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Story Archives: Gilley turns 74; 'Urban Cowboy' turns 30
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|Gilley turns 74; 'Urban Cowboy' turns 30|
Ferriday native and country music legend Mickey Gilley turned 74 years old Tuesday.
He counts himself very fortunate to celebrate that landmark after a serious injury in his condo in Branson, Mo., last July 5.
"That was right after my birthday and I was wondering if I would make another one," Gilley said. "This has been the hardest 7 1/2 months of my life."
Gilley was helping a friend move a couch in his condo when he suffered a fall of just over a foot on a step. He was temporarily paralyzed from the neck down.
"I was backing up with a piece of furniture that weighed about 40 pounds," Gilley said. "I stepped in a flower pot."
Gilley injured the No. 4, 5 and 6 bones in his neck and bruised his spinal cord.
"It started swelling up, which caused the paralysis," he said.
Gilley underwent surgery on July 7 and was flown to Houston, Texas for further treatment.
"I am back to walking with a walker," he said. "I walked a quarter-of-a-mile today and my legs are getting stronger. My hands haven't come back totally yet. But in time they will come back."
Gilley plans are returning to the state in Branson on April 12.
"Even if I have to sit on a stool," he said.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of Urban Cowboy, which made Gilley famous.
Urban Cowboy is a 1980 American romantic drama film about the love-hate relationship between cowboy Bud Davis (John Travolta) and cowgirl Sissy (Debra Winger). The movie captured the late 70s/early 80s popularity of Country Music with John Travolta's star power after hits with Grease and Saturday Night Fever.
Bud Davis moves to Houston, Texas from Spur, Texas. Bud moves in with his uncle Bob (Barry Corbin). Bob takes Bud to the local honky tonk, Gilley's (once a real country bar co-owned by singer Mickey Gilley and his record producer Sherwood Cryer) located in Pasadena, Texas. Most of the movie surrounds events that take place at Gilley's.
The movie spawned a hit soundtrack album featuring such songs as Johnny Lee's "Lookin' for Love", Gilley's "Stand by Me" and "Look What You've Done to Me" by Boz Scaggs.
"We do a little segement about Urban Cowboy and we're going to leave that in the show," Gilley said. "That show was a big part of my career."
Gilley was also intrigued to know that this year is the "Year of the Song" in Louisiana.
"I didn't know that," he said. "The only thing I knew was that the Saints beat the Colts and I won some money on it so I was a happy camper."
Gilley said he is looking forward to returning to Ferriday after playing at the Delta Music Arcade last April.
"I do a couple of shows in Biloxi, so I'll stop in Ferriday," he said. "I always look forward to coming back home."
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