OBITUARY

Louis Dean Nunley Sr.

October 15, 1931October 26, 2012

Louis D. Nunley, Sr., a 60-year veteran of the music industry in Nashville, member of The Anita Kerr Quartet and The Jordanaires, and an architect, along with many other talented colleagues, of "The Nashville Sound", died October 26, 2012. He was preceded in death by his parents Ada Alberta Eaker and Alvin Nunley, Sr., sister, Verna Nunley McKee, and brother, Alvin Nunley, Jr. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Mary Ann Fluty Nunley, sons Louis D. Nunley, Jr, and Lee Thanning Nunley, sister, Jean Nunley Dennison, and numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces & great-nephews. Louis was born October 15, 1931, in Sikeston, Missouri, and was raised in Anderson, Indiana. In 1948, he moved to Nashville to attend David Lipscomb University, where he made his first commercial recordings in 1949, and was graduated in 1952, with a major in Mathematics. In the early years of the recording industry in Nashville, there were two active vocal groups: The Jordanaires and The Anita Kerr Quartet. Since group background vocals are a basic element of "The Nashville Sound", both groups worked unbelievably busy schedules. Consequently they are, collectively and individually, among the most recorded voices in the history of music. In 1956, The Anita Kerr Quartet won the popular "Arthur Godfrey Talent Scouts Show". That began a relationship with Godfrey that continued until he retired from his daily CBS radio and television shows. The quartet subsequently won two Grammy Awards in 1965: one "Best Recording By A Vocal Group" for “We Dig Mancini”, and "Best Religious Recording" for “Southland Favorites” with George Beverly Shea. Louis collaborated with The Jordanaires frequently for over forty-five years, joining them full-time in 1999 as baritone, also assuming the role of arranger for the group in 2000. The Jordanaires won a “Best Southern Country or Bluegrass Gospel Album” Grammy Award in 2002 for “We Called Him Mr. Gospel Music: The James Blackwood Tribute Album”. Meanwhile, Louis stayed busy independently providing background vocals from the early 50’s until health problems forced his retirement in 2010. Over the years Louis recorded with hundreds of artists, from legends of the past such as Red Foley, Jim Reeves, Eddy Arnold, and Roy Orbison to veteran performers such as Brenda Lee, George Jones, Willie Nelson and Dolly Parton, and on to a new generation of artists such as Mandy Barnett and Glee's Kristin Chenoweth. In addition to recordings, Louis was active in commercials, movie and television soundtracks, and appeared on the vast majority of major network television specials originating in Nashville, including The CMA Awards Shows and The Music City News Awards Shows, as well as being a regular on the "Statler Brothers Show", among countless others. He was also an outstanding arranger, for both vocals and instruments. Louis was a member, and served as a national board member and local President, of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. He was also a member of the American Federation of Musicians and the Country Music Association.

Visitation with the family will be held from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 31, 2012 at Woodlawn Roesch-Patton Funeral Home. The Celebration of Life Service will be officiated by Amanda Chappell Armstrong, at 1:00 p.m., in Woodlawn’s Dignity Hall with visitation held two hours prior to the service. Interment to follow in Woodlawn Memorial Park.

Services

  • Visitation

    Wednesday, October 31, 2012

  • The Celebration of Life Service

    Thursday, November 1, 2012

Memories

Louis Dean Nunley Sr.

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Severino Amorim

February 2, 2013

My condolences to all the Nunley family...

Severino Amorim ( Recife, Brazil)

Victor Davis

November 14, 2012

I send my sincere condolences to the family of Louis Nunley. I followed his singing from the early 60's and will miss his beautiful voice.

Henry Golis

November 3, 2012

Sorry to hear of the passing of Louis Nunley. I always admired and respected his work on my recordings. I valued his friendship. My prayers are with his family.

November 1, 2012

Lee and family I send my deepest sympathy for you my prayers and thoughts are with you at this sad time. Ms.Teresa Black (Nashville Tenn)

Deborah Watson

November 1, 2012

Lee, I know this is a tremendous loss for you and your family. It leaves a giant whole in your heart that only time, prayers and the help of friends and family can heal. I know your Dad is in a glorious place, probably singing! My deepest sympathy to all of you. God bless!

Lisa Silver

October 31, 2012

I always enjoyed the times I sang with Louis. He had a great sense of humor, and I will remember him with fondness.

Marc and Pam Repp

October 31, 2012

Our deepest sympathies to the entire Nunley family. Marc and I had the pleasure of working on many television shows with Louis over the years, beginning in 1974. He was a gentleman and a gentle soul and while he will be missed here, the heavens shine a little brighter from his passing.

Kay Klinger Koehler

October 31, 2012

There was no one in the world like Louis. I had the honor of singing with him from 1968 - 1999. What a wonderful singer, friend and associate he was. Now he is singing like never before!! My condolences to his family. He was such a wonderful guy, with a cup of coffee, he was ready for anything. He will be missed. Nashville has and was the better for Louis!
Kay Klinger Koehler

Donna Medine

October 31, 2012

Louis gave me my first job as a session singer in the 1970's. After several decades of working in Nashville and LA, I never met a more talented singer, a better musician or anyone who could make me laugh more than Louis. He was truly gifted, and will be missed by so many.

Linda Harper

October 31, 2012

Mary Ann and your children, I remember when he sang at "daddy's" funeral as Ms. Nunley would have said. She shared the room with my dad's Aunt Tommie. How much we are all tied together. God bless you! I know that we have really lost a beautiful person with a beautiful voice. His mother always had tales to tell on all of them. I loved her dearly and you also.

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