Country fans are praying hard after news broke that iconic country entertainer Mickey Gilley and his son Michael were involved in a rollover accident in Lufkin, Texas, en route to his Branon, Missouri, theater.
According to KFDM, the accident took place on Jan. 3 when a vehicle allegedly ran a stop sign in front of Mickey’s 2013 Toyota SUV. Apparently, Mickey swerved to avoid a collision but clipped the car, causing his vehicle to roll and land upside down.
Both Mickey and Michael were treated in Lufkin, but Michael’s wife, Susan, has taken them back to Pasadena, Texas. Mickey, who is 81, suffered a broken ankle and shoulder, while Michael is experiencing soreness.
Mickey’s calendar still shows concert dates for January, it seems likely that they will be canceled in light of his injuries.
While most country fans might know Mickey best from his role in “Urban Cowboy,” and as the owner of what was once the world’s largest honky-tonk, Gilley’s in Pasadena, the Mississippi native’s career was established well before those opportunities arose.
Mickey released a dozen albums before “Urban Cowboy,” and they produced eight No. 1s, including his first single, “Room Full of Roses,” and the fan favorite, “Don’t the Girls All Get Prettier at Closing Time,” plus eight more Top 10s including “Here Comes the Hurt Again.”
The handsome singer, songwriter, and musician played himself in “Urban Cowboy” and the success of the film helped to reignite interest in his career. His contributions to the movie’s soundtrack helped make it a multi-week No. 1 album, and his cover of “Stand By Me,” topped not only the country chart, but also reached the Top 3 on the adult contemporary chart. Seven more No. 1 singles followed “Stand By Me,” and his 1983 collaboration with Charly McClain, “Paradise Tonight” also dinged the No. 1 bell.
In total, Mickey has 17 No. 1 hits to his credit on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart, and 17 additional Top 10 hits.
His namesake Pasadena nightclub closed in 1989 and a fire later destroyed the building. And while a new version of Gilley’s was opened in 2003 with the original mechanical bull taking a place of honor, Mickey focused on opening Mickey Gilley’s Grand Shanghai Theater in Branson. And although he sold that theater in 2015, he returned last year just in time for an “Urban Cowboy” reunion with another one of the movie’s stars and a favorite country artist, “Lookin’ for Love” singer Johnny Lee.
We’re sending lots of healing prayers and wishes to Mickey and Michael as they recover from what could have been a much more tragic accident, and we hope to see them both back onstage sooner rather than later.
In the meantime, we’re dusting off our vinyl copies of “You Don’t Know Me” and firing up the DVD player for a marathon of “Urban Cowboy,” because you can never have too much Bud and Sissy.