Troy Gentry, the 50-year-old, Kentucky-born guitarist and singer who died in a helicopter crash on Friday afternoon at the Flying W Airport & Resort in Medford before a performance that had been scheduled for that evening. was half of Montgomery Gentry, a Southern-rock flavored country-music duo that had a run of radio hits in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Along with partner Eddie Montgomery — brother of country star John Michael Montgomery — the late singer and sometime songwriter made up a platinum-selling duo who in their prime were second only to Brooks and Dunn as a male twosome specializing in a rugged, high-volume sound influenced by Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers Band.
Montgomery Gentry was originally called Deuce, but changed its name upon signing to Columbia Records in 1999, and scored a Top 20 country hit that year with “Hillbilly Shoes,” off the Tattoo & Scars debut album. Gentry and Montgomery won the Country Music Association Male Duo of the Year award in 2000, breaking Brooks & Dunn’s eight-year hold on the award.
Throughout the following decade, Montgomery Gentry was a successful touring act and scored a steady stream of 23 Top 40 country hits, including “My Town,” “Something to Be Proud of,” and a cover of Robert Earl Keen’s “Merry Christmas From the Famil.,” The most recent was “Where I Come From” from Rebels on the Run in 2011. The duo’s last album, Folks Like Us, came out in 2015, and this year they guested on Southern rock-rap band the Lacs’ album American Rebelution.
Gentry is survived by daughters Kaylee and Taylor and wife Angie McClure, whom he married in 1999.