December 15, 2012

Grand Ole Opry drummer dies

The Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Nashville drummer Willie Ackerman, who played with artists such as Loretta Lynn, Willie Nelson and Louis Armstrong, has died. He was 73.

According to an obituary from the Marshall-Donnelly-Combs Funeral Home, Ackerman passed away peacefully on Thursday.

The obituary says Ackerman was a professional musician from the age of 17. He was a staff drummer for such country music institutions as the Grand Ole Opry, RCA Studios and "Hee Haw."

He played with numerous country stars, including Patsy Cline, George Jones, Waylon Jennings and Chet Atkins. He recorded classic hits such as "El Paso" and "Wings of a Dove."

Ackerman also served as a reserve deputy with the Davidson County Sheriff's Office.

Funeral services Monday will be followed by burial at Springhill Cemetery. Memorials may be made in Ackerman's honor to the Opry Trust Fund.

 

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