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Clyde Moody, Former Grand Ole Opry Star, Dies in Nashville at 74

April 12, 1989|From Times Wire Services

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Performer Clyde Moody, a former Grand Ole Opry regular whose country music career spanned five decades and was capped by his best-selling "Shenandoah Waltz," has died in a Nashville hospital.

He was 74 and had been in and out of Nashville Memorial Hospital for treatment of an aortic aneurysm, but never fully recovered from surgery several weeks ago to correct the problem, said hospital spokeswoman Missy Hubner. He died Friday.

Worked Up to the End

"He performed the night he went to the hospital. He never stopped performing and writing," said Aubrey Mayhew, who published all of Moody's more than 120 compositions and produced his records for 20 years.

Moody, who left his North Carolina mountain home at 14 to play guitar, performed for President Harry S. Truman after his "Shenandoah Waltz" became a million-seller in 1948. He claimed to have worn out 21 Cadillacs traveling and performing throughout the South.

"I've never gone any place where I couldn't go back," Moody told the Associated Press in a 1984 interview. "I never mistreated anybody."

Specialized in Waltzes

Moody, whose specialty was waltz music, got his start in 1934 singing on a Spartanburg, S.C., radio show. He had many hits in the 1940s and '50s, playing with country music legends Roy Acuff, Ernest Tubb and Bill Monroe.

Eventually he went by the title of "the country and Western waltz king" and became a regular at the Grand Ole Opry.

Moody also sang with Elvis Presley in 1955 when Presley manager Tom Parker paired them in a six-week tour.

"He (Parker) wanted him to get some exposure and to meet everybody," Moody recalled in 1984. "He was a nice kid."

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