist, performed on the Opry beginning on Nov. 3 1956 and was still appearing on the show in 2010. As a result, Fox17 in Nashville notes that the”Waterloo” is the longest current Opry member. Saturday night’s performance of the Opry was dedicated in his honor. His real name was Stonewall, after Confederate Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson.

“Waterloo” was a hit on the country and pop charts in 1959. His other hits, mostly in the 1960s, included “Don’t Be Angry,” “B.J. the D.J,” “Why I’m Walkin’,” “A Wound Time Can’t Erase” and “I Washed My Hands in Muddy Water.”

Country artist Stonewall Jackson died at age 89.
(GAB Archive/Redferns)

In 1971, he recorded his version of Lobo’s “Me and You and a Dog Named Boo.”

Over the course of his career, Jackson landed 44 singles on the Billboard country chart.

In 2008, at age 75, he settled a federal age discrimination lawsuit against the Opry. He claimed Opry officials had cut back his appearances starting in 1998, and sought $10 million in compensatory damages and $10 million in punitive damages. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

Stonewall Jackson, one of the longest performers with the Grand Ole Opry, died at age 89.
(David Redfern/Redferns)

Jackson was born in eastern North Carolina and was raised on a south Georgia farm.

Jackson’s mentor in his early career was country legend Ernest Tubb, who bought him his first stage clothes and hired him as his opening act. He was presented with the Ernest Tubb Memorial Award in 1997 for his contributions to country music, according to the Grand Ole Opry website.

Stonewall Jackson has died at age 89. 
(Erika Goldring/WireImage)

In 1991, he privately published his autobiography, “From the Bottom Up.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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