Renowned Music Journalist Chet Flippo Passes Away - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Renowned Music Journalist Chet Flippo Passes Away

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A renowned country music journalist passed away Wednesday morning.

Chet Flippo, 69, died at a Nashville hospital following a lengthy illness.

Flippo was one of the early writers for Rolling Stone and Billboard magazines. He wrote seven books, including "On The Road With The Rolling Stones" and a biography of Hank Williams.

He joined Country Music Television as the editorial director in 2001, and worked there until his death. He wrote a regular column for called "Nashville Skyline."

"This is a stunning loss to all of us," CMT president Brian Philips said in a statement. "Chet was a stoic Texan, fiercely loyal and intensely private. He was honest to the core and widely regarded as a bit enigmatic, even among his closest colleagues. For all, it was a terrific privilege to work with Chet Flippo.

The statement went on to say, "He was not conservative in his tastes – Chet championed legitimate musical innovation – but he loved country music too much to let Music Row get away with fostering hypes and copycat artists on the public. Because his criticisms came from a respected insider and known country music-lover, his columns were taken very seriously by the Nashville community. Chet kept everybody honest."

Flippo was born in Texas, and served in the US Navy during the Vietnam War. He taught at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

He also received the Country Music Association's 1998 CMT Media Award and the Charlie Lamb Award for Excellence in Country Music Journalism.

His wife, Martha Hume Flippo, had recently passed away in December 2012.

Survivors include sister Shirley Smith of Brandon, Fla., and brothers Bill Flippo of Saginaw, Texas, and Ernest Flippo of Abington, Mass.

Plans for a memorial service are incomplete. The family asks that memorial contributions be made to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

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