Session Legend Floyd “Lightnin'” Chance Dies at Age 79

Bassist Floyd “Lightnin'” Chance, who played on several of the greatest country records in history, died Monday (April 11) in Nashville at age 79 following a battle with cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Born in Como, Miss., Chance performed in the U.S. Navy’s Fourth Fleet Band during World War II before working as a musician in Memphis and Nashville. In 1952, he played stand-up acoustic bass on Hank Williams’ last recording session, a day-long event that resulted in three No. 1 singles — “Your Cheatin’ Heart,” “Kaw-Liga” and “Take These Chains From My Heart.” Chance also played on Conway Twitty’s “It’s Only Make Believe,” Faron Young’s “Hello Walls” and the Everly Brothers’ “Bird Dog” and “Bye Bye Love.” His credits also include sessions with the Louvin Brothers, the Osborne Brothers and Jimmy Martin. In addition to his session work, Chance performed extensively on the Grand Ole Opry during the ’50s and ’60s. Chance will be buried in Hernando, Miss., but a memorial service will take place in Nashville in the coming weeks.