One of the best-known road managers in country music was lost recently from an unexpected illness.
Tim Cotton, a 64-year-old tour bus driver and road manager, passed away on January 26th due to complications from kidney cancer.
Working with The Oak Ridge Boys many times over the years, his most recent stint with them started just a year ago in January 2015.
Joe Bonsall, one of the most tenured members of the group, expressed that the cancer surprised them all.
"Starting around late summer of 2015 he started to be bothered by a lower back pain that persisted on and on. It got so bad that he eventually had to leave the road as driving became more and more impossible for him. What a shock to learn around Christmas that Tim had been diagnosed with cancer and the prognosis was not good," Bonsall exclusively told Country Rebel.
Bonsall said that Tim Cotton was liked by everyone and an upstanding person. Recalling times they had worked together before, he relishes some fond memories.
"He drove semi for us back in the early 80’s and was a vital part of our team in those Hay Days of Elvira and big coliseum tours. We all miss Tim. He was an old fashioned throwback kind of guy which was quite refreshing. No GPS or iPad for Tim. He had some sort of rolodex contraption that showed him the milage to a certain town and he stood by it!"
Cotton had been a part of the music industry for over 40 years and worked for artists like The Doobie Brothers, The Eagles, Alan Jackson, Brenda Lee, Loretta Lynn, Lonestar, Reba McEntire, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Ricky Skaggs, Conway Twitty, Tammy Wynette, and of course The Oak Ridge Boys, among many others.
Bonsall concluded his statement with Country Rebel, noting how close the band and their vital crew member had grown over their years together.
"Tim loved The Oak Ridge Boys and we loved him back. Rest easy brother… until the day…"
You can view the full obituary here, as well as get details on memorial services.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Tim Cotton's friends and family during this difficult time.