Longtime musician Lou Hobbs dies

Friday, September 21, 2007

Southeast Missouri has lost one of its best-known musicians, one who made a name for himself both nationally and overseas for his rockabilly sound.

Local music legend Lou Hobbs died Thursday night following a long battle with Parkinson's disease, family members said.

The 65-year-old Hobbs started his music career as a youth, learning to play guitar under the tutelage of his mother, Ruby. Later he became a well-known rockabilly guitarist, performing with Malden, Mo., native Narvel Felts for several years before striking out on his own.

In the early 1980s, Hobbs recorded a string of songs that cracked the country charts in the United States and gained a fan base for his rockabilly sound in Europe.

For several years Hobbs also hosted his own show, "The Lou Hobbs Show," that aired locally on KFVS12 but was syndicated and aired in other markets. During the show's run, Hobbs interviewed such stars as Johnny Cash, George Jones, Kris Kristofferson, Randy Travis and fellow Cape Girardeau native Billy Swan.

Family and friends say Hobbs musical ability was matched only by his generosity. He was known to "adopt" a family each Christmas, anonymously providing them with food and gifts, and to play benefit shows whenever he was asked.

In that spirit of giving, Hobbs' family is asking that memorial donations be made to the Red Star Baptist Church food pantry.

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