NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Doyle Wilburn, a member of the Grand Ole Opry's traditional country music act, The Wilburn Brothers, died Saturday of cancer. He was 52.
Wilburn, along with his brother, Teddy, were regulars on the Grand Ole Opry since in 1953, although they appeared on the show for the first time in 1940. In the 1940s they played on the Louisiana Hayride in Shreveport, La.
Among the many hit songs the duo recored were, 'Trouble's Back in Town,' 'Temptation Go Away,' 'Roll Muddy River, ' 'It's Another World,' 'Someone Before Me,' and 'Arkansas.'
Doyle Wilburn, a native of Thayer, Mo., began his music career in 1937 with his three brothers, a sister and parents as the Wilburn Children. They performed as a family on street corners in Thayer.
Roy Acuff, the 'King of Country Music,' first brought the Wilburn Brothers to the Grand Ole Opry.
Teddy Wilburn said his brother asked him Friday to sing 'Old Flames' at the Opry performance that night.
'He usually tells me what to play and he asked me to sing a song for him. But it's a song I don't know so I had to bring my cheat sheet,' Wilburn said.
The Wilburn Brothers had a syndicated television show for a number of years and ran a talent agency and a music publishing house.
A family friend said that, as recently as last week, it had been hoped Wilburn's cancer could be arrested. But the disease spread rapidly.
'We're going to miss him so much. I've known them for 20 years,' said Virginia Randle, a family friend.
Funeral arrangements were incomplete.