(CelebrityAccess) – Stonewall Jackson, a country singer and guitarist who scored numerous hits with honky tonk classics such as “Life to Go” and “Waterloo” died Saturday. He was 89 years old.
The Nashville WSMV reported that his family attributed his death to complications from vascular dementia.
Notably, Jackson’s name was not the one he assumed for the stage but his first name, named for Civil War-era Confederate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson.
Born in North Carolina, Jackson moved to Georgia, where he was raised by his family, after his father died.
After a stint in the US Navy, Jackson moved to Nashville, where he became the first country music artist to appear on the Grand Ole Opry before landing a recording contract.
He joined the Grand Ole Opry as a member in 1956 and became one of the longest serving members of the country music organization.
In 1958, he had his first major chart breakthrough with “Life to Go”, a song written by George Jones that peaked at number two on the US country chart.
Jackson followed his initial success with a string of hits that included “Waterloo”, “Mary Don’t You Weep”, “A Wound Time Can’t Erase”, “BJ the DJ”, and “Don’t Be Angry”. among others.
In total, between 1958 and 1971, Jackson amassed an impressive collection of 35 Top 40 country hits, with 1971’s “Me and You and a Dog Named Boo” being his last record to crack the top 10.
Despite his longtime membership in the Grand Ole Opry, Jackson sued the organization in 2006, alleging age discrimination and claiming management snubbed him from younger performers because of his age.
The suit was settled two years later for an undisclosed amount, and Jackson returned to the Grand Ole Opry House stage and remained a member for the rest of his life.
His wife, Juanita, who served as Jackson’s personal manager and oversaw his song publishing company, Turp Tunes, predeceased him in 2019.
Jackson is survived by his son, Stonewall Jackson Jr.