Country “Sidekick” Frank Oakley Passes

Frank Oakley, a well-liked music executive who worked with country artists including Marty Robbins, Jim Reeves, Faron Young and Willie Nelson, died on April 2. He was 83. A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Oakley was a veteran of WWII and a former police officer. His country music career began in 1961, when he was hired by  the Mary Carter Paint Company, charged with attracting country stars for the company’s advertising. In 1979, Oakley and his wife Jeanie went to work for Nelson, opening the Willie Nelson and Family General Store, which they ran for the next 30 years. He chronicled his life in country music in a recent book, The Nashville Sidekick. Oakley was was a member of AFTRA and R.O.P.E.


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