Home #Hwoodtimes Longtime Manager for George Strait, Erv Woolsey Has Passed Away at Age...

Longtime Manager for George Strait, Erv Woolsey Has Passed Away at Age 80

Erv Woolsey (Courtesy Of Erv Woolsey Co Billboard)

“My manager for around 45 years and most importantly my friend for even longer, Erv Woolsey, passed away this morning,” Strait said in a statement. “He had complications from a surgery and just couldn’t overcome it. He was a very tough man, and fought hard, but sadly it was just too much. We will miss him so very much and will never forget all the time we had together. Won’t ever be the same without him.”

Artist manager and record promotion executive Eugene Ervine “Erv” Woolsey, 80, died Wednesday (Mar. 20) in Clearwater, Florida, following surgery complications.

“Without the savvy and determination of Erv Woolsey, we may never have heard of George Strait,” said Kyle Young, CEO of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, in a statement. He added, “When execs urged Strait to change his image and his sound, Erv as his manager backed Strait’s determination to stay true to himself. You know the rest. Strait became a superstar who filled stadiums, and together Strait and Erv helped lead country music back to its traditions. All of us owe Erv Woolsey an enormous debt of gratitude for leading with his convictions and always supporting artists and new talent.”

Erv Woolsey And George Strait (Photo Courtesy Of The Erv Woolsey Co. Billboard)

Woolsey spent time working at several labels before relocating to Nashville in 1973, when he began serving as the head of promotions for ABC Records’ newly-launched country division. There, he helped guide the careers of Johnny Rodriguez, Jimmy Buffett, Billy “Crash” Craddock, Donna Fargo, Freddy Fender and the Amazing Rhythm Aces. Simultaneously, Woolsey and his then-wife Connie owned the San Marcos, Tex., club The Prairie Rose, where Woolsey first saw and became acquainted with Strait. He immediately recognized Strait’s talent and booked him at the venue as a regular performer.

Woolsey followed his success at ABC Records with an unprecedented run at MCA during the 1980s, bringing radio success for artists including Barbara Mandrell, Don Williams, Loretta Lynn, Tanya Tucker, Conway Twitty and the Oak Ridge Boys, all of whom would become members of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Woolsey is survived by his son Clint, ex-wife Connie, brother David and sister Beth. He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Mavis Woolsey, and brother Johnny Woolsey.