Montgomery Gentry is a duo that’s had its share of misfortune — mostly centered around member Eddie Montgomery. In 2010, Montgomery was diagnosed with prostate cancer and also weathered a divorce from his wife soon after. He would additionally be tested by the death of his 19-year-old son in a 2015 accident.
Sadly, that wasn’t the end of Montgomery’s trials. On Sept. 8, his duo partner of multiple decades, Troy Gentry, died in a helicopter crash at the age of 50.
Gentry left behind his family and his longtime band members, along with his legacy of plainspoken country music that will remain strong, as evidenced in this 2011 interview with Yahoo Music. The duo sat down to discuss their upcoming album of that year, Rebels on the Run, and the rock-solid philosophy behind their work.
“That’s what Eddie and I have always tried to do,” Gentry noted. “[Find] those great American songs that everyday people can identify with. … I think that’s what our fans like so much, is that we sing about the average everyday life.”
One of those songs was the single “So Called Life,” a matter-of-fact tune boasting lyrics such as “Sometimes it’s green, green grass/Other times it kicks my ass.” Gentry laughingly recalled that the song was written with him in mind: “They joke with me calling me Black Cloud,” he said with a smile, explaining that sometimes his glass is “half full” and sometimes “half empty.”
He also made clear that the duo has always made music with American values in mind. “We wanted to get back to the basic sounds and structure of what we were founded on to begin with. Eddie and I have always had a lot of pride in our military and wanted to pay tribute to them and thank them for giving us our freedoms and allowing us to do what we do for a living. This is one way for us to pay tribute and say thank you to all those soldiers.”
The crash that took Gentry’s life happened at about 1 p.m. at the Flying W Airport & Resort in Bedford, N.J.; the band had been scheduled to play a concert there that evening. The show is canceled. Gentry is survived by his wife, Angie McClure; their daughter, Taylor; and a daughter, Kaylee, from an earlier marriage.