Branson Star Jim Owen Dead at 78

A man who fell in love with Hank Williams, Sr.’s music at age 8 and turned that love into songwriting and performing that entertained millions has died.

According to Branson entertainers and friends, Jim Owen passed away Saturday at the age of 78.

Owen had a love of country music that began with Hank, Sr. that grew during his youth and in 1969 Mel Tillis helped Owen move to Nashville to begin a songwriting career.

Owen wrote several hit songs during his career, including “Too Lonely Too Long” and “One More Drink” for Mel Tillis, “Little Boy’s Prayer” for West Plains native Porter Wagoner, and “The Telephone” for Jerry Reed. He’s best known as a songwriter for the smash hit “Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man” performed by Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn.

Owen’s love of Hank Williams, Sr. was so passionate through his life that he produced a variety of tribute concerts and broadcasts to his hero. On New Year’s Day 1985, his 10-hour radio show about Hank was broadcast nationwide.

Called “country music’s least known superstar” by Charlie Daniels, Owen was given the honor of closing the Grand Ole Opry’s 60th Anniversary show.

Owen performed for over two decades in the Branson area, including a theater inside the Branson Mall that was destroyed in the 2012 Leap Day tornado outbreak, and the Doug Gabriel Theatre.

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