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confirmed to NPR by his publicist Zach Farnum.

"Gilley was 86 and had just come off of the road, his favorite place, having played ten shows in April," according to Farnum's statement. "He passed peacefully with his family and close friends by his side."

No cause of death was given.

Across his career as a singer, Gilley garnered 17 No. 1 singles between the late 1960s and 1980s, including his 1974 cover of "Room Full of Roses." His soulful renditions of early rock and roll hits and soul songs cemented him as a country artist who was able to cross genres.

The face of a famous Texas honky-tonk

Born in Mississippi and raised in Louisiana, Gilley's family included artist Jerry Lee Lewis and televangelist Jimmy Swaggart as cousins. He learned to play piano as a child and began his professional music career in the 1950s when he recorded his first single, "Ooh Wee Baby."

In addition to his singing career, he was also famous for being the face of the country music honky-tonk Gilley's, which pushed Texas cowboy culture into a global spotlight. The nightclub opened as Gilley's in Pasadena, Texas, in the early 1970s after previously being named Shelly's by proprietor Sherwood Cryer. Cryer had hired Gilley, then a local country music singer, to be in-house talent.

"It was halfway decent," Gilley said of the club's opening in a 1999 Austin Chronicle article. "It was a little bit better than a joint, but as time moved on, after we did the film [Urban Cowboy] it turned into a joint."

YouTube

The venue featured performances from country music stars like Loretta Lynn and Johnny Lee. The club included an adjacent recording studio, a massive dancefloor and a notorious mechanical bull, attracting Hollywood's attention when it was featured in an Esquire story "The Ballad of the Urban Cowboy: America's Search for True Grit." The article was the basis for the 1980 film Urban Cowboy, starring John Travolta and Debra Winger.

The film, which featured Gilley's hit cover of "Stand By Me" on the soundtrack, helped popularize the club nationwide and the music it celebrated, as pop-leaning country music became dubbed "Urban Cowboy country."

"It was kind of a cultural phenomenon that got discovered," Gilley toldThe Las Vegas Sun in 1998 of the post-movie fame. "It was a big subculture that spread all across the nation."

Gilley's would win the Academy of Country Music's "Nightclub of the Year" award four times in the 1980s. It closed in 1989 and was destroyed in a fire in 1990.

In later years, Gilley continued to perform, most recently with dates planned with artist Johnny Lee.

Content Original Link:

https://www.npr.org/2022/05/08/1097455473/mickey-gilley-who-helped-inspire-urban-cowboy-dies-at-86

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Postcards from Sonoma County...
        ... What people are talking about, direct from the locals.
 
Each week, our correspondents from all over Sonoma County check in with a weekly "postcard" of what people are talking about in their area. Not always "news," but still worthy of a mention. It's our way to give voice to communities that may not make it into the everyday news cycle.
 
We play these in a random rotation throughout the week. Each postcard airs from Sunday morning at midnight through Saturday at 11:59:59 pm.
 
We archive all our postcards here. Have a listen!
 

Week of April 3, 2022
 
 
Greetings from Petaluma
 
 
Greetings from Rohnert Park
 
 
More greetings from Sebastopol
 
  
Greetings from the Lower Russian River
 
  
Greetings from Healdsburg
 
 
Greetings from Sebastopol
 
 
 
 

Week of Sunday, March 27, 2022
 
Greetings from the Lower Russian River
 
 
Greetings from Rohnert Park
 
 
Greetings from Sebastopol
 
 
More greetings from Sebastopol
 
 
Greetings from Healdsburg
 
 
Greetings from Petaluma
 
 
 

Week of Sunday, March 20, 2022
 
Greetings from the Lower Russian River
 
 
Greetings from Healdsburg
 
 
Greetings from Rohnert Park
 
 
Greetings from Sebastopol
 
 
Greetings from Petaluma
 
 
 

Week of Sunday, March 13, 2022:
 
Greetings from the Lower Russian River
 
 
Greetings from Healdsburg
 
 
Greetings from Rohnert Park
 
 
Greetings from Petaluma
 
 
 

Week of Sunday, March 6, 2022:
 
Greetings from the Lower Russian River
 
 
Greetings from Petaluma
 
 
Greetings from Rohnert Park
 
 
Greetings from Sebastopol
 
 
 
 
 

Week of Sunday, February 27, 2022:
 
Greetings from Healdsburg
 
 
Greetings from the Lower Russian River
 
 
Greetings from Petaluma
 
 
Greetings from Rohnert Park
 
 
More greetings from Rohnert Park
 
 
 

Week of Sunday, February 20, 2022:
 
Greetings from the Lower Russian River
 
 
Greetings from Healdsburg
 
 
Greetings from Windsor
 
 
Greetings from Rohnert Park
 
 
Greetings from Petaluma
 
 
 
 

Week of Sunday, February 6, 2022:
 
Greetings from Rohnert Park
 
 
Greetings from Sebastopol
 
 
Greetings from Healdsburg
 
 
Greetings from the Lower Russian River
 
 
Greetings from Petaluma
 
 
 

Week of Sunday, January 30, 2022:
 
Greetings from Healdsburg
 
 
Greetings from the Lower Russian River
 
 
Greetings from Rohnert Park
 
 
More greetings from Rohnert Park
 
 
Greetings from Windsor
 
 
Greetings from Petaluma
 
 
Greetings from Sebastopol
 
 

Week of Sunday, January 23rd, 2022:
 
Greetings from the Lower Russian River
 
 
Greetings from Windsor
 
 
Greetings from Petaluma
 
 
Greetings from Healdsburg
 
 
Greetings from Rohnert Park
 
 
Greetings from Sebastopol
 
 
 
 

Week of Sunday, January 16, 2022:
 
Greetings from the Lower Russian River
 
 
Greetings from Rohnert Park
 
 
Greetings from Sebastopol
 
 
Greetings from Petaluma
 
 
Greetings from Windsor
 
 
Greetings from Healdsburg
 
 
 
 

 Week of Sunday, January 9th, 2022:
 
Greetings from Healdsburg
 
 
Greetings from the Lower Russian River
 
 
Greetings from Petaluma
 
 
Greetings from Rohnert Park
 
 
Greetings from Sebastopol
 
 
Greetings from Windsor
 
 
 
 

 
Week of Sunday, January 2nd, 2022:
 
Greetings from the Lower Russian River
 
 
Greetings from Petaluma
 
 
Greetings from Rohnert Park
 
 
Greetings from Windsor
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Savoring Sonoma shorts with Clark Wolf
Clark Wolf publicityClark Wolf is a nationally recognized, James Beard Award-winning food and restaurant consultant, author, and columnist who now lives in what he calls “the Eden of All the Earth," in a 100-year-old logger’s cabin in the Redwoods of Sonoma County.
 
Savoring Sonoma is a weekly 60-second snapshot of what's importantly delicious in Sonoma County.
Each week, you'll hear two new episodes.
 
Episodes are archived here.
 
 
 
Avocados_Wk13a
 
 
Artichokes_Wk13b
 
 
Radishes_Wk12a
 
 
Snow Peas & Shoots_Wk12b
 
 
Pixie Tangerines_Wk11a
 
 
After Fat Friday_Wk11b
 
 
Asparagus_Wk10a
 
 
Morell Mushrooms_Wk10b
 
 
Root Vegetables_Wk9a
 
 
Fondue_Wk9b
 
 
  Mac & Cheese_Wk8a
 
 
  Cherries_Wk8b
 
 
Wk7b_Veggie starts
 
 
Wk7a_Honey
 
 
Wk6_Roses
 
 
Wk5a_Meyer Lemons
 
 
Wk5b_Ice Cream in Winter
 
 
  Wk4a_Arugula
 
 
Wk4b_Mustard Greens
 
 
Persimmons
 
 
Sonoma County cheeses
 
 
Joys of fermentation
 
 
Winter squash
 
 
Pomegranates
 
 
Dungeness crab 2
 
 
Olive oil
 
 
Local Sonoma County meats
 
 
Mushrooms
 
 
Bodega Red potatoes
 
 
Local eggs
 
 
Dungeness crab
 
 
Should healthy food cost more?
Read More
The Sonoma County ArtBeat
                                      With Satri Pencak
 
 
Satri picSatri Pencak is an independent art curator with an M.A. in Art History. She writes about the visual arts for her website, www.satripencak.com, her Facebook Blog, and other publications.
 
Satri loves knowing what’s going on in the art world and sharing her knowledge and enthusiasm with others.
 
All episodes are archived here:
 
 
 
Week of April 3, 2022
 
 
Week of March 27, 2022
 
 
  Week of March 20, 2022
 
 
Week of March13, 2022
 
 
 Week of March 6, 2022
 

 Week of February 27, 2022
 
 
  Week of February 20, 2022
 
 
  Week of February 13, 2022
 
 
Week of February 6, 2022
 
 
Week of January 30, 2022
 
 
Week of January 23, 2022
 
 
 
 
Week of December 19, 2021
 
 
Week or January 2, 2022
 
 
Week of January 9, 2022
 
 
Week of January 16, 2022
 
 
 
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thumbnail FirstNews logoA weekday early morning podcast that offers a first look at the top local news stories and weather forecast you need to start your day.

Sonoma County news stories featuring the latest in breaking news, county government, elections, environment, cultural happenings, and updates on your communities, from Petaluma to Cloverdale, and from Sonoma to Bodega Bay, and everyplace in between.

Subscribe to the Sonoma County First News podcast through our website, the NorCal Mobile App, NPR Podcasts, NPR One, iTunes/Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. 

 
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farm trails logoWelcome to Farm Tales.
               Stories from and about Sonoma County Farm Trails members.
 
 
Celebrating farms forever in Sonoma County.
 
For more information visit farmtrails.org.
 
 
 
 
 
Hear archived tales below!
 

 
 
 
Boring Farm - Rachel Boring
 
 
Monte-Bellaria Farm
 
 
Sun Ray Farm - Maggie La Rochelle
 
 
Freestone Ranch - Misty Gay
 

Redwood Hill Farms - Jennifer Bice
 
 
Lala's Jam Bar and Urban Farmstand - Leslie Goodrich
 
 
Cambria Gardens Sebastopol - Garth Watson
 
 
Wiseacre Farm - Farmer Tiffany 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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