Cover photo for Gary Stringer's Obituary
Gary Stringer Profile Photo
1944 Gary 2022

Gary Stringer

August 5, 1944 — October 4, 2022

Gary N. Stringer, 78, of Mount Juliet, Tennessee, passed away on Tuesday, October 4, 2022, at Centennial Medical Center. Gary was born in Nashville, Tennessee, on August 5, 1944, to parents Lloyd and Mai Stringer. He was raised in Bold Springs, Tennessee as the youngest of five siblings.

At the young age of 10 he was given a guitar by a family member. That was the beginning of his lifelong love of Country Music. His love of singing was his forte. He would be performing and would go into unparalleled impersonations of Willie Nelson, John Anderson, Vern Gosdin and George Strait just to name a few. He once sang for Merle Haggard on his tour bus. One day Gary was at a dear friend’s house playing and singing a Waylon Jennings’ song. Waylon walked in mid-song. Gary asked him to come sing with him and he said “No, can`t remember the words”.

He also wrote and co-wrote with his best friend, Gary Freeman (“Freeman”, as we lovingly call him) a catalog of songs that were included in Loretta Lynn`s publishing company Coal Miner`s Music Group and BMI. He recorded with well-known sessions player Hargis (Pig) Robins. Gary co-wrote “I Love Love That Way” and other songs, alongside Freeman. He performed at Loretta Lynn`s Dude Ranch, was a special attraction at many area events, and was asked to write and record a campaign song for a Mayoral race in Louisiana while there on tour.

In the early 80`s after being on the road on music tours in West Iowa, Wisconsin, the Dakotas, Colorado, Nebraska and in clubs including Mickey Gilley`s club Gilley’s, he and Freeman were homesick so came home to Tennessee. He and Freeman landed in Mount Juliet. Freeman ran across a restaurant on Nonaville Road called Gass’s. At Freemans suggestion they stopped in and asked if they would consider allowing live entertainment on the weekends. With three musicians to start, this quickly became a well-attended Friday and Saturday night hot spot. The crowds filled the restaurant and many nights it was standing room only. Often times, the crowd that couldn’t get inside would start line dancing out in the parking lot. They had a strong and committed following of locals and many from across the United States. Gass`s was a three-generation family grocery & restaurant. They were known for their catfish. They were featured in Nashville Writer`s Magazine 30-year salute article written by Will Campbell author and Civil Rights activist. Gary and Freeman were also featured in Will Campbell`s God`s Will movie recorded at his cabin in Mount Juliet. Will Campbell also officiated the wedding of Gary and Tammy in Hermitage, Tennessee at Central Pike Church of Christ. Tammy was raised in this church by her loving church family, and this was where Gary was baptized by Clayton Pepper.

Gary had a long history of health-related issues beginning in 1983. Gass`s and all of Gary`s beloved extended friends, musician family, including Tom T. Hall, who came and brought his band for a benefit concert, to help with Gary`s medical expenses. As the article mentions Tom T. Hall included a song about Gass`s restaurant. This was a place where celebrities, entertainers, artists, and dignitaries came to just hang out and be together. One time there were five Pulitzer Prize winners eating Catfish at Gass`s while listening to the music of the Just’n Tyme band with Gary as lead singer, Freeman as lead guitarist and Randy Gordan on bass. Later, were joined Jim Jordan on drums and James Townsend on piano. Then, Stu Basore joined in on steel guitar. Gass`s is where Gary and Tammy met. Tammy had just left a Judd`s concert at an auditorium in a Jr. High School in Mt. Juliet. She was still revved up from the concert. She lived on Nonaville Road and stopped in at Gass`s. She found the leader of the band and asked if she could sit in on their set. Gary asked her if she was any good? So, she got up and threw down on “Mama He`s Crazy” and like they say, the rest is history. Tammy performed there regularly until they had their first and only child together, Allison. Allison is also a gifted singer, from the time of invitro.

Gary had an extensive rolodex that included musicians that dropped in to sit in on sets. That always added feeling of success and was a gratifying display of incredible talent. Some went on to write top hits for Garth Brooks, songwriters Stephanie Davis and Shawn Camp. Camp is American musician that never compromised his love of his music. He has written for Garth Brooks, Brooks and Dunn, George Strait, Josh Turner and most recently a collaboration with Johnny Cash. He came into Gass`s, sat in on a set and that was the beginning of a lifelong mutual adoration between Gary and Shawn. Many years later Shawn was performing with Shawn Camp and Friends at Stagecoach Lounge in Nashville. He saw Gary in the audience and was gracious to ask him to sit in. He performed “That’s the Way Love Goes”, a Lefty Frizzell song. Lefty’s nephew was in the audience and told Gary he loved his rendition of Lefty`s song. Gary also sang this song at his own wedding. So many other artists graced the stage with the band at Gass`s and so many fond memories were made. Duane Marrs, steel guitar, Bob Browning, Bass, Holly Odell, fiddle, Keith Futch, Kitty Wells’ granddaughter Corey Taylor, Pam Gadd, banjo, Wanda Vick and the all-female band Miss Behavin`, Sonny Louvin and occasionally his Dad Charlie Louvin (County Music Hall of Fame member) along with several other Opry members and session players Pete Wade, Riders in the Sky member Ranger Doug and session guitarist Jimmy Capps and Greg Galbraith to only name a few. We appreciate all the time and memories shared. Since there will not be a traditional service, we felt it was important to expand and expound this obituary to include these meaningful memories. We invite and welcome any memories you would like to share on social media platforms that will be made available in the days ahead.

Gary is preceded in death by his parents Lloyd and Mai Stringer, his sisters, Adell Wallace, Margie Boatman, Ida Mai Stringer and brother, John Stringer

Gary is survived by his wife, Tammy in life of 36 years. He is survived by his sister, Ann Hicks, sister-in- law, Ann Stringer, daughter of Gary and Tammy, Allison (Michael) Zartman and their children Owen Kai and Adeline, son, Richie (Melissa) Stringer and their daughter (Kara), daughter Jaquita (Tim) Buchanan and their son, Christopher and daughter, Lacey (Tanner) Gregory and their children Dax, Kohen and Luna, daughter, Suzette (Jamie) Worke and their son Trevin (Corina), son Jason (Donna) and their children and grandchildren, Cody (Nicole) McLeod and their daughter, Annabel, Jacob (Katie) McLeod and their children, Avery Kate and Connor, William (Hannah) McLeod and their children Jaiden and Samuel, and lifelong brother/best friend, Gary Freeman. Special mention of his daily companions that rarely left his side are his beloved senior dog, Big Dog Diesel and grand dogs, Riley Marie Stringer and Tucker Zartman.

Gary`s wishes were to be cremated. A private family service to be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary in memory of Gary. Please use the tribute donation option at ofsds.org a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization, 765 Nonaville Road, Mount Juliet, Tennessee 37122, 615-314-5565.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Gary Stringer, please visit our flower store.

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