Bluegrass Stalwart Gene Wooten Dies in Nashville

Dobro ace Gene Wooten, 49, died early Wednesday morning (Nov. 7) in Nashville, after a long bout with lung cancer. A native of Franklinton, N.C., Wooten moved to Nashville in 1977 to take a job with Grand Ole Opry star Wilma Lee Cooper. Since then, he had played the Opry almost continuously, even appearing on the radio show two weeks ago as a member of the Osborne Brothers band. Wooten also played with the Sidemen, a rotating group of musicians who perform weekly at Nashville’s famous bluegrass club, The Station Inn. Wooten appeared on Patty Loveless’ recent bluegrass album, Mountain Soul. In 1994, he teamed up with fellow Dobro masters Jerry Douglas, Josh Graves, Rob Ickes and others on the Grammy-winning The Great Dobro Sessions. In benefit concerts Wednesday (Nov. 7) and Thursday (Nov. 8) — planned weeks ago — local bluegrass talent will raise funds to offset Wooten’s medical bills. Roland White, Eddie Adcock, Tut Taylor, Dave Peterson and 1946, Chris Jones and others will appear at The Old Time Pickin’ Parlor on Nashville’s Second Avenue. Funeral arrangements are pending. 11/07/01