Member Since 1967
At the close of the 1960s, Jack Greene was as luminous a country star as any in the world. In just three years, he scored nine Top 5 country hits, including five No. 1s. The first of these, “There Goes My Everything,” topped the country charts for nearly two months in 1967, prompting Jack to give up his job as Ernest Tubb’s drummer in favor of a solo career.
“Ernest told me ‘Son, I believe it’s time to go,’” Jack remembers today. “But he also said, ‘If you can’t make it, you can always come back and be a Troubadour.’”
He never had to come back. In the fall of 1967, Jack and “There Goes My Everything” took the Country Music Association Awards for Single of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, and Male Vocalist of the Year.
Born and raised in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, Jack learned to play guitar when he was barely 10 years old, and he got his first radio job as a teenager. At 18, he was appearing on the Tennessee Barn Dance on WNOX in Knoxville, Tennessee. From there, he moved to Atlanta, where eventually he would spend a decade keeping time and touring the South with the Peach Street Cowboys.
In 1962, Jack joined Tubb’s Texas Troubadours and began performing regularly on the Opry. But it wasn’t until his version of “The Last Letter” on a Troubadours album led Decca chief Owen Bradley to record Jack singing “There Goes My Everything.”
Over the next few years, the “Jolly Green Giant,” as he became known, released a series of instantly indelible countrypolitan hits, including “All the Time,” “What Locks the Door,” “You Are My Treasure,” “Lord, Is That Me?” (“My favorite song I ever recorded,” he says), “Back in the Arms of Love,” and “Statue of a Fool.” He also had two No. 1 albums and hit singles with Jeannie Seely, who joined his road show and recorded with him for several years.
The highlight of Jack’s show remains Jack’s singular voice, an aching, operatic cry that even Marty Robbins or Roy Orbison might have envied. And when Jack’s rich, quivering tenor rises to the dramatic final note of “Statue of a Fool,” the Opry audience still responds with a staggering blast of ovation.
Precious Memories, Treasured Friends
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Birthplace: Maryville, TN
Birth Date: January 07
Opry Induction: December 23, 1967