Doyle Turner

Photo added by Susan Burks

Doyle Turner

  • Birth 1 Feb 1922
  • Death 3 Sep 1991
  • Burial Panama City, Bay County, Florida, USA
  • Memorial ID 53534515

DOYLE TURNER, 69, of Panama City, Fla., formerly of Memphis, former steel guitarist and band leader for the late country and western singer Hank Williams in the late '40s, died Tuesday at Bay Medical Hospital in Panama City. Services were held Friday at Wilson Funeral Home in Panama City with burial in Greenwood Cemetery there. He leaves his wife, Bernice Turner of Memphis; two daughters, Miss P. J. Turner of Panama City and Miss Jill Turner of Memphis; four sons, Johnny Turner and Danny Turner, both of Memphis, Robby Turner of Nashville and Larry Turner of Panama City, nine grandchildren and a great-grandchild. The family requests any memorials be sent to Multiple Sclerosis. (Published in The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, TN, on 9/7/1991)

The late Doyle Turner was proud to say he performed with the legendary Hank Williams, the man who gave us Hey Good Lookin', Your Cheatin' Heart and other classics. Turner, a former Memphian, was a steel guitar player and his wife, Bernice, was a guitarist and singer in Williams's band, Hank Williams and His Drifting Cowboys, for two years beginning in 1945. While they were with Williams, several hits were released, such as I Saw the Light and Mobile Boogy. Turner, 65, died of emphysema last week in Panama City, Fla. He and his wife, owner of Onyx Recording Studio, Silver Eagle Bus Service and Turner Limousine Service, divorced 11 years ago, but they remained friends. "He was one of the most precious people in the world," said Mrs. Turner "...I lived with him 30 years and raised five kids." In a 1979 Memphis Press-Scimitar interview, Turner and his wife reminisced about Williams. They recalled the problems Williams and his wife, Audrey, had when they were in his band. "There was always a constant battle going on between them," Turner said. "He loved her as much as he could. The only thing is, he didn't know anything about love. Audrey was in the hospital giving birth to Hank Williams Jr., 'Bocephus,' but Hank had been off on a drunk. He came in apologetic. He told her he was sorry and she said, "Sorry...You're the cause of all my problems. Get out of my sight. There were tears in his eyes. He sat in the back of his Cadillac. He scribbled the lines: 'Another love before my time has made my heart sad and blue.' This was the beginning of Cold, Cold Heart. That's where it came from." Turner described Williams as "a tall, thin man, but he was a fighter. He could whip a barrel of wildcats." A recovering alcoholic, Turner worked for a time as an alcohol therapist at the Arkansas Service Center in Jonesboro, Ark. "I think alcoholism is an attitude," he said. "This seems to explain it to me, an attitude toward life probably stemming from environment, childhood, an inferiority complex. Hank had them all." Being a musician in those days wasn't easy, Turner said. But Williams paid them well. He gave each of the Turners $57 a week, and furnished food, lodging, cleaning and even guitar strings for them. "We didn't pay for anything but our clothes," Turner said. Turner's good memories of life on the road with Williams outweighed the bad ones. "We're privileged to be a pioneer of that particular type of music. Hank had a particular style of music that I think at this time appealed to people that frequented nightclubs, joints, listened to the juke box. Out of our association with Hank came something that set a new trend in music." Among the floral tributes sent to Turner at his funeral Friday was a spray of yellow, bronze and orange gladioli, roses, chrysanthemums and carnations. They were from Hank Williams Jr. (By Michael Donahue. Published in The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, TN, on 9/9/1991)

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  • Created by: Carole McCaig
  • Added: 10 Jun 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 53534515
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Doyle Turner (1 Feb 1922–3 Sep 1991), Find A Grave Memorial no. 53534515, citing Greenwood Cemetery, Panama City, Bay County, Florida, USA ; Maintained by Carole McCaig (contributor 46785778) .