Marty Stuart and his Fans

Marty Stuart, Nashville, TN
I loved Gary Hogue. I feel like I've lost a brother. There's a sadness inside me right now that words can't describe. I ask you to keep Nikki, Elliott and the rest of Gary's family in your prayers, especially Gary's Mom. Gary will be taken to Texas and buried alongside his Dad, who died at almost the same minute that Gary did. There, they will have a double service.

Photo by Mitzi Grantham

Marty talks about Gary Click Here to Listen

Jodee Stocki, Hermitage, TN - President of the Marty Stuart Fan Club and wife of Marty's drummer, Gregg

On Sunday, May 14th, our friend and fellow musician, Gary Hogue passed away at his home in Hendersonville, Tennessee at the age of 46 from a massive heart attack. Gary leaves behind his wife, Nikki, and Elliott, his 9 year old son. Gary also has two grown sons in Dallas, Texas. Gary has played the steel guitar in Marty Stuart's band for the last six years. Ironically, Gary's father passed away at exactly the same moment as Gary. He had been ill for quite some time and was in a hospital in Dallas.

Gary, Marty, Brad, Gregg, Steve, Pancho, Les, Mike, Matt and Randy were all very close to each other. You really don't realize that when you work with, live with, eat with, sleep with, do everything with a person, even though he isn't a part of your immediate family, that he is an extention of you. These guys feel that they have lost something as important as one of their own limbs. They are all very numb right now, as we all are, but more so. Keep them in your thoughts as well as Nikki and Elliott and Gary's mother.

Sally Rayborn, Plant City, Florida
I just want to say "thanks" for your tribute to Gary Hogue. For some reason this morning, Sunday, April 1, 2007, I was thinking of Gary and wondered what had become of him. I had noticed he wasn't with Marty's band any more, but since I don't follow much of the country music news, I really didn't know, which is a shame since Pam Tillis is my cousin.

Anyway, I had met Gary on several occasions and even have a couple of wonderful pictures of me taken with him back in the early 90's. He was a sweet and gentle spirit.

I am thankful that you have this memorial or else I wouldn't have known. God Bless!

Jeni Chesko (Webb), Michigan City, IN
Dear Gary, it's me, Jeni. I just learned today that you've gone away and I won't see you for a long time. I just wanted you to know that I will miss you very much and I will think of you when I feel "The Summer Wind." I want to thank you for the sweet and kind heart that you were, and so easy to talk to. Thank you for keeping me in mind when you were close and for the smile I will look for when I see you again. Until then, tell Frank I said "hi" and keep playing that sweet music you play so well for the angels to hear. Goodbye.

Robyn Galloway, St. Albert, Alberta, Canada
I just want to offer my sympathies to Gary's family and keep the faith! He will always be remembered as the greatest player on slide. And he was a generous man to share his life so many times away from his family. God Bless.

Jill Jaacks, Sioux Falls, SD
I was shocked when I received an email from a friend informing me about Gary. My heart breaks for his family. Gary was such a kind and caring person, always taking the time to visit with fans, never giving you the feeling that he had somewhere else that he would rather be. He talked a lot about his kids and I hope that they know how very proud he was of all of them. I can't imagine the sadness that Marty and the Rock and Roll Cowboys must be feeling at this time. There will forever be a void when Marty hits the stage and turns to his right and his friend Gary Hogue is not there. I believe, however, that Gary will be looking down on all of them and will be cheering them on when they return to the stage. I will forever cherish the memories that I have of Gary. May God bless the entire Hogue family.

Christine Johnson
I was so shocked when I read about Gary and his father's death I just had to respond. I feel so awful about it. Especially finding out so late. Gary was always friendly to me and friends and I had some pictures taken with him and meeting him was a memorable experience. I hope for the best for his family and his family with Marty.

Amanda Morris
Gary Hogue -- far away are you now, the realization that you are never coming back strikes harshly...only knowing you for a short time yet feeling like an old friend, your openess allowing me to feel welcome. your kindness making me feel loved.. They say we never have another chance to make a first impression, for this I'm glad because now this is what I remember. We should never have regrets and there is nothing I regret about meeting you... Thank you for making such a rememorable impression for me to hold on to......

Sherry Mattioli, Nashville, TN
I can't remember the first time I met Gary but I can never forget the first time I heard him play. It was December 31, 1993 in Paducah, KY with Marty Stuart. Marty was forming a new band, the Rock and Roll Cowboys, and Gary was its first official member. The steel guitar is my favorite musicial instrument and Gary's licks just totally blew me away!

My memories of Gary are of talking with him backstage at the Grand Ole Opry. I can recall each and every time--side-stage while he tuned his steel guitar or sitting in the Green Room (lounge). Ironically, I can still see him sitting in those chairs. I remember Gary introducing me to Nikki at Marty's fan club party and the time Nikki and Elliott came to the Opry and Mario and I stood and talked with them. Elliott wanted change for the vending machine, Gary was excited about the recording studio he was building at his house, and Nikki talked about her job with the newspaper. It seems like only yesterday.

I am so thankful we have countless photographs of Gary and we can listen to his phenomenal steel guitar playing on several of Marty's CDs (especially The Pilgrim) as well as Connie's self-titled CD (his playing was never better) and even The Rock and Roll Cowboys' The Christmas Album. I was thrilled when Gary sent me two cassette tapes that featured his playing exclusively. His music will live on forever.

My heart goes out to Nikki, Elliott, Clint and Clay as well as Gary's mom Vena and his sister Linda -- not just for the loss of Gary but for his father, Grady, who also passed away the same day.

Melanie Renfro, Goodlettsville, TN
I wanted to share a story that is actually a Marty moment that involved Gary Hogue. It was New Year's Eve of 1993. Marty was doing a show at the Executive Inn in Paducah, KY. He had just finished his run with the Hot Hillbilly Band and was forming a new band. Gary Hogue was there and Marty asked him to play "Last Date". If you have been to many Marty concerts and were privileged enough to hear Gary perform this song, then you know how beautiful it was. Anyway, Gary was playing and Marty was dancing around a little bit. He kind of sauntered up to the microphone and said, "How do you like that, Barb Renfro?" Of course, I hollered out because that is my Mom. I know the people sitting beside us throught I was crazy, but I didn't care. That was the Renfro's first Gary experience. We were fortunate enough to see him many more times and also get to know him. He was a precious, talented person. The Renfro family sends their thoughts and prayers to Nikki and Elliott and also to Marty and all the Rock and Roll Cowboys. We love you, Gary and we will meet again someday.

Joyce Porterfield, Hiram, GA
I just got back home last night and thought I would take a quick peek at the boards. What a shock to read about Gary. Jodee, please extend my sympathies to his family. And to his "Road Family", the Rock & Roll Cowboys and Marty - you have lost a brother and my heart goes out to all of you. Be in peace and keep your mind and your heart set on the love and friendship that you gained from knowing Gary.

Lori Weitzell
When I came onto this board this afternoon, I read something that made me turn off my computer, but after a few moments, I knew I had to come back to ask a few questions... If it is not too painful, for those of us in the dark...what happened? And I hope that at some point in time we could hear more about Gary's time spent with the R"n"R Cowboys, like how he got started, endearing stories, his discography..or just any ol' thing That man was a pedal steel master. A sincere student of the music, in which he is now in great company thereof. God bless his mortal soul and God send for his eternal soul. God Bless you Gary Hogue.

Margie Brodmerkle, Oakham, MA
Marty and the others must be awfully upset. They and Gary's family are all in my prayers and I know they'll be in everyone else's too. I am so upset. I can't believe this has really happened. I feel like I've lost a member of my family.

Beverly Kerr, Lawton, OK
I am so sad to hear about Gary. I just can't believe it. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. It seems like yesterday that I talked with him and got a big hug in Fort Worth, TX last October. I keep remembering that moment. It was the last time for me to see Marty and the Cowboys play together in concert. He was so talented. I will miss him terribly. He was never out front much. Marty always made sure he played a solo at every show, so he was noticed. My favorite performance by Gary would have to be the Ryman, when Marty received the Tex Ritter Award. He played "Last Date". It sounded soooooo gooood in the Ryman. The world has lost a great and talented person.

Lori Goss, North Windham, CT
I have to say I am shock/disbelief that this has happened. It seems very unreal and everytime I think about it, I get goosebumps all over my body. Its been almost 8 months since I've seen Marty and the band, but I remember very clearly the last concert that I saw and talking with Gary. It was always a pleasure to talk with and had such a great personality. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. I can't imagine how difficult it is for them to have to deal with both Gary and his dad passing on at the same time.

Bobbi Johnson Doty, Shiatook, OK
I am shocked to have read about Gary! It is such a loss! And it must be so devastating to his Mom, to lose both him and his Dad! Yes....Gary was just about the best steel player around, and I am sure that in Hillbilly Heaven, they are having a grand time welcoming him. It is just a shame that he had to leave us so soon!!

Elizabeth Stone, Seattle, WA
I was so shocked. He was an awesome musician--a real loss to the music world. My prayers are with everyone, especially his wife and kids....and Marty. Very sad.

My memory of Gary was when I came to see Marty in Oregon City at the Casino there...the afternoon, prior to the show, the band members were sitting outside the casino, two friends from the AOL Marty fan club and I walked by...They knew who the boys were, I didn't----they just sat there and chatted--I think it was Gary that said they were Marty's Roadies... --After the concert, they were sitting on the stage, signing autographs--Gary was the most popular.. I recognized him--I said, "Oh roadie uh?" He just smiled and winked. Nice man- GREAT player. Good sense of humor.

Sherry Wise, Norwalk, CA
I, too, was saddened and upset by Gary's passing. Steve Arnold e-mailed me and told me about Gary and his Father. Such a double tragedy. As odd as this may sound, this is what I believe.......we can all take comfort in knowing that Gary and his Father are with God and safe with Him. That makes me feel better.

Leslie Boyd, Nashville, TN
I was sorry to learn of Marty's steel guitar player's passing. I have only seen Marty twice in concert so far, but I do remember how good Gary was, especially at the Sam's Place show last November. What a tragedy to lose two members of the same family at almost the same time. I will add that family to my prayer list.

Mary Runyan, Dayton, TN
Gary was such a gentlemen, in the true sense of the word. I never saw him when he didn't offer a smile or a hug. He always had time to say "hello" or speak for a minute. Although he and his father didn't know of each others' passing, deep in my heart, I feel they knew. I feel strongly for his mother, wife and children. Mother's Day will never be the same for them. They are in my prayers.

Justina, Philadelphia, PA
I am in shock. And, as all of you are, I am so VERY, VERY saddened to hear this. My heart goes out to his family. What a loss they have suffered! To lose not only Gary but his father as well on the same day! He was such a young man!! Something like this truly stops you in your tracks. Life is so uncertain. My prayers and deepest sympathy go out to his family and all that knew him. I don't know what else to say. I am so shocked!

Karen Wright
This should be the best time for all of Marty's fan club members to show our support to Gary's family, Marty and the rest of the Rock and Roll Cowboys. Although the majority of us cannot attend the services on Thursday, we should all say a prayer. The country music industry has lost the best steel guitar player ever and he will be sadly missed. Gary was always polite to all the fans wherever they performed and he acted like he didn't have any place else on this earth that he would rather be. Our loss her on earth is certainly Heaven's gain.

Kim Moore, Barnesville, OH
Still seem kind of stunned and sad from Gary's passing. I'm still thinking that this is some kind of dream or something. Although I didn't know him as well as some of the others here, he still touched my life. I have been going through pictures and past newsletters with his pictures in them. That is just my way of saying goodbye, I guess. It really has made me realize all the good things in my life and to not take things for granted. Every one of his family and friends are in my thoughts and prayers tonight and for a long time to come. I hope the family can be comforted by God's love during this time.

Mel Angel, North Canton, OH
I just can't believe this news, that Gary is gone. It's sad beyond belief! He is -- was -- so young, and so talented. People like that -- "talent" like his -- just doesn't come along very often. This is just too sad. And his father too. I can't imagine what his family is going through, and his friends.

Mary Decker
I am too, too stunned to even write. This is so distressing. It feels as if we have lost a friend. You know what keeps going through my mind is.....Gary's mom.....losing a husband and a son in the same day. E-mail is great, but I wish Marty and the Cowboys could "feel" the love we send.

Kathy Vierra, San Jose, CA
I'm still in shock! How tragic for the family to lose two members! Gary will be in our hearts forever!

Lisa Rummelt, Grand Rapids, MI
Wow! I can't believe it. I feel so badly for the family. It is hard enough losing one, but two? I will keep them all in my prayers. This is so sad.

Deanna Stevens, Chino, CA
Gary will definitely be missed.

Lori Shirley, Boom, IA
I am just in shock. I'm so sad. Margie, remember Trembealeau, WI last summer? That was the last time for us to see him. I just can't believe this. This is just so sad. My eyes are flooded with tears. Gary was one of the greatest steel guitar players around. I loved listening to him play. What a tragedy to have this happen. I just don't know what else to say. It's just so sad.

Beth, Murfreesboro, TN
My heart goes out to Gary's family!

Evelyn & Joey Totty, Mayfield, KY
Gary Hogue will be sadly missed by us. We loved him dearly. He was the best steel guitar player Marty had. I know he is in HILLBILLY HEAVEN now playing for those who have gone on before him. We will miss you Gary! I keep asking myself why this incident had to happen to Gary and his dad. God is the only one with the answers. I am happy that Gary autographed my photo album of the pictures I took of them and him at Opryland. He did that at the Fan Club Party in 1998. We used to talk to him lots at different concerts and at fairs. He and Joey were good friends. Joey would always hunt Gary up before the shows and talk to him and Gregg. He will be missed so much. I shall keep Marty and the other band members in my prayers and thoughts.

Serena Williams, Noble, OK
I can't express how I feel right now. All I know is that one of the greatest steel guitar players is gone. As my cousin, Beverly, and I talked on the phone, all we could think about was how good he was and how it just seemed like yesterday that we saw him smiling and enjoying something he loved while others cheered and wanted more. Gary made beautiful music and my prayers and thoughts are with EVERYONE! We will all miss him. I will cherish the music you made for us to listen to and enjoy. I will miss you, Gary.

June Yovanovich, Afton, TN
It is hard to believe that Gary Hogue is gone. That poor family, losing a father and a son at almost the same time. So sad.

Jennifer Farris, Des Moines, IA
I was so shocked to hear about Gary. He was so nice to everybody. The last time I saw him was when Marty and the Rock and Roll Cowboys were in Milton, IN.....he walked up to me and gave me a big hug. We need to keep Marty in our prayers, too.

Kristin Holta, Stavanger, Norway
I have to say that I am really sorry about Gary's passing. I think that those who are left don't have it very good right now. It is so sad. I didn't get the chance to meet him, but he sounded like a very great man. I also know that those of you who have met him and know him are having a very bad time. Just know that I feel the pain with you all, but you just have to try to get through this and remember and look at pictures of him. I know that helps. Marty must also have it terrible to have lost a good friend. The good news in this tragedy is that God is with us all and helps those who needed it through.

Terri Staggard, East Brunswick, NJ
I just can't believe this. I feel so bad. Can you imagine how his family feels. We're all going to feel this saddness at the Fan Club Party.

Brenda Metz, Knoxville, TN
So sad about Gary. He will be greatly missed. My thoughts and prayers are with this family. This is such a hard time for Marty, I'm sure, as it is for all of us.

Patty Double, East Butler, PA
I can't believe it about Gary and his father. I am so sorry to hear that. It's like a very bad dream. I will keep the family in my prayers!

Toni Wilkerson, Dallas, TX
Today I found out of the great loss of Gary Hogue. He has been part of the band since I began following Marty, and I feel like a great big hole has been left in my heart. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. I am remembering how talented and special Gary was. The last time I talked to him was in New Braunfals, TX at Gruene Hall in September of 1999. He always had time to come and talk to us, never treated us like we were second class, and that smile will always be in my heart. I wish I could hug Marty right now. I know this is hard for him. The only thought I can come up with is that God must have needed the best steel guitar player for his own country band. Rest in peace, Gary. I will miss you.

Patricia Dalton, Laguna Niguel, CA
I am so very sad to hear the news of Gary Hogue. It is such a tragedy for his family to have had both he and his father pass away on the same day. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. The country music industry and all of Gary's fans will miss him very much. He was one of the best steel guitar players I have ever had the pleasure of seeing perform.

Debby Phielix, Dordrecht, Holland
I recently heard that Gary passed away. I haven't seem him play much. I am from The Netherlands and a big Marty and Cowboys fan. I can't believe that Gary will never be among us. I wish his family, Marty, The Cowboys, friends and fans all the best and my thoughts are with you. Gary, I hope you will be happy in Hillbilly Heaven. Rest in peace and you will be remembered.

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