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Mickey Gilley, who helped inspire ‘Urban Cowboy,’ dies at 86

Bill Stephens

May 9th, 2022

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NEW YORK (AP) — Country star Mickey Gilley has died. He was 86. He was known for such hits as “Window Up Above” and for the Texas honky-tonk he owned that inspired the hit film “Urban Cowboy.” Based on an Esquire magazine article about two regulars at Gilley’s, the film starred John Travolta and Debra Winger and inspired a nationwide wave of Western-themed clubs. Gilley also had some famous relatives, including cousins Jerry Lee Lewis, the rock ‘n’ roll pioneer; and evangelist Jimmy Swaggart. Gilley’s other hits include “City Lights” and “Don’t the Girls All Get Prettier at Closing Time.”

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