John “Johnny” Sheppard Maddox Jr., age 91 of Gallatin, passed away on Tuesday, November 27, 2018, at the Gallatin Center for Rehabilitation and Healing. A native of Gallatin, he was born to the late John Sheppard Maddox Sr. and Ann Elizabeth Pryor Maddox.
Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by siblings Ada Maddox Key, Betty Maddox Cothron, and Kenneth Maddox.
Johnny began playing the piano at the age of three with lessons given to him by his Aunt Zula. He had his first recital at age 5 and began playing professionally at the age of 12. He was the first artist signed to Randy Wood’s Dot Records in 1950. His ragtime style of piano was recognizable all over the country. In 1954 he was named the No. 1 Jukebox Artist by the Music Operators of America. During his career, he recorded 50 albums, was awarded nine certified gold singles, and sold over eleven million records. Johnny was one of the first performers to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame when it was created in 1960. He was a Mason of the King Solomon Lodge and a US. Army veteran.
He is survived by his longtime lady friend of 35 years, Fredette Smith Eagle of McLean, VA. He is also survived by his former wife, and mother of his children, Betty Biddy Maddox of Little Rock, AR. He leaves behind four sons all of Little Rock: John S. Maddox III and his children, Lilly and Graham; Scott L. Maddox (Anna Leigh) and their daughter, Lindsey of Los Angeles, CA; Dr. Randy Maddox (Cindi) and their children, Peyton (Paige) of Little Rock, Harrison of Portland, OR, Elizabeth Claire of Little Rock; Richard Maddox (Jennifer) and their children Patrick and Daniel also of Little Rock. In addition Johnny is survived by his nieces and nephews Ginger Richardson, Anne Hathcote, Jane Campbell, Edie Maddox, Elizabeth Anne Poole, Johnny Key, Tommy Cothron, and Greg Cothron; cousin, Sara Beth Pegg; and a host of great-nieces and great-nephews.
Visitation will be held Monday, December 3, 2018, from 1:00-3:00 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Gallatin. The funeral service at the church will begin at 3:00 p.m. with The Rev. Candace Klein and The Rev. Dr. Charles L. Moffatt III officiating. Interment will follow in the Gallatin City Cemetery with Kenneth C. Thomson, Jr., Bobby Richardson, Kenny Hathcote, Cameron Crutcher, Rick Hendrix, and Kenneth Brewer serving as pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers will be The Rev. Dr. Charles L. Moffatt III, Bill Puryear, David Wright, Eugene Branham, Edward Douglass, Dr. Jimmy Patterson, Robert Morgan, Tom Henry Neal, Noel Martin, Erwin McKee, Tom McKee, and Dick Ring.
The family wishes a very special thank you to his longtime friend, and care giver, Kenneth C. Thomson, Jr., of Gallatin; and his friend and piano protégé, Adam Swanson of Durango CO.
Grateful appreciation to the nurses and staff at Gallatin Center for Rehabilitation and Healing, especially, Katherine, Missy, and Heaven for their devoted daily care of Johnny.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the music fund at the First Presbyterian Church of Gallatin; or the Sumner County Museum.