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McDONALD CRAIG

McDONALD CRAIG

Mr. Craig, 90, of Linden, died Sunday, September 26, 2021, at Perry County Nursing Home. A funeral service was held Saturday, October 9, 2021, 2:00 p.m., in the chapel of Young Funeral Home. Burial was at Craig Cemetery. He was born in the Lick Creek Community, the son of the late Newt Craig and Conna McDonald Craig, on the estate of William Riley Craig and Elizabeth Craig. He was a U.S. Army Veteran. When the Korean Conflict broke out in the 1950s, he enlisted and was appointed head gunner on the Recoilless Rifle Team. For his bravery, he was awarded the Bronze Star. He very often entertained his fellow troops by singing during breaks in the fighting. He started his working career at the young age of ten, primarily in the timber and lumber industry. He had great accomplishments in the country music Industry, winning the Jimmie Rodgers Memorial Talent Festival in Meridian, Mississippi, in 1978—the first and only black person to do so in the history of the contest. A year after winning the contest, he was offered a record deal by RCA, which he declined because did not want to be constantly on the road. In 2009, the Tennessee House of Representatives honored him with a special commendation naming him a Legendary Country Music Performer, recognizing him as an “exemplary country singer who has inspired and uplifted audiences with his unique musical style for decades.” This same year, he was invited to Murfreesboro where a group of grade school students surprised him by performing his original composition, “My Home in Tennessee.” Throughout the years he performed with Boxcar Willie, Johnny Russell, Tommy Boyce, and Bobby Hart, just to name a few. In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his sister, Helen Craig Smith, and brothers, Roy Lynn Craig, Newt Craig, Jr. and Ray Craig. Survivors include his wife of sixty-three years Rosetta Smith Craig; sons, Reginald Craig of White House, and Ervin Craig of Linden; grandsons, Patrick and Brian Craig; sisters, Dr. Carolyn Briggs of Nashville, and Reba Craig of Altadena, California; and a host of other loving family members and friends.

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