Texas Country Music entertainer Joe Paul Nichols passed away on Wednesday morning at his home near Jacksboro, Texas. He was 69. Nichols had been battling Lou Gerhig’s disease for four years.
Nichols started listening to the Grand Ole Opry, Louisianna Hayride and the Big D Jamboree as a child.
In 1957, at the age of 16, Nichols joined the Cowtown Hoedown in Ft. Worth. The weekly country music show was based on the same format of the Grand Ole Opry. Three years later, Nichols joined the Big D Jamboree in Dallas.
Hall of Fame songwriter Lawton Williams produced Nichols’ first single “Shy Young Sue.”
In 1970, Nichols formed the award winning “Five Pennies” band and began traveling throughout the Southwest. Nichols and the “Five Pennies” also worked with many legendary artists including Ernest Tubb, Del Reeves, Hank Thompson, Faron Young, Darrell McCall and Sonny James.
Nichols released over thirty singles and recorded over twenty five albums. He received recognition with many of his songs including “Eleven Eighteen Nadine Lane” which topped the Western Swing Charts in 2006 and his version of “Take My Hand Precious Lord”, which hit the number one spot in the Country Gospel Charts in July, 2010. “Storms Never Last” “These Old Eyes Have Seen It All” “These Little Things” “Hello Trouble” and “Texas Memory” all became regional hits for Nichols.
In the 1990’s Nichols began devoting half of his recording time to Country Gospel music. His song “Jesus Is The Same In California” was also voted Christian Country Song of the Year in 2000. He continued touring as both a country and gospel act along with making numerous television appearances.
Nichols and his partner Terry Beene formed Nichols and Beene Tours in 1994. The tour company made numerous bus trips to Nashville, Branson and various other points throughout the United States.
His final studio album was a tribute to his hero Ray Price titled “The Price Is Right.”
Heart of Texas Records released “Joe Paul Nichols-Friends In High Places” in March. Several artists including Moe Bandy, Johnny Bush, Darrell McCall, Frankie Miller, Amber Digby, Curtis Potter, Jimmy C. Newman and Barbara Fairchild went into the recording studio to blend their voices with past Nichols tracks.
“Although music has been important to me, the highlight of my life was my family,” Nichols recently said. “I consider myself to be a blessed man.”
Nichols is survived by his wife Carolyn, son Joe Paul Nichols Jr., his daughter Jennifer Gasca and seven grandchildren.
Visition for Joe Paul Nichols will be held at the Cundiff Baptist Church on Friday from 7:00 PM until 8:00 PM. Funeral services will be held on Saturday morning at 10:00 AM at the Jacksboro First Baptist Church with burial to follow at the Cundiff Cemetary under the direction of Coker Funeral Home at 152 State Highway 148 in Jacksboro.
I wish the audio was better so you can really appreciate Joe Paul Nichols, but this is a great song, and Joe Paul Nichols was a great man. I wrote an article about this song, but here it is again. Listen to the words now that you know what he was going through: