Country Hall of Famer Ray Stevens’ Brother Dies Unexpectedly
John W. Ragsdale, the younger brother of Country Music Hall of Fame member Ray Stevens, died unexpectedly last weekend. He was 75 years old.
A note on Stevens' Instagram page reveals that Ragsdale fell at his home on the island of Popa Loma, in the Bocas Del Toro region of Panama. That's where he'd bought property over 20 years ago and built his house after learning to fly. Ragsdale was an Air Force veteran and member of the Air Force band, the caption continues.
In Nashville, he was a skilled musician, songwriter and occasional actor. He also helped Stevens keep the books for his various business pursuits.
"Many may have known him from the years Ray was in Branson [Missouri] where John was the Tuxedoed Master of Ceremonies, Gorilla who swung in on a vine during the 'Gitarzan' performance of Ray's shows there and the man who oversaw the Gift Shop as well as Ray's Concessions Business when on the road," the Instagram note reads.
A video shared to Stevens' YouTube page shows off his brother's many skill sets and willingness to do whatever needed for a show. It also explains the first photo in the gallery below.
Ragsdale was the 81-year-old Stevens' only sibling. The singer and comedian was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2019.
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