Drummer Willie Ackerman Dead at 73

Famed drummer William Paul “Willie” Ackerman died Thursday (Dec. 13) in Nashville. He was 73. Both a studio and a touring musician, the Nashville-born Ackerman also spent time as staff member of the Grand Ole Opry and Hee Haw staff bands. Perhaps his oddest credit came when he was picked to play on what would prove to be jazz great Louis Armstrong’s last album, a collection of country standards. He can be heard on such classic recordings as Marty Robbins’ “El Paso,” Jerry Reed’s “Amos Moses” and throughout Tom T. Hall’s 1976 tribute to bluegrass music, The Magnificent Music Machine. Among the other artists he performed and/or recorded with are Flatt & Scruggs, Willie Nelson, Ray Price, Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Roger Miller, Jim Reeves, Hank Snow, Jimmy Martin, Steve Young and Don Gibson.