Jack Henry Greene was born on January 7, 1930, in Maryville, Tennessee. He learned to play guitar at age ten, and Greene’s first involvement with the music industry came when he was still a teenager, working as a disc jockey at radio station WGAP in Maryville. By the age of 18, Jack Greene was a regular on the Tennessee Barn Dance show on WNOX,Knoxville, Tennessee. In the early 1950s he moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where he formed his own band, The Peach Tree Boys. Greene was lead vocalist, drummer, and guitarist for the group for eight years. In 1959, he moved back to Tennessee and settled in Nashville and formed another band, The Tennessee Mountain Boys. A major career break came Greene’s way in 1961 when his band served as the opening act for Ernest Tubb. Impressed by the talented Tennessean, Tubb asked Greene to become a part of his backing band, the Texas Troubadors in 1962.
For the next few years, Jack Greene was a drummer, guitarist, vocalist, and master of ceremonies for the Troubadors’ performances. He soon began serving as opening act on a regular basis for Tubb, as well as playing in the band. In 1964, Jack released his first solo record with The Last Letter. The song originally appeared on one of Ernest Tubb’s live albums but drew enough attention that Tubb’s record label, Decca Records, released it as a single. Another single, Don’t You Ever Get Tired (Of Hurting Me), followed in 1965 but failed to make the Country music charts, having the bad luck to come out at the same time as Ray Price’s version. Tubb encouraged Jack Greene to leave the Texas Troubadors and pursue a solo career. Said Greene in an interview, “Ernest told me ‘Son I believe it’s time to go.’ But also said ‘If you can’t make it you can always come back and be a Troubador.”
Jack Greene’s first Top 40 hit came in early 1966 with Ever Since My Baby Went Away, peaking at #37. Later that year, Decca released what would become his signature song, There Goes My Everything. The song reached #1 and stayed on top of the Country charts for 7 weeks while also becoming a crossover hit; the album stayed No. 1 for an entire year. His success continued into 1967 with another number 1 in All The Time (on top for 5 weeks) and a number 2 hit with What Locks The Door. In 1967, he received the prestigious awards for Male Vocalist of the Year, Single of the Year, and Album of the Year from the Country Music Association. In all, he recorded nine number one country hits on various charts including 5 number one Billboard hits. His success continued into 1968 with another number 1 withYou Are My Treasure and the top 5 hit Love Takes Care Of Me. In 1969, he had 2 number 1 hits with Until My Dreams Come True and Statue of a Fool. He completed the year out with the Top 5 Back In The Arms Of Love. It was also in 1967 that Jack Greene became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. He became an Opry mainstay, performing there frequently each year until his health failed.
In 1970, Jack gained a duet and a touring partner in Jeannie Seely. Together they had three Country hits including Wish I Didn’t Have To Miss You, which reached #2 on the charts and became Greene’s last top ten hit. Jack and Jeannie’s stage show became one of the biggest touring acts during the 1970s. Jack continued to have both solo hits and duets with Seely. Among the biggest of these hits during the 70’s included Lord, Is That Me (1970),There’s A Lot About A Woman A Man Don’t Know (1971), and two more duets with Jeannie with Much Obliged (1972) and What In The World Has Gone Wrong With Our Love (1972). Decca became MCA Records in the early 1970s but Greene kept on having chart success with Satisfaction (1973), I Need Somebody Bad (1973), and It’s Time To Cross That Bridge (1974). Afterwards, his chart success declined rapidly as another song in 1974 and one song in 1975 were minor hits, and he was dropped by MCA Records in 1976.
Jack Greene enjoyed a brief comeback with the Frontline Records label in 1980 as the song Yours For The Taking peaked at #28 on the Country charts. The song would be Greene’s last in the Country Top Forty. He achieved several more minor hits however on Frontline and then on EMH and Step One Records. He continued to tour regularly and appear on the Grand Ole Opry; 2007 marked his 40th anniversary with the Opry. Many members of his band the “Jolly Green Giants” such as, Ric Boyer, Penn Pennington, Mitch Walker, Ray Von Rotz, Rick Vanaugh, Dan Schafer, Russell Terrell, Bob Fortner & Stan Lassiter enjoyed success in Nashville, as recording session singers, musicians & arrangers.
Jack Greene continued to record sporadically in the 2000s including the duet You Have Won My Heart with Santana Maria. However, it failed to chart. Greene recorded his final studio album Precious Memories, Treasured Friends in 2010. An album of duets, it featured fellow Country stars like Lorrie Morgan and George Jones. In failing health, Jack Greene retired from performing 2011, livng his final days with his manager serving as his caretaker. He died at home on March 14, 2013, from complications of Alzheimer’s disease two months after his 83rd birthday.
- January, 07, 1930
- Maryville, Tennessee.
- March, 14, 2013
- Nashville, Tennessee
Cause of Death
- complications of Alzheimer's disease
- Sherwood Memorial Gardens
- Alcoa, Tennessee