STAPLETON, Ala. — Jody Payne, a guitarist who toured with Willie Nelson for more than three decades, has died. He was 77.

Baldwin County Coroner Stan Zinson says Payne died at 5:12 a.m. Saturday at a hospital from cardiac problems. He says Payne got up early in his house in Stapleton, Ala., feeling ill, and his wife called an ambulance.

He says Payne had a long history of cardiac problems.

According to a 2011 profile in The Mobile Press-Register, Payne toured with Nelson from 1973 to 2008. He retired to Stapleton with his wife Vicki. There he continued playing music, teaching guitar at a local music store.

A post on Willie’s Nelson’s Facebook page about Payne’s death said, “Our friend will be missed.”


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