Memorial Set For CDB Guitarist Tommy Crain

Friends and family will gather Friday evening at Soundcheck Nashville to honor he music and the memory of longtime Charlie Daniels guitarist Tommy Crain.

Crain died last Thursday, Jan. 13. He was 59 years old.

During his 15-year tenure in the Charlie Daniels Band, the guitarist recorded more than 20 albums with the group. He co-wrote more than 60 songs, including such hits as “In America” (1980), “The Legend of Wooley Swamp” (1980), “Carolina” (1981), “Boogie Woogie Country Fiddle Blues” (1988), “Cowboy Hat in Dallas” (1989) and the Grammy and CMA Award winning “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” (1979).

He joined the Charlie Daniels Band in 1975, following the first Volunteer Jam, and remained with the group until 1989. Previously, Tommy Crain had performed in the Flat Creek Band with his brother Billy, as well as in Buckeye. Following his CDB years, he fronted The Crosstown All Stars. He was regarded as among the most influential musicians in Southern rock music.

“Tommy Crain will always be a part of the CDB family, and his music will always be a part of the CDB sound,” said Daniels in a statement. “We have lost a good friend, and the world has lost a unique, creative and precious human being. We send our deepest condolences to the family of our brother Tommy Crain. You were special, buddy. We’re gonna miss you.”

In addition to brother Billy, Tommy Crain is survived by wife Melissa, parents John and Helen Crain, daughter Ann, sister Sherry Crain Aldridge, grandson Hunter McDuffee and numerous nieces and nephews.

The memorial celebration on Friday will begin with visitation at 4 p.m. Testimonials and the musical tribute will be at 5 p.m. Soundcheck Nashville is at 750 Cowan Street.

Donations can be made to the the Nashville chapter of Musicians on Call, 1313 21st Ave., Oxford House, Suite 1002, Nashville, TN 37232.


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Robert K. Oermann is a longtime contributor to MusicRow. He is a respected music critic, author and historian.

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