According to the Tennessean, a free public memorial service will be held at the historic Ryman Auditorium at 10 a.m. on Jan. 31. Many of Tillis’ longtime friends will be on hand to perform covers of some of Tillis’ biggest hits.
Among those scheduled to take the stage include Brenda Lee, Alison Krauss with Street Corner Symphony, Jamey Johnson, Ricky Skaggs, Collin Raye, Daryle Singletary, Lorrie Morgan, Ira Dean, Ray Stevens, Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers.
Three of Mel’s children, Pam Tillis, Sonny Tillis and Carrie April Tillis, will also perform. His longtime band the Streetsiders will also accompany select performances.
Tillis’ career spanned over 60 years and 60 albums. He was known for his bright personality, sense of humor and hits like “Coca-Cola Cowboy” and “I Ain’t Never.”
Tillis died of respiratory failure while hospitalized in Ocala, Fla. He was buried after a private ceremony in Clarksville, Tenn.