Country music veteran DOC WILLIAMS has died at the age of 96.
The singer and musician passed away at his home in Wheeling, West Virginia on Monday (31Jan11).
The Ohio-born star, real name Andrew John Smik, began to pursue a career in showbusiness in the 1930s after he turned his back on coal mining. He auditioned for a job at a local radio station, where he met his future wife, Chickie.
The pair went on to become one of the station's most popular acts, fronting a show named Jamboree USA, and they wed in 1939.
Williams went on to front the Border Riders, before he and Chickie became one of country music's most beloved couples. The duo was inducted into the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame in 2009.
Chickie Williams died in 2007.
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.