1945 – 2003
The son of a coal miner, Gary and his family moved to Florida when he was 12. It was there that he became part of a band that eventually landed a gig at a nightclub where he met Mel Tillis. This meeting gave Gary the encouragement to work harder on his craft.
Not long after Gary moved to Nashville with his wife Mary Lou whom he had married at age 18. Within a couple of years he had written songs performed by Jack Greene and Jim Ed Brown among others.
By 1975, Gary had scored his first number one record: “She’s Actin’ Single (I’m Drinking Doubles)". Sadly, of the 30 songs that hit the Billboard Country Singles Chart, that was his only chart topper.
Gary began to become disillusioned with the Nashville scene and moved back to Florida to play honky-tonks and venues like Billy Bob’s Texas.
"Stewart really didn't fit in
anywhere. He wasn't Southern rock, and he wasn't Nashville country."
Gary lost his son to suicide in the late 80s, and in November of 2003, his wife of 43 years passed away of pneumonia.
Friends say Gary became despondent, and in December of that same year, a close friend stopped by to visit and check on him, only to find him dead of a self inflicted gunshot wound.
Gary Steward who no doubt faced many demons, was only 59.
© 2003 Eddie Bear Productions