Tommy Overstreet Dead at 78
Tommy Overstreet has passed away. The veteran country singer died on Monday (Nov. 2) at his home in Oregon. He was 78 years old.
Born in Oklahoma City, Okla. in 1937, and raised in both Houston and Abilene, Texas, Overstreet was inspired to become a country singer by his cousin, Gene Austin, who was a country star in the 1920s and 1930s. Overstreet got his start by performing on local radio stations in Houston at the age of 17, and went on to study broadcasting at the University of Texas before cutting his first record in the late 1950s.
The singer moved to Los Angeles to become a songwriter after a stint in the Army, but ended up moving back to Abilene, where he performed with a band called the Shadows on a local television show before moving to Nashville in 1967 to become the regional manager for Dot Records. He began to record for the label as well, landing his first hit with "Gwen (Congratulations)," which reached No. 5 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart in 1971.
Overstreet posted a string of Top 10 hits throughout the rest of the 1970s, including "I Don't Know You (Anymore)," "Send Me No Roses," "I'll Never Break These Chains" and "Heaven Is My Woman's Love." He scored his final chart single in 1986 with "Next to You," and parlayed his hits into a successful run in Branson, Mo. He released his autobiography, A Road Less Traveled, in 2014.
Overstreet passed away at his home in Hillsboro, Ore., after suffering from a variety of ailments over the course of the past few years. Funeral arrangements are still pending.
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