string(156) "Grave of Mark Sandman. Mark Sandman was born on September 24, 1952 and died in Giardini del Principe, Palestrina, Italy due to Heart attack on July 3, 1999."
string(174) "Grave of Bunk Johnson. Bunk Johnson was born on December 27, 1885 and died in 638 Franklin Street, New Iberia, Louisiana due to Lingering effects of a stroke on July 7, 1949."
"Dockie" Dean Manuel played piano for several noteworthy bands of the mid-twentieth century both on the West Coast and in Nashville, Tennessee. While attempting to re-establish himself in the West Coast country music scene after returning from the armed services, Dean received a phone call from Jim Reeves in Nashville, who was reorganizing the Blue Boys, named for Jim’s big hit of 1958, “Blue Boy.” Manuel and his family moved to Nashville. Manuel became part of the Jim Reeves Blue Boys band in 1959. He he was joined by drummer Mel Rogers and bass player James Kirkland to be in the band. Manuel, Rogers, and Kirkland, along with Leo Jackson (who was returning from the military), formed the nucleus of Jim Reeves and the Blue Boys. Sadly in 1965 Manuel died in a plane crash with Jim Reeves after leaving Independence County, where he had been helping Reeves with a land purchase.
To be blunt, Jim Reeves had absolutely no business flying solo much less with a passenger. Jim had been taking flying lessons but had not received his pilots license. When he returned from overseas in 1963, he paid $200 to a Nashville flight instructor to grant him his license. But what sealed his fate on that fateful day was that he was flying a more advanced Beechcraft rather than his slower Cessna that he trained on. So without the 200 additional flight hours needed to competently fly the Beechcraft he was completely unprepared as a pilot. But it gets worse – during the flight he ignored the control towers instructions to veer right to avoid the storm cell and he decided to turn left going further and deeper into the storm. When lightning flashed he pulled too hard on the yoke and the plane nose-dived into the ground. It was all over in a matter of seconds.
Final Resting Place:
Spring Hill Cemetery
5110 Gallatin Pike S
Nashville, Tennessee, 37216
Grave Location Description
As you enter the cemetery take the first left just past the office parking lot. Take the second right and drive almost to the intersection. Dean Manuel’s upright tombstone is three rows off the road that borders the Crestview section (on your right) and the Sunnymeade section (on your left).
Grave Location GPS
Read More About Dean Manuel:
Videos Featuring Dean Manuel:
Wildwood Flower performed Live by Jim Reeves and The Blue Boys in 1961
Jim Reeves' Band "The Blue Boys" - Last Date
Jim Reeves Plane Crash Video
Dean Manuel with the Blueboys - Maggie
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