OCALA, Fla. – Mel Tillis, the affable longtime country music star who wrote hits for Kenny Rogers, Ricky Skaggs and many others, and overcame a stutter to sing on dozens of his own singles, has died.
A spokesman for Tillis, Don Murry Grubbs, said Tillis died early Sunday (19 NOV. 2017) at Munroe Regional Medical Center in Ocala, Florida. He was 85.
Grubbs said Tillis battled intestinal issues since 2016 and never fully recovered. The suspected cause of death is respiratory failure.
Tillis, the father of country singer Pam Tillis, recorded more than 60 albums and had more than 30 top 10 country singles, including “Good Woman Blues,” ″Coca Cola Cowboy” and “Southern Rain.”
Among the hits he wrote for others were “Detroit City” for Bobby Bare; “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town,” by Rogers and the First Edition; and “Thoughts of a Fool” for George Strait.
Grubbs says the Tillis family will release information about funeral services in Florida and Nashville.