When news broke on Friday that Troy Gentry, half of the duo Montgomery Gentry, had died in a helicopter crash at the Flying W Airport in Medford, New Jersey, responses from his friends and peers on social media began to pour in.
They remembered the man who loved and believed in the music he recorded and performed with partner Eddie Montgomery, but they also recalled the man who loved his family, his country and the mid-American values he and Eddie often sang about. He was described as a man who was there when someone needed a helping hand or an encouraging word, and someone who friends could depend on.
Craig Morgan tells Billboard of his friend, “Troy Gentry was more than just a great country singer. Together with Eddie, they established and continuously raised the bar as to what a true duo is. Troy loved his job and was always kind and respectful to the fans. But more than that, he loved his family and friends. As a member of the Grand Ole Opry, he held firm to the morals and values the Opry represents. As my friend, he was dependable and always quick to return a call with support. Troy is not here anymore but he will never be gone — his legacy will live forever in our hearts and minds. I’m confident that I will see him again.”
Charlie Daniels first met the duo when Troy and Eddie invited him to stop by a session where they were recording one of his songs. Their friendship began that day, and swelled over the years as their paths continued to cross and their respect for each other grew. Daniels took time to offer these remembrances of his friend:
I first met Troy and Eddie at a recording session, they had recorded one of my songs and asked me to come by and do a vocal part on it.
They were so easy to get to know, although many years younger than me — raised in the same rural, middle America, family first environment, with a heartfelt love for music and a strong work ethic. Troy had a great sense of humor, a ready smile and a quick wit, always having a rapid response for the good natured little barbs we always exchanged when we got together.
I’ll never forget the night I was honored to inform the boys that they would be inducted into the Grand Ole Opry, –the look on their faces and the scramble to think of a cohesive response to the spur-of-the-moment notice of such an honor, sought by so many and attained by so few.
They had a heart for the less fortunate and always ready to lend their talent to further a cause for the needy, just to be a part of honoring a friend.Troy was humble, always a genuine pleasure to be around, and I am gratified to have been numbered among his many friends.
Young men and women will continue to come to Music City in hopes of making a name for themselves, and there are many lessons they could learn from the life and career of Troy Gentry. Like giving their all every time they walk on stage, about courtesy, kindness and the willingness to go the second mile, and the downhome humility he wore so well.
We won’t forget you Troy Gentry — we have the music, the memories and the indelible traces of a life well lived.
Rest in peace my friend.