His father called him Virgil when he was a youngster, however, everyone else knew him by his middle name,  Doyle.  After he grew older, his father also decided to call him Doyle, too.

Doyle became a big brother 17 months later when Thurman Theodore, the last of the Wilburn children, was born. When Theodore (later known by the name Teddy) was a baby, his sister, Geraldine would often take care of him and would rock him to sleep.  

Doyle told the story about the time his mama had asked him to go rock baby Teddy one day when Geraldine was busy.   Being a little fellow himself, he went out into the yard and found the biggest rock he could find. He took it into the house and put it on little Teddy.  He was a jokester even at that young age. 

From the time he was just a small child, Doyle had a sunny, happy disposition.    He never seemed to let life get him down and was a very hard worker.  

His parents bought musical instruments for the children to learn to play.  Doyle, only 4, began learning how to play the mandolin because the neck was easier for small hands.  By the age of 7, he was proficient in playing the fiddle, the guitar, the mandolin and the ukulele.   Doyle’s perseverance and dedication to hard work he showed at four years old continued throughout his entire life.


On Monday, July 7, 1930, Virgil Doyle Wilburn was born to Katie and B. J. Wilburn.   This beautiful little baby boy grew up to be the other half of the greatest singing duo to ever grace the country music scene, the Wilburn Brothers.
At the young age of 7, Doyle, along with his siblings, made his first public appearance singing and playing music on the street corner of Thayer, Missouri.  This performance was the beginning of a lifelong career in the music industry.

In an interview for the Wilburn Brothers Fan Club International Handbook, Doyle talked about their life back in 1939 saying, “During those days, we only had one pair of overalls apiece.  And when those were dirty, we would have to go to bed while mama washed and dried them.  As poor as we were, we never really realized it at the time.”

“Perhaps the difficult times make us appreciate other young entertainers and song writers on their way up.   We try to use our business and TV show to do our best to make the way a little easier.”
While Doyle looked more like his mother, his personality was more like his father’s.  Doyle had the same drive and determination that his father had. Doyle was a natural businessman and he had a clear idea of what should and should not be.  Doyle would often say, there was no greater compliment than to have people say he was like his dad.  As Doyle would often say of his father, “He was one hellova man.”   He knew he was more like his father and he was very proud of that fact.  Doyle and his dad were very close. When he talked about his father, he would refer to him as his “special buddy.”  

In various interviews throughout his lifetime, Doyle would tell how his mother and father raised the children.  He would tell people, “I was raised to always try to be nice to people.  Our dad taught us that it wouldn’t cost us anything to be nice to people, but you have to go out of your way to be nasty to them.”
As with most people of his father’s era, Pop Wilburn smoked cigarettes.  As a youngster, Doyle would see his father throw the cigarette butts into an outside fireplace.  He would go over to the fireplace and pick up his daddy’s cigarette butts; save them and then when he had enough, he would roll his own cigarettes using newspaper. 

After years of smoking, Doyle finally quit by throwing his last pack of cigarettes out the car window saying “I don’t need these anymore.” He had such a strong personality that he was able to quit smoking by going “cold turkey.”  He never smoked another cigarette.   Unfortunately, the damage from smoking for so many years had already been done.  Towards the end of his life,  Doyle developed lung cancer. 
In the early years of Doyle’s life, his father would come home from work, gather up the fishing equipment and call for Doyle.  Off they would go down to the stream and fish.   The fishing expeditions were not always for relaxation; they were to supply food for the table.  His father also taught Doyle how to hunt and trap game.  Doyle became an avid hunter, trapper and fisherman and spent many hours hunting and fishing with his friends.

In a letter Doyle wrote for the International Wilburn Brothers Fan Club, he told of a hunting trip he went on back in 1969.   Doyle and several other men went deer hunting in Colorado.  They camped out in the snow for two weeks.   The other men bagged two bucks and one doe.    Doyle said, “Guess what I got?  I thought I had me a big buck spotted; I aimed and fired.  I went strutting over, very proud of myself and looked down; there was a big, fat porcupine.  I really didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.  I got back to Nashville, sunburned from snow, emptied handed and disgusted.  Well, that’s hunting!” 

Doyle’s leadership and strength of character was evident early in life.  In 1948, Doyle and his brothers had a morning radio show in Shreveport LA.  One day the station manager became angry that the Wilburns invited Webb Pierce, a relative unknown, to perform on their radio show.  The station manager and Webb did not like each other.   The station manager called Doyle into his office and told Doyle he was never, ever to have Webb appear on the program again.  Doyle stood up to the manager and told him they would have anyone they wanted on their program. If he didn’t like it, they would just quit.  Doyle won the argument and Webb appeared numerous times thereafter.



While Doyle was a fun loving man, he was definitely not a pushover.   If he believed in something, he stood his ground and would not give an inch.   Many people discovered that when they tried to put one over on him.  A perfect example occurred when Doyle was 19 years old.

Teddy and Doyle had recorded demos and sent them to a record producer, William McCall.  McCall had a reputation of being a bit unscrupulous in his business practices.  McCall, without getting Doyle and Teddy’s permission, released the demos as commercial records.  He did not pay them for the records so Teddy and Doyle took him to court.

In 1951, Doyle was inducted into the Army and was about to be shipped to Korea, when McCall called him him and pleaded with him to drop the charges.  He even promised if Doyle would drop

the charges, he would see that Doyle wouldn’t have to serve in the Army.  Doyle said, "No way you bastard; you're going to pay."  The court decided in the Wilburn Brothers’ favor.   This was the only time McCall was ever sued by the many artists he represented and true to Doyle’s word, McCall paid and paid dearly.  

While in Korea, Doyle spent 14 months as a corporal in the 8th Army Special Forces and performed for many of the troops.  When Doyle heard his brother Teddy was about to deploy to the same unit he was in, he asked his superiors to postpone his discharge from the Army until after Teddy arrived.  He said it was important to him to see his brother and he wanted to fill him in about life in Korea. When Teddy arrived, Doyle spent a few days with him before shipping home.  

Before he left, Doyle made sure to give Teddy all the phone numbers of the girls he had dated while in Korea.  As Teddy said, there were plenty of phone numbers to keep him busy for his entire deployment.

Since Teddy was serving in Korea, Doyle joined the Webb Pierce’s band.   Doyle acted as the front man for Webb’s band and he also performed as the comedian “Little Ike.”   He was a natural comic and the audience loved him.  When Teddy returned home, he joined Doyle and they worked with Webb as the Wilburn Brothers.
DOYLE
Doyle performing as "Ike"
Photo provided by Coleen Ruperto
In 1955, they left Webb Pierce and toured with Faron Young’s Road Show.  While they worked with Faron Young, they went to Hollywood to participate in Faron’s movie, “Hidden Guns.”    Doyle and Teddy appeared briefly, without credit, in the movie where they played two cowboys.  .  The film was Angie Dickinson’s first movie role.   In one scene, Doyle actually had a speaking part.   His one line came just before the climatic gunfight.   He said, “Let’s get offthe street!”   Teddy said his own speaking part in the movie ended up on the cutting room floor.
Before Doyle and Teddy became known as “the Wilburn Brothers,” Doyle sang lead and Teddy sang harmony.  Doyle had such a good voice that he could have become a solo singer, but he was not interested in going it alone.   He did sing solo on two recorded songs, “I’ll Sail My Ship Alone” and “No One Will Ever Know.”   As Teddy said, "Doyle was able to hit the higher notes than I could, so it made sense for him to sing harmony."

In an article written for the Hillbilly and Cowboy Hit Parade,  (date unknown) Teddy talked about his brother, Doyle.  He said Doyle found it very easy to meet and talk with people.   He described Doyle as being a very straightforward person who believed in telling it like it was.  Unfortunately, folks didn’t always appreciate this characteristic.   While Doyle made friends easily, he also lost friends rather quickly because they didn’t appreciate his directness.   As he entered adulthood, he learned to somewhat temper his outspokenness.  Teddy went on to say, "While Doyle never graduated from high school and didn’t have a lot of formal education, he was loaded with more “common horse sense” than most folks."

Doyle was the spokesman for the duo and for people they represented.   If anyone tried to put one over on him or his people, he would tell that person, “This is how it’s going to be and if you don’t like it, you can just go to hell.”  Doyle was not one to mince words.   He was known as a “straight shooter” and he didn’t beat around the bush.   People knew exactly where they stood in Doyle’s book.   While some people might not approve of his directness, it was greatly appreciated by his friends.


In an article Mae Axton wrote for Country Song Roundup magazine (November 1964), Mae describes Doyle as “the devilish type – quick, energetic, good-looking, full of fun and repartees.  He is outgoing, effervescent and knowledgeable.  Doyle thinks of things spur of the moment.  He sets his jaw into very stubborn lines when dealing in a business conference that proves difficult.”

After a performance, Doyle was walking across the stage and a fan, trying to get Doyle’s attention, called “Doyle!”  He didn’t hear her and walked off the stage.  On his way back across the stage, the same girl called, “Teddy.”  Doyle knew the fans often would confuse him with Teddy so he walked over to the fan.  She said, “You’re okay, but your brother Doyle is conceited.”  Doyle laughed and agreed with her.  He told her, “Yeah, I have to take him down a peg or two every once in awhile.”  The fan was never aware that she had actually been talking to Doyle the whole time.
Doyle had a terrific sense of humor and his love for fun and teasing was ingrained in his personality.  Roy Acuff, the Wilburn Brothers, Melba Montgomery, Cornelia Ellis and others were to catch a plane early one morning for a flight to Hawaii.  The night before, Doyle, always the prankster, ordered a wake-up call for Melba and Cornelia for 3:00 a.m.  In reality they didn’t have to be up until 6:00 a.m.  When the call came, the girls quickly showered, dressed and were ready to go while Doyle continued to sleep peacefully until six o'clock.

Tex Ritter and Doyle were great friends.   Tex was from Texas and he was a true-blue Texas Longhorn fan.  Of course, Doyle, being from Arkansas, was a huge Arkansas Razorback fan.  Doyle and Tex would often bet on the annual Longhorn vs. Razorback game.  One Saturday night both men were on the Grand Ole Opry.
Doyle asked Tex if their annual bet was on for this year.  Tex said, “Sure, I’ll be glad to take your money.”  Each of them thought the football game was scheduled for the next week.  Instead, the game had been played earlier that day and the Razorbacks won.

Tex found out the game had already been played so he walked up to Doyle and said,  “You’re the dirtiest, most low-down Arkansan I’ve ever met.” Doyle had no idea what Tex was so upset about.  When he asked him what was wrong, Tex said, “You knew the game was played this afternoon and the Razorbacks completely dominated the Longhorns.”  Finally Doyle was able to convince Tex that he thought the game was next week.  They both agreed their bet was off.

In November 1961, Doyle married for the first and only time.  Unfortunately, the marriage ended in divorce.   While still married, Doyle and his wife had a little girl they named Sharon Renae.   His daughter was his pride and joy.  When taping the Wilburn Brothers Show, Doyle would often have his little girl on the show with him.   It was very obvious to everyone just how much he loved her.   According to his friends, Sharon was the apple of Doyle’s eye.
Doyle was the President of Sure Fire Music Company.  After Smiley Wilson left his position as President of Wil-Helm Talent Agency, Doyle assumed the role of President for that company as well.  In that capacity, Doyle was always on the lookout for new talent. 

Loretta Lynn had come to Nashville to see if she could find a producer for her music.   After repeatedly being turned away, she decided to see if the Wilburn Brothers would help her.  She walked into the studio and asked them if she could play her tape for them.  After listening to Loretta’s recording, Doyle and Teddy conferred with one another.   While Teddy felt she sounded too much like Kitty Wells, Doyle saw Loretta’s potential.  He felt she had something special and he convinced Teddy to give Loretta a shot.  Doyle told Teddy, “she’s gonna be our first star!”

Doyle was the man responsible for negotiating a contract with Decca Records for Loretta.   He took a demo Loretta had cut over to Decca Records.  The song was “Fool Number One.”  When the powers that be heard the song, they told Doyle they wanted the song for their young star, Brenda Lee. 

Doyle, being the shrewd businessman that he was, said he would agree to give Brenda Lee the song on the condition Decca Records signed Loretta to a contract.   They readily agreed and the rest is history.

As Loretta Lynn’s manager, Doyle was involved in all aspects of her career and investments.  According to Corky Wilson, the office manager for the Wilburn Brothers’ Enterprises, Doyle helped Loretta get the Lynn Rodeo off the ground and also, helped find the property in Hurricane Mills, where Loretta presently resides.


Once when Loretta’s bus driver was hurt and unable to drive the bus, Doyle filled in all summer as her bus driver.

Linda Wilburn, Lester’s wife, tells the following story.  While Doyle and Teddy had their television show (1963-1974), Teddy would often have his Collie dog, Silver, there while they performed.   Now Teddy had Silver professionally trained, so his behavior was perfect and he was never a problem.  

One day, Doyle decided to take his dog, Bill, a Golden Retriever, with him when they were taping a show.    Bill, unlike Silver, was not completely trained.  Doyle and Teddy were right in the middle of singing a song and Ole Bill hunkered down to do his business.  When Doyle saw what was happening, he started yelling at Bill and ran over to catch him before he could complete the task.   Everyone laughed for a good ten minutes.   That was the last time Ole Bill made an appearance at any of the future show tapings.

When Teddy left for Hollywood, California in 1968, Doyle would often front for Loretta Lynn’s band on various shows he booked for her.  Doyle would also do vocals by himself.  At Loretta’s Rodeo in 1968, Loretta and Doyle teamed up to sing “Sweet Thing.”  In addition, Loretta’s twin daughters appeared with their “Uncle” Doyle.

Loretta Lynn was only one of the many artists in which Doyle saw potential and helped to advance their career.  He was like an uncle to Patty (Ramey) Loveless, who worked as the Wilburn Brothers’ female singer after Loretta left the show.  At the time, Patty was still in high school, and her parents were living in Kentucky.  Doyle promised her parents he would watch out for her while she was working in Nashville and while touring with them on the road.

Doyle, in particular, kept an eye out for Patty to make sure nothing bad happened to her.   He and Teddy had made a promise to her parents that they would see she was safe.  She worked as a waitress in Doyle’s restaurant during the summers and would perform on their television show.   For her 16th birthday present, Doyle surprised her by paying for her very first recording session.  

The Osborne Brothers credit the Wilburn Brothers, and Doyle in particular, with helping restart their career.

Country singer George Hamilton IV said when
he first got into the music business, Doyle told him he should always put more in to country music than he took out.  Doyle lived by this advice and always took the time to listen to new talent and offered excellent advice to them.   Doyle demanded perfection and those people who listened to him were usually successful in the music industry. 

In the Billboard magazine’s October 2, 1971, issue, the story about Doyle showed just how hard he worked.  In one week’s time, Doyle did five radio shows, seven television shows, four recording sessions and a batch of personal appearances.

Doyle had a lot of friends outside the entertainment world and he was always looking out for them as well.  One time his friend Doug Wells needed help pumping gas at his gas station.  Without hesitation, Doyle changed his clothes, went down to his friend’s gas station, started pumping gas, checking oil, and washing the customers’ vehicles windows.

As Doyle was working, a customer drove up in a big truck.   Doyle saw the couple arguing, but he continued to pump the gas minding his own business.  Soon the lady emerged from the truck, walked over to where Doyle was working and asked him if he was the Doyle Wilburn of the Wilburn Brothers.   He said yes. The lady told him she had bet her husband $20.00 that he was.  She said her husband had better pay up.   She returned to the truck and more arguing ensued.  Then the guy got out of his truck and asked Doyle if he was Doyle Wilburn.  Of course, Doyle said yes.  The guy went back to the truck; he and his wife continued to argue, then he drove off.   Doyle never did learn whether or not the lady got her $20.00.  

Doug said that on many occasions, when Doyle would stop at his station for gas, he would see that Doug was very busy.   Without being asked, Doyle would just start pumping gas for the customers.  On one such occasion, after Doyle had filled up the gas tank, the customer asked him how much a gallon of anti-freeze would cost.  Since he didn’t know, he went inside the garage and asked Doug how much it would cost.   In the meantime, the customer drove off without paying.   As Doug told it, Doyle said, “Now that will never happen to me again.”
When Teddy decided to quit touring, Doyle had more time to pursue his other interests. Doyle always enjoyed producing and since he was not on the road as much, he was able to concentrate more on the production side of the music business. 

Doyle had several diversified business interests.  He owned part interest in a restaurant in Nashville, a record label and was the silent partner in the Music Mart Record Shop.  Doyle knew location was extremely important and so his record shop was located with a group of shops near the Country Music Wax Museum.  Tour buses would let tourists off and they would visit the various shops.  The fans were always thrilled when Doyle would show up in his overalls at the record shop to visit.  This was a frequent event.

To relax, he enjoyed watching baseball on TV.  His favorite baseball team was the Saint Louis Cardinals.  His favorite baseball player was Stan Musial.  He also went bowling whenever he had the opportunity.  Often he would join his brothers, Teddy, Lester & Leslie at the local bowling alley for an evening of bowling.
  
While he enjoyed bowling, it was not his favorite sport.   Doyle was an excellent pool player.  He could beat just about everyone at the game.   His good friend, Doug Wells said he and Doyle would stay up all night playing pool in Doug’s basement.


Doyle was a good friend of future President George H. W. Bush.  They would often go hunting on Senator Bush’s ranch.  In addition to hunting and fishing together, Doyle was a huge supporter of George H. W. Bush.  In 1979, George Bush, Sr. named Doyle to his National Steering Committee when he was considering running for President the first time.  Unfortunately, George lost his bid to become President to Ronald Reagan.

In an interview with Ralph Emery, Doyle told about the time in 1970, when he and Teddy performed on a Jersey City stage in North Jersey.  He said they performed on half of the stage and the other half of the stage was blacked out.  After they performed, Doyle introduced the Osborne Brothers and then took a step back from the mike.   Unbeknown to him, there was an elevator shaft that was not covered up.   Doyle stepped back into the elevator shaft and fell 32 feet.  

When Ralph Emery asked him if he got hurt, Doyle replied, “Yes, it was the very first time in my life I was ever knocked out.”   Teddy joked and said the reason Doyle was okay was because he probably landed on his head.  Doyle’s injuries included breaking two ribs; pulling both rib cages loose and a he had a hole knocked in his head.  According to singer Peggy Sue, who was there at the time, Doyle refused to get medical attention.   She said he was tough. He could stand a lot of pain and he didn’t like to go to doctors.
Ralph asked them about the early days of their career.  Doyle said the family would sing anywhere folks would let them.  He said that folks would throw coins at them and it was his and Teddy’s job to pick up the coins between songs.  Doyle said they really had to be careful in those barnyards at the fairs.  Teddy said if someone tossed a silver dollar in while they were playing, he and Doyle would fight to get their foot on it so they could put it in their pocket after the song was over.  Ralph asked if that didn’t get them off tempo.  Teddy laughed and said they were probably never on.

As tough as Doyle was, he was terrified of flying.   He would rather drive for hours on end than go on a short plane flight to their performances.

When Doyle and Teddy had their TV show, the sponsors often had them entertain at their meetings, conventions, etc.
One evening, the four brothers were waiting to catch a plane to Chicago to play at one of their sponsor’s meetings.  Doyle, being deathly afraid to fly, had to have a couple of drinks to get up his courage up.  As boarding time approached, there was an announcement the flight would be delayed due to a minor mechanical problem that needed repair before leaving. 

Leslie, seeing how nervous Doyle was, decided to have some fun.   He told Doyle, “I don’t know what’s going on, but I saw a mechanic sitting on the wing reading an instruction manual.  Do you think we should worry?”  Well, that nearly put Doyle over the edge.   Leslie laughed like crazy.  Then he bought Doyle another drink to calm him down.   Repairs were made and they all boarded the plane and arrived safely in Chicago.

In 1980, despite Doyle’s fear of flying, he and Teddy flew to Scotland where they were welcomed by their many fans.  Doyle’s daughter accompanied them.   While they were in Scotland, they stayed in a beautiful, old castle.   They visited the many lovely sites around Scotland.   It was a trip of the lifetime for Doyle and his daughter.  They had so much fun together.

Doyle was a night owl, rarely going to bed until nearly dawn.  He loved going out on patrol with the Nashville police.   In those days, private citizens sometimes rode in the police cars with the officers.   The police officers looked forward to having Doyle show up at the station.  He was very popular with all the officers and staff.

While Doyle loved people, he guarded his privacy with a passion.   He purchased a small, modest home in an average, working class neighborhood.   In fact, it was very difficult to find his house and that was the way he liked it.  
When Nelle Phelan called Doyle for an interview, (Country Music Magazine, January 1977), Doyle said, “I’m cutting the grass right now.   Come on over, but you may have trouble finding my place.  I bought a hide-a-way so people couldn’t find me.”  Doyle lived there with his beloved Golden Retriever, Goldie.

When Nelle first arrived and began talking with Doyle, he told her it was better to interview him and his brother separately.   When the interview was over and Nelle was ready to drive over to interview Teddy, Doyle said, “You are going to find a far different home when you get to Teddy’s place.”  Teddy's home was definitely different.   Teddy's place was immaculate with everything in place and completely tidy. 

He loved the simple life. He wasn’t in to gourmet cooking.   The type of food he preferred was the kind his mama used to cook; good old down home cooking such as fried chicken, corn bread, and pinto beans.   His favorite dessert was cherry pie and chocolate pie with lots of whipped cream.  

He was an excellent cook.  If anyone showed up at his house around suppertime, he didn’t ask them to stay for supper; he just set another place at the table.   He even mowed his own lawn.   He was very independent and didn’t like relying on gardeners or others for help.  

One time his friends, Glenda and Bob, were holding a dinner party for about 26 people.     Everyone was there except for Doyle so Glenda called and asked him if he was going to come to the party.   Doyle replied, “Only if someone cooks me some pinto beans and cornbread.”   Glenda’s sister, Joyce, promised that she would make up a batch just for him, so he agreed to go over for dinner.

Doyle’s health began to decline in the late 1970s.    Doug Wells stated that Doyle knew he had cancer for approximately four years before he finally sought help. Doyle felt that once he was operated on, the cancer would spread like wild fire.   Doyle wanted to live as long as possible.  Doug said there were times when the pain became so bad that Doyle would pass out.  

Finally around June 1982, he went to see his doctor.   Tests were run and the diagnosis was far worse than he expected.  The cancer had metastasized and Doyle now had terminal lung cancer.   He had surgery in July, but the cancer had progressed to the point that there was nothing the doctor could do surgically.  According to his sister-in-law, he was treated aggressively for the cancer and for a short time Doyle seemed better.  

While Doyle was at home recuperating from his surgery, Teddy and their mutual friend, Naomi Martin, took care of him.   Shortly after returning home, he called Naomi and told her he was hungry.  Doyle had given her the key to his house.  She went right over and walked into Doyle’s house.   Doyle was sitting on the sofa.   He proudly announced “I walked from the bedroom all the way to the living room!”   Naomi’s response to him was “For heavens sake, Doyle, you’re 52 years old.   Don’t you think it’s about time you learned to walk?”   Doyle just laughed.   He loved to tease and enjoyed it when someone teased him back.  
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When Doyle recovered from his surgery, he continued to perform at the Grand Ole Opry.    His friend and former bus driver, Les Acton, would drive him to the performances and then would take him home.   Les told of the last time he took Doyle to the Grand Ole Opry.   Doyle needed a cane to walk, but when it came time for Doyle and Teddy to perform, he handed Les his cane, straightened up and walked out onto the stage.   His voice was as strong as ever and the fans had no idea he was even ill.   Doyle’s last performance on the Grand Ole Opry was on October 2, 1982, just two weeks before he passed away.

On October 6th, Doyle entered the Baptist Hospital for the final time.  Teddy and other family members had a room beside Doyle’s so he had someone there with him at all times.   Linda Wilburn stayed with Doyle as often as she could.  Lester and Leslie would drop by to visit.    Shortly before he passed away, she said she spent the entire day with him and, as she said, we “solved all the world’s problems.”  

The Friday night before he passed away, Doyle was cheering on his favorite baseball team as they played in the World Series.   He and his friend, Doug, had a bet going as to which team would win the World Series.   Of course, Doyle’s money was on the St. Louis Cardinals.  Doyle's team came out on top but unfortunately he did not live to collect his bet.

In addition to watching the ball game, his friend, Naomi Martin, sang religious songs as Doyle attempted to sing along with her.   Naomi said Doyle would lift his chin up as he always did when he hit the high notes.    It was comforting to Doyle to have Naomi there with him and he loved hearing her sing.   Teddy spent the great majority of his time caring for Doyle during his last days. 

The night before he died, Doyle had asked Teddy to sing one of his favorite songs “Ole Flames Can’t Hold a Candle to You” when he performed at the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday evening.   Having just lost his dear brother that morning, it was very difficult for Teddy to sing that song.  However, he knew Doyle would want him to be brave and to sing that song for him.   
On Saturday morning, October 16th, at 9:10 a.m., Doyle gave his last smile to Teddy and then slipped away.  Doyle was only 52.  



Teddy made all of the funeral arrangements.   On Tuesday afternoon, October 19, 1982, services were conducted at the Forest Hills Baptist Church with the Rev. Lloyd E. Lawrence officiating.   Doyle was so well liked by many people and the church was filled to capacity.  
His honorary pallbearers were:  Hal Durham, Bud Wendell, and Jerry Stoble.  His active pallbearers were:  Darrell Erickson, Harold Turner, Bob Stavinoga, Les Action, Doug Wells and Spud Estes. 

As the funeral procession left the church and made its way to the cemetery, the street was lined with mourners.   The hearse stopped for a brief moment at the old Ryman Auditorium where Doyle and Teddy had performed for so many years, then it proceeded on to the cemetery.  

Doyle’s friends from the Nashville Police Department lined the street and saluted as the hearse passed by.   According to a friend of Doyle’s, the funeral procession was well over four miles long.   Doyle would have been so proud that so many people honored him.  He was definitely loved by many of his friends, family and fans.

Doyle was buried with full military honors at the Nashville National Cemetery.

Doyle’s integrity, kindness and decency will always be remembered.   We know he is in a far better place where he doesn’t suffer pain any longer.   We can just imagine him up there in heaven singing along with his three brothers.

“To live in the hearts we leave behind is not to die.”  That quote could never be truer.   While Doyle has been gone from this earth for many years, those who loved him will always miss him and will hold his memory dear to their hearts.   He may be gone but he will never be forgotten.


Doyle with his dog, Bill, Lester, Teddy and Leslie
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