Gary Stewart, a country music singer and songwriter, committed suicide on Dec. 16. Authorities say the cause of death was an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the neck. He was 58.
Stewart followed this advice and teamed up with Bill Eldridge to write songs like Stonewall Jackson’s 1965 hit, “Poor Red Georgia Dirt.” He also recorded records for the Cory and Kapp labels before signing on with RCA.
Stewart’s fusion of honky-tonk and southern rock turned the song, “Drinkin’ Thing” into a top 10 hit. He released “She’s Actin’ Single (I’m Drinkin’ Doubles)” in 1975, which reached No. 1 on the Billboard chart. In the 1980s, however, Stewart faded from view, perceived as being too country for rock audiences and too rock for country audiences.
For the past decade, he performed in venues near his Ft. Pierce, Fla., home. His final album, “Live at Billy Bob’s Texas,” was released this year.