LifeNotes: Veteran Country Artist Bob Stegall, Father of Keith

Bob Stegall

Bob Stegall

Former Abbott Records artist and Louisiana Hayride performer Bob Stegall passed away on Wednesday, May 27 at age 85.

He was a steel guitarist and pianist who was in Johnny Horton’s band and performed in such groups as The Hackberry Ramblers and The Road Runners. Stegall also owned a Louisiana recording studio and several Nashville song publishing companies. He is the father of noted producer, songwriter and performer Keith Stegall.

Born Robert O. Stegall in Cortez, CO, he performed in Texas and California before settling in Shreveport, LA, the home of The Louisiana Hayride on KWKH radio. While on the Hayride, he performed alongside Jim Reeves and Hank Williams, as well as Horton. He joined the roster of Abbott Records in the early 1950s.

He taught son Keith to play guitar, which led to the boy performing on stage and having his first recording session at age eight. Keith Stegall went on to produce million-selling records for artists such as Alan Jackson and Tracy Byrd and co-write hits for Jackson, Ronnie Milsap, Mickey Gilley, Glen Campbell, Travis Tritt, Clay Walker and more. Like his father, he also became a recording artist.

While Keith was growing up, Bob Stegall’s business interests included owning a Gulf Oil service station in Bossier City, LA, as well as a child-care center and the Beech Springs Recording Studio in Haughton, LA.

For the past 25 years, Bob Stegall has been a music publisher in Nashville. Working from an office in Berry Hill, he established Jenerilin Publishing, Bob Stegall Music and Courtyard 108.

He was diagnosed with Lewy Body Disease last summer, which led to his retirement. He resided in Santa Fe, TN.

In addition to son Robert Keith Stegall, Bob Stegall is survived by his wife of 62 years, Jean Kirkland Stegall. Other survivors include daughter-in-law Janet Stegall, granddaughters Jen Ketner, Erin Stegall and Lindsay Nixon; great-granddaughter Eden June Nixon; brothers Bill, Larry and Stan Stegall; sister Mary Nell Kirk; many nieces, nephews and cousins; and close friends Susan and Richard Parker.

Visitation will be 5-8 p.m. today, May 29, at Williamson Memorial Funeral Home. Funeral services will be conducted at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 30. Dr. Joe Bowers will officiate, assisted by Rev. Larry Stegall and Stan Stegall. Interment will take place in Williamson Memorial Gardens.

Memorials may be made to the Lewy Body Dementia Association. The online guest book is here.

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Category: Artist, Featured, Obituary

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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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