Mickey Gilley


Remember the movie “Urban Cowboy?” You probably recall that it was actor John Travolta’s third movie, but do you remember something even bigger to come out of it? A monster hit for country star Mickey Gilley. 

His country version of the soul classic “Stand By Me,” was featured in the film and became a runaway hit, forever changing Gilley’s career. It allowed him to become a crossover artist — no small feat for a man who’s had 17 No. 1 hits on the country charts, his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and a theater of his own in Branson, Missouri.

But there is another incredible part of his story that’s just now being written. It’s a true example of Surviving and Thriving.

Mickey takes us back to the day in 2009 that left him paralyzed. He describes the struggles to rehabilitate his body and explains why he’s now ready to get back out on the road and perform in concert again — something he thought may never happen again. 

“At the age of 78, I’ve been through heart surgery, brain surgery, two airplane crashes, my appendix burst and I spent five days in the hospital, a back surgery and I was paralyzed from the neck down for three months and couldn’t move. After all of that, I still try to keep a positive attitude. I’ve changed my diet now and I’m eating 9 Lives cat food,” Mickey tells Growing Bolder.

Mickey talks about why he doesn’t understand musicians who say they’re going to retire in their 50s and why he hopes he eventually drops dead on the stage because he has no plans of ever quitting live performances. 

Plus, wait until you hear his stern words for artists like George Strait and Garth Brooks.