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Wayne Secrest, Founding Member of Confederate Railroad, Dead at 68

Southern-rock band shared news of the longtime bass player’s passing on Facebook over the weekend

Confederate Railroad, Wayne Secrest

Wayne Secrest (on far right), co-founder and bassist of country-rock band Confederate Railroad, has died at 68.

Wayne Secrest, longtime bass player of the country-rock group Confederate Railroad, has died after a lengthy illness. His bandmates shared the news of Secrest’s passing on Facebook late Saturday night. Secrest’s health issues had forced him to retire from touring late last year.

“We shared millions of miles, thousands of concerts and a lifetime of memories,” the band wrote in their post. “Wayne’s memory will live on in every note we play for as long as you allow us to continue.”

Born in April 1950, Secrest was a founding member of Confederate Railroad, along with songwriter Danny Shirley, Michael Lamb, Chris McDaniel, Mark Dufresne and Warren “Gates” Nichols. Nichols died in 2009. The group, known for their often irreverent, humorous songs, including “She Took It Like a Man” and “Trashy Women,” was founded in the Atlanta area in 1987. In addition to playing local bars and clubs, they also served as the backing band for both David Allan Coe and Johnny Paycheck.

The Grammy-nominated group signed with Nashville’s Atlantic Records in 1992 and their double-platinum-selling self-titled debut LP generated six Top Forty hits, including their biggest, “Queen of Memphis,” which peaked at Number Two. The follow-up album Notorious was released in 1994, by which time they had been named Top New Vocal Group by the Academy of Country Music. Two more albums for Atlantic followed, after which the group signed to Audium/Koch and the Shanachie label. After a nine-year gap, the band’s most recent album, Lucky to Be Alive, was issued in 2016 and featured a “20th Anniversary” edition of “Trashy Women,” featuring John Anderson, Willie Nelson and country rapper Colt Ford.

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