Don Gibson Cause of Death: How the Country Music Legend Left His Legacy

Don Gibson was one of the most influential songwriters and singers in country music history. He penned such classics as “Sweet Dreams”, “Oh Lonesome Me” and “I Can’t Stop Loving You”, which have been recorded by hundreds of artists across genres. He also had a successful career as a recording artist, scoring several hits on both the country and pop charts. He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1973 and the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001. But how did he die and what impact did his death have on the music industry?

The Life and Career of Don Gibson

Don Gibson was born on April 3, 1928 in Shelby, North Carolina. He grew up in a poor working-class family and dropped out of school in the second grade. He was influenced by the mellow country sounds of Red Foley and Tennessee Ernie Ford, and began working local clubs while still in high school. He recorded his first song, “A Rose and a Baby Ruth”, for Mercury Records in 1949.

He moved to Knoxville, Tennessee, where he performed on radio shows and met Wesley Rose, the son of legendary publisher Fred Rose. Wesley signed him to a songwriting contract with Acuff-Rose, the leading publisher in Nashville. Gibson wrote his breakthrough song, “Sweet Dreams”, in 1955, which was a hit for both Faron Young and himself. The song landed him a record deal with MGM Records.

In 1957, he switched to RCA Records, where he worked with producer Chet Atkins. He wrote and recorded two of his most famous songs in one afternoon: “Oh Lonesome Me” and “I Can’t Stop Loving You”. Both songs were huge hits on both the country and pop charts, and established Gibson as a star. He also pioneered the Nashville Sound, a smoother style of country music that used piano, drums, guitars and background singers instead of steel guitar and fiddle.

Gibson continued to write and record hit songs throughout the 1960s and 1970s, such as “Blue Blue Day”, “Sea of Heartbreak”, “Lonesome Number One” and “Woman (Sensuous Woman)”. He also recorded duets with Dottie West and Sue Thompson, which were popular on the country charts. His songs were covered by many artists, such as Ray Charles, Patsy Cline, Roy Orbison, Elvis Presley, Neil Young and more.

The Personal Struggles of Don Gibson

Despite his success, Gibson faced many personal challenges in his life. He struggled with drug and alcohol addiction, which affected his health and career. He once said that he became hooked on speed when a doctor prescribed it for his weight problem. He also suffered from depression and loneliness, which inspired many of his songs.

He married twice in his life. His first marriage to Dorothy Johnson ended in divorce in 1958. He married Bobbi Patterson in 1967, who helped him overcome his addiction and turn his life around. They moved to Nashville, where he focused on his songwriting.

The Death and Legacy of Don Gibson

Gibson died on November 17, 2003 at Baptist Hospital in Nashville from natural causes, according to CMT News. He was 75 years old. He was buried in Sunset Cemetery in his hometown of Shelby.

Gibson left behind a legacy of timeless songs that have been recorded by over 700 artists across genres. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest songwriters and singers in country music history. He influenced many generations of musicians with his simple yet profound lyrics and melodies.

He was honored with many awards and accolades during his lifetime and after his death. He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1973 and the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001. He received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004. He was also featured on a postage stamp issued by the U.S. Postal Service in 2010 as part of the Legends of American Music series.

Don Gibson cause of death may have been natural, but his music lives on forever. He will always be remembered as the Sad Poet who wrote some of the most beautiful songs ever heard.

Doms Desk

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