Jerry Wayne Flowers, who spent 30 years as a Music Row executive, has died at age 68.
Flowers is best known for his stints at RCA Records and the Opryland Music Group. In later years, he became known as a local, right-wing political gadfly.
He majored in journalism at Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas. In the late 1970s, he became one of the pioneering Nashville record-label publicists when he was hired by Jerry Bradley at RCA Records. As the company’s publicity director, he facilitated Dolly Parton’s landmark cover story in Playboy magazine.
By 1981, he was RCA’s manager of country artist development. At the time, Flowers urged the company to sign The Judds.
Joe Galante took over the label in 1982. Flowers and the rest of Bradley’s team soon departed the label to be replaced by a Galante-chosen staff.
Next, Flowers was put in charge of the new Nashville office of the Oklahoma-based booking agency The Halsey Company. He was a Halsey vice president in 1984-85.
After Gaylord bought Acuff-Rose Publishing in 1985, Jerry Bradley was put in charge of the newly formed Opryland Music Group. He again hired Flowers, who joined OMG as a vice president in 1987.
While at the publishing company, Jerry Flowers successfully pitched its songwriter, Aaron Tippin, to RCA as a recording artist. He left OMG suddenly in 1997 with neither side commenting on his exodus. Sony-ATV bought the OMG/Acuff-Rose catalog in 2002.
Flowers became a self-employed consultant in intellectual property and marketing by forming The Flowers Group. Around 2002-2003, he became a conservative activist. He founded a Christian group called Nashvillians for a Brighter Future. Flowers particularly focused on being an anti-homosexual rights campaigner.
Despite being a longtime resident of Williamson County, he regularly chastised Nashville’s Metro Human Relations Commission. Flowers was also a frequent opinion-letter contributor to The Tennessean. His most recent targets have included Hillary Clinton’s emails and the Affordable Care Act.
Jerry Wayne Flowers passed away on Nov. 7. He is survived by his wife, Sharon Huff Flowers, son Tyler, daughter Megan Tull, father Pernell Flowers and sisters Donna Barnett and Teresa Burnette.
A celebration of life is scheduled for 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 12, at Williamson Memorial Funeral Home. Visitation will take place two hours prior to the service.
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