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Jody Payne, 77, guitarist toured with Willie Nelson for decades

This March 4 2008 file phoshows Jody Payne left Willie Nelsperforming Star Texas Fair Rodeo AustTexas. Payne who was Willie

This March 4, 2008 file photo shows Jody Payne, left, and Willie Nelson performing at the Star of Texas Fair and Rodeo in Austin, Texas. Payne, who was Willie Nelson's guitar player for 35 years before he retired in 2008, has died Saturday Aug. 10, 2013. (AP Photo/Austin American-Statesman, Jay Janner)

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Updated: September 12, 2013 6:56AM

STAPLETON, Ala. — Jody Payne, a guitarist who toured with Willie Nelson for more than three decades, has died. He was 77.

Baldwin County Coroner Stan Zinson said Mr. Payne died at 5:12 a.m. Saturday at a hospital from cardiac problems. He said Mr. Payne got up early in his house in Stapleton, Ala., feeling ill, and his wife called an ambulance.

He said Mr. Payne had a history of cardiac problems.

According to a 2011 profile in the Mobile Press-Register, Mr. Payne toured with Nelson from 1973 to 2008. He retired to Stapleton with his wife Vicki. There he continued playing music, teaching the guitar at a local music store.

A post on Willie’s Nelson’s Facebook page about Mr. Payne’s death said, “Our friend will be missed.”


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