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Legendary rock icon and country bluesman, Joe White, dies at 75

Junie Sihlangu
Oct 26, 2018
04:57 A.M.

Singer-songwriter Tony Joe White passed away suddenly in the late afternoon on Wednesday. His family shared that he’d died of natural causes.

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He was at home in Leipers Fork, Tennessee, just outside Nashville, when he passed away. His son, Jody White revealed the exact cause of death.

Jody White revealed how his father Tony Joe White died:

"He wasn’t ill at all. He just had a heart attack. ... There was no pain or suffering."

The “swamp rock” icon was 75-years-old.

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For more on this story go to our Twitter account @amomama_usa. White was famous for his Top Ten record "Black and White" which featured the song “Polk Salad Annie.”

The track was popularized by Elvis Presley. White was also best known as the writer of the soulful “Rainy Night in Georgia,” which became a number four pop hit for Brook Benton in 1970.

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The song was covered by a number of other artists including Hank Williams Jr., B.J. Thomas, Shelby Lynne, and as a duet by Conway Twitty and Sam Moore. Other artists also sang his songs.

They included Dusty Springfield, Ray Charles, Waylon Jennings, and Tina Turner. White was a singer who had a deep, growling voice, and "swamp rock" sound.

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This genre incorporated elements of blues, rock, country, and R&B. On September 28, White released his latest album, “Bad Mouthin’.”

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It came out on the Yep Rock label and on the same night, he made his debut at the Grand Ole Opry. He canceled tour dates in Australia for this month after the Opry appearance.

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At the time his promoter had announced:

“After a recent show at Nashville’s legendary Ryman, the great man was almost unable to walk after suffering severe pain in his calves and had to be helped off the stage while in extreme pain. Since then the discovery of a bulging disk in his back has meant an immediate end to future engagements that involve significant travel until physical therapy can hopefully reinstate him to a healthy state for travel.”

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White is survived by his wife, Leann, his children Michelle, Jim Bob, Jody, and several grandchildren. Funeral arrangements are pending.

From 1969 until now, the musician recorded more than 20 albums. He also wrote, "Steamy Windows" and "Undercover Agent for the Blues," which were both hits for Tina Turner in 1989.

"Polk Salad Annie" was also recorded by Tom Jones.

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