Dean Manuel

Dockie Dean
Birth Name:
Dockie Dean Manuel
Birth Date:
January 1, 1934
Birth Place:
Cleveland, Arkansas
Death Date:
July 31, 1964
Place of Death:
400 yards east of Franklin Road, Brentwood, Tennessee
Cause of Death:
Plane crash
Cemetery Name:
Spring Hill Cemetery
Claim to Fame:
"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.

Not-So-Fun Facts

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.

Cemetery Information:

Final Resting Place:

Spring Hill Cemetery

5110 Gallatin Pike S

Nashville, Tennessee, 37216


North America

Grave Location:


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

36.239903433445775, -86.71898034443159



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