Jody Payne honored


Longtime Willie Nelson guitarist Jody Payne told the Press-Register in 2011 that he didn’t miss life on the road. â??I miss the guys and I miss the sound, but I don’??t miss the bus,” ? he said. â??It got to where you knew what city you were in because of what the auditorium looked like, not what the city looked like.? (Press-Register file photo
by:  Lawrence Specker

When Baldwin County guitarist Jody Payne died in August, his passing drew a response from music fans nationwide thanks in large part to Payne’s long association with Willie Nelson. Now plans are in place for at least two tribute events at which area musicians will pay their respects.

The first takes place Sunday, Oct. 20, at American Legion Post 199, 700 S. Mobile St. in Fairhope. Plans call for the event to take place at the post’s beach stage, though it will be moved indoors in case of inclement weather.   Music starts at 3 p.m.

There is no admission charge. Listeners are encouraged to bring chairs and blankets, but coolers and glass containers will not be allowed on the beach. The venue’s tiki bar will be open and food will be available.

Musicians interested in participating should contact host Alan Hartzell via e-mail at alanhartzellmusic@gmail.

Another tribute to Payne is planned for Saturday, Oct. 26 at Blue Moon Farm, a private concert venue near Silverhill. According to the venue’s website, “Family, friends and fans are all welcome … Bring a dish, a cooler, guitars, memories and smiles as we remember this wonderful, talented and giving man.”

The event takes place from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., and there is no admission charge. For more information, visit

Payne toured with Nelson from 1973 through 2008, when he retired from touring. A 2011 Press-Register profile by Jim Hannaford described him as playing occasional gigs, teaching lessons at Picker’s Paradise in Stapleton and generally taking advantage of time to relax and enjoy life with his wife, Vicki.

His death at age 77 was attributed to cardiac problems. His passing was noted in industry media outlets such as Rolling Stone and Billboard.

One Response to “Jody Payne honored”

  1. Rick Webb says:

    HI, I am a country music musician and Willie has been my Hero for ever. I seen him for the first time at Hughes Stadium in Sacramento CA in 1977..
    I do some of tunes in the band I am in now…I have a song that I wrote about Marty Robbins after he passed away and I believe that Willie would be perfect for it in his GREAT style…I would be glad to send an MP3 copy of it if you think he might take a listen to it….The title is “Legend of the Lovesick Cowboy”.. thank you, Rick

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