In Memoriam

Country Star Mickey Gilley Remembered in North Texas After Death

Gilley's in Dallas is named after the famed artist

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Mickey Gilley, who inspired the 1980 film "Urban Cowboy" and his namesake Dallas bar, has died at the age of 86.

On Saturday, the country singer was remembered not only for his music but for inspiring a nationwide wave of western-themed nightspots.

“It’s a sad day indeed. Mickey made a big contribution to country music,” said Chris Knowles, operations manager at Billy Bob’s Texas.

With a Texas-size dance floor and more than 100,000 square feet of entertainment space, Billy Bob’s has hosted some of Texas music’s biggest stars, including Mickey Gilley.

Gilley, known as the pioneer of the “urban cowboy” style first opened his honky-tonk, Gilley’s, in Pasadena.

When it closed in 2003, he opened Gilley’s Dallas with 90-thousand square feet of event space.

According to Billy Bob’s management, he was less than thrilled when the establishment first opened and deemed itself to be the world’s largest honky-tonk.

“There was a little competition, that’s for sure,” said Knowles.

Still, Knowles said Gilley helped shape the idea of what a honky-tonk could be.

“I think what he has contributed will continue to last for decades to come,” said Knowles.

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