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Passings: Jack Greene (1930 - 2013)

Country music's Jack Greene, aka the Jolly Green Giant, died on Thursday at the age of 83. He had been suffering from Alzheimer's Disease.

Greene was born in Maryville, TN and moved to Atlanta, GA in the early 50's where he started the band the Peach Tree Boys. In 1959, he moved to Nashville and formed The Tennessee Mountain Boys but his big professional break came in 1961 when the band opened for Ernest Tubb. Tubb invited Greene to join his band as the drummer and Jack accepted, eventually moving up to guitarist, vocalist, M.C. and an opening slot at the legend's live shows.

Greene's first single, The Last Letter, was released in 1964 by Decca Records and he hit the country charts two years later with Ever Since My Baby Went Away (#37). It was his next release, though, that put him at the top of the charts. There Goes My Everything, written by Dallas Taylor, stayed at number 1 for seven weeks and made it to 65 on the pop charts, establishing Greene as a major star. The album of the same name was number 1 on the Country Albums chart for a full year.

At the very first CMA awards in 1967, Greene was the big winner taking Single, Album and Song of the Year along with the Male Vocalist award.

Greene would hit the top of the country singles chart four more times before the end of the 60's with All the Time, You Are My Treasure, Until My Dreams Come True and Statue of a Fool, give him five number ones out of his nine top ten hits.

In 1970, Greene partnered with Jeannie Seely for the number 2 hit Wish I Didn't Have to Miss You, kicking off a partnership that would see the duo becoming one of country's biggest tour draws for much of the decade.

While his string of hits faded in the mid-70's, Greene continued to tour and play at the Grand Old Opry, where he first became a member in 1967, until his progressing condition forced him to retire in 2011.