Legendary Country Roadie Dies at 92
After more than 60 years of serving as a roadie for some of country’s legendary artists, Ben “Lovey” Dorcy has died at the age of 92..
Known as the “World’s Oldest Roadie,” Lovey passed away on Saturday, Sept. 16th.
In 1950, Dorcy got his start in the music business as a roadie for country star Hank Thompson. Dorcy was once John Wayne’s valet. He toured with Elvis Presley, Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash and other top artist. He then met and formed a close bond with fellow Texan Willie Nelson with whom Dorcy worked for many years, right up until a couple of months before his death. Dorcy was on hand at Nelson’s annual Fourth of July picnic earlier this year.
Chances are you have seen Ben Dorcy at San Angelo’s Midnight Rodeo & numerous other venues, traveling with some of the major Texas Artist, especially The Randy Rogers Band. I remember seeing Randy kiss ‘Lovey’ on top of his head just before taking the stage one night. Pretty special!!
Dorcy’s wonderful personality earned him the nickname, “Lovey.” Songs were written in his honor. Waylon Jenning’s wrote “Ode To Ben Dorcy,” and Red Sovine wrote “Big Ben Dorcy The Third.”
Ben Dorcy was the inspiration behind the documentary, ‘King of the Roadies’ that shares the details of Dorcy’s journey with the stars. It also features recollections by Willie Nelson himself.
Hank Thompson may have said it best in a letter of recommendation for Dorcy… “Although there are many helpers, assistants and stage people today often referred to as ‘roadies’, the one who set the pace and cleared the path for those to follow is a man well known among his peers. He is an individual who fine-tuned the delicate art of properly handling and setting up of band’s equipment, attending wardrobe, maintaining immaculate traveling quarters, and attention to the detailed needs of his associates.”
Rest In Peace ‘Lovey’.