WSGS Tribute: Gene Greenlee, 94, died on Monday. He was a well known
musician who had a recording studio at his home in the Wabaco section
of Hazard. “Gene was one of my mentors,” said Bernie Faulkner who
did some recordings at Greenlee’s studio. “He was a great bass
player and a great guy,” Faulkner said.
During the 1970’s, Greenlee was a regular musician on the Mark &
Luke Walters radio show on WSGS. It was a gospel program that was also
filled with instrumental jam sessions by Greenlee, E. C. Dixon, and Curt
Eversole. Josephine Walters provided lead vocals.
During the filming of the movie, Next
of Kin, in 1988, actors Patrick Swayze and Helen Hunt made a trip to
Greenlee’s studio in Wabaco where Gene gave them lessons on the
fiddle. During that visit Patrick bought one of Greenlee’s fiddles
which was featured in the movie.
Greenlee was a United States Army Veteran of World War II, a retired
former coal miner, district manager for Mine Safety & Health, a
member of the Minturn #19 Masonic Lodge in Point Pleasant, West
Virginia, and a member of the Eastern Star Krypton.
He is preceded in death by his wife: Garnet Levetta Bellar
Greenlee; one son: Roger Greenlee; grandson: Dwight R. Greenlee; one
sister: Vada Cottrill and two brothers: Charles and Millard Luther
He is survived by one daughter: Mollie Ann (Allen) Salyers; one
son: Dwight Ronald Greenlee; five grandchildren: Ronda (Richard)
Combs, Kenton Day, Greg (Alice) Day, Forrest (Teri) Greenlee and Roger
Greenlee; nine great grandchildren: Cassandra (Tim) Callahan, Tyler
Day, Taylor Day, Gregory Day, Dwight Greenlee, Matthew Greenlee,
Tiffany Cowley, Taylor Cowley and Tara Cowley; eight great great
grandchildren: Courtney Callahan, Natalie Callahan, Brevin Callahan,
Cameron Callahan, John Day, Aliya Dygert, Alexis Dygert and Gage