Hillous Butrum, 74, a bass player and an original member of Hank Williams' backing band, the Drifting Cowboys, died Saturday in Nashville. No cause of death was reported.
Born in Lafayette, Tenn., Butrum started as a staff musician in the Grand Ole Opry at age 16. He played in Williams' band in 1949 and 1950, but left to join Hank Snow's band, the Rainbow Ranch Boys, where he stayed for four years.
Over the years, he started a music publishing company with country star Marty Robbins, and ran a small record label in the 1960s, Look Records.
From 1977 to 1984, Butrum toured with a reformed Drifting Cowboys.
In recent years, he was active in the Reunion of Professional Entertainers, an organization for veteran artists, and distributed vintage country music videos through his Web site and Nashville retail stores.