NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Journalist Joe Edwards, who chronicled country new music and served “Rocky Top” grow to be a Tennessee state music during his four-10 years Related Press career, has died. He was 75.

Longtime AP colleague Randall Dickerson stated Edwards’ wife called him to share the information that her husband died Friday following a lengthy ailment in Nashville.

Edwards documented the ascent of place music by means of interviews with stars ranging from Dolly Parton to Taylor Swift. He wrote the AP’s Nashville Seem region audio column from 1975 to 1992 and did commentary for The Nashville Network cable Television set station in the 1980s.

When Edwards retired in 2012, Reba McEntire said in a video tribute: “I’ll hardly ever overlook the first time you interviewed me at the incredibly starting of my job, and I’ll in no way fail to remember how sweet you ended up generally to me.”

In 1982, a tale Edwards wrote about the level of popularity of the music “Rocky Top” led the Basic Assembly to declare it a state tune.

“He obtained the ball rolling,” Boudleaux Bryant, the song’s co-writer, stated at the time.

He also lined sports activities and a wide variety of other matters in the course of his AP profession, which was invested completely in Nashville. He labored most of the jobs in the Nashville bureau, together with sports editor, broadcast editor and day and evening supervisor.

Edwards was between those covering the loss of life of Elvis Presley in 1977. He also noted about or edited tales from extra than 20 Region Audio Affiliation awards exhibits.

He was nominated for a number of AP producing awards in the 1970s and 1980s.

“I just show up on time and do what I’m advised,” he when reported.

He wrote often about the syndicated Tv set display “Hee Haw,” and he once appeared on digital camera with its cast users.

Edwards began his AP occupation in 1970 soon after graduating from Jap Kentucky University. Prior to that, he attended Vincennes University in Indiana.

Though in faculty, he labored for the Cincinnati Enquirer and the Crawfordsville, Indiana, Journal-Critique.

Soon after getting the work in Nashville, he periodically played basketball with Al Gore, then a reporter for The Nashville Tennessean. Gore later on turned vice president.

“He was a rather good rebounder,” Edwards recalled.

Nation tunes stars he interviewed also incorporated Garth Brooks, Willie Nelson, Kenny Rogers, Barbara Mandrell and Loretta Lynn. For several years, Edwards voted on nominees for the Songwriters Corridor of Fame.

He specialized in producing obituaries, which includes all those for audio stars Johnny Funds, Porter Wagoner, Roy Orbison, Invoice Monroe and Carl Perkins.

In 2010, he wrote extensively about the Nashville flooding that remaining a lot of the city submerged for many days. But he desired reporting about extra light-weight-hearted subject areas, these kinds of as the taster at the Jack Daniel’s distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee.

Also, Edwards historically wrote a calendar year-conclude tale per year wrapping up Tennessee’s offbeat happenings of the yr.

“People phone and talk to if I’m likely to do the bizarre tale yet again,” he claimed.

In the early 1970s, as bureau sports activities editor, Edwards spearheaded an hard work to include things like ladies high university basketball scores on the AP wire and to have a women poll be part of the just one for boys.

By Indana