Lilly, the son of
Everett Lilly, was a bass guitar player with the
Grand Ole Opry legend
Walker, who was also killed in the accident.
"Charles Lilly was a great bass player and singer,” said
Dick McVey, a fellow musician from Nashville. “He was a good
guy and an outstanding friend.”
In addition to Lilly and Walker, the accident claimed the
life of Walker’s wife, Bettie Walker, 61, and band member
Daniel Patton Sr., 40, of Hermitage, Tenn.
Walker’s grandson, Joshua Brooks, 21, also of
Hendersonville, was injured in the accident. He remains in
critical condition at Vanderbilt hospital, officials said.
Billy Walker, whose hits included “Charlie’s Shoes” and
“Cross the Brazos at Waco,” was 77.
The group was on its way back to the Nashville area after
performing at a show near Gulf Shores, according to McVey.
They were regulars at the Grand Ole Opry, but during the
summer they would perform at various fairs, festivals, and
other road shows,” McVey said. “This accident is a tragedy
and my sympathies go out to all their families.”
Walker’s road shows usually involved Lilly on bass and
Patton on lead guitar. The two band members also sang
harmony with Walker.
McVey said Charles Lilly often attended the annual
reunion at Flat Top in West Virginia. “He used
to play and bring Nashville musicians with him,” he said.
“His musical talents and abilities, along with his
connections to the Lilly Brothers, gave him an outstanding
recognition and respect in Nashville. He will be truly
(The Associated Press contributed to this story.)
According obituary information on the
funeral home’s Web site, Lilly started his music career
Everett Lilly and "Clear Creek Crossin'". He played
for Joe Diffie and on the Grand Ole Opry for 11 years and
played for numerous other Opry stars, including the
legendary Johnny Russell.
He was a current member of the Billy Walker band named "The
Tennessee Walkers". Most recently he was also a member
of a trio named "Lee, Weller and the Other Guy", with Dickey
Lee and Freddie Weller. Charles also had his own band
that played locally called "Formally With".
Charles owned his own construction company, SLI, Inc., and
was an accomplished craftsman. Charles left his
handiwork in the homes and hearts of so many. Not a
day went by that Charles didn't perform a good deed for
Charles was preceded in death by his brothers Jiles Lilly
and Tennis Lilly. He is survived by his wife Karen
Lilly, sons Charles A. Lilly, Aaron Lilly and Richard Bailey
(who was like a son); parents Everett and Jo Ann Lilly,
brothers Everett Alan Lilly (Karen), Daniel Lilly (Sylvia)
and Mark Lilly (Donna); sisters Diana Tomah (Dennis),
Laverne O’Loughlin and Karen Pierangenlo.
He is also survived by Father-in-law Glen A. Stover and
wife, Lana; Brothers-in-law Chris Stover (Tara), Mark Stover
(Kelly), and many nieces and nephews that he loved so