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Nashville drummer Willie Ackerman dead at 73

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Nashville drummer Willie Ackerman, who played with artists such as Loretta Lynn, Willie Nelson and Louis Armstrong, has died. He was 73.

According to an obituary from the Marshall-Donnelly-Combs Funeral Home, Ackerman passed away peacefully on Thursday.

The obituary states that Ackerman was a professional musician from the age of 17. He was a staff drummer for such country music institutions as the Grand Ole Opry, RCA Studios and "Hee Haw."

He played with numerous country stars, including Patsy Cline, George Jones, Waylon Jennings and Chet Atkins. He recorded classic hits such as "El Paso," and "Wings of a Dove."

Funeral services are at 10 a.m. Monday at Marshall-Donnelly-Combs followed by burial at Springhill Cemetery. Memorials may be made in Ackerman's honor to the Opry Trust Fund.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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