Jody Payne, Willie Nelson guitarist, dies at 77

Associated Press
File- This March 4, 2008 file photo shows Jody Payne playing guitar with Willie Nelson's band at the Star of Texas Fair and Rodeo in Austin, Texas. Payne, who was Willie Nelson's guitar player for 35 years before he retired in 2008, has died Saturday Aug. 10, 2013. (AP Photo/Austin American-Statesman, Jay Janner)
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File- This March 4, 2008 file photo shows Jody Payne playing guitar with Willie Nelson's band at the …

STAPLETON, Ala. (AP) — Jody Payne, a guitarist who toured with Willie Nelson for more than three decades, has died. He was 77.

Baldwin County Coroner Stan Zinson says Payne died at 5:12 a.m. Saturday at a hospital from cardiac problems. He says Payne got up early in his house in Stapleton, Ala., feeling ill, and his wife called an ambulance.

He says Payne had a long history of cardiac problems.

According to a 2011 profile in The Mobile Press-Register, Payne toured with Nelson from 1973 to 2008. He retired to Stapleton, with his wife Vicki. There he continued playing music, teaching the guitar at a local music store.

A post on Willie's Nelson's Facebook page about Payne's death said, "Our friend will be missed."

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