Montana country music icon Lonnie Bell passes away

ERIC YOUNG

Montana and country music has lost a legend.

Longtime Billings disc jockey and radio icon Lonnie Bell has died at the age of 98, a social media post announced. The DJ Hall of Fame inductee passed away Tuesday evening after suffering a fall in the days prior.

“So much can be said about Lonnie, and will be shared in the coming days and weeks,” Lonnie Bell’s Classic Country Facebook page wrote. “For now, please share in our prayers of comfort for Marty and all the family.”

Lonnie Bell on the air at KOYN Radio.

Courtesy photo

Born in Enterprise, West Virginia Jul. 31, 1924, Bell’s roots with country music are closer and deeper than just about anyone’s. Not far away from the coal mining town in Bristol, Tennessee, the Victor Talking Machine Company would record some of the earliest sessions of country music that included Ernest Stoneman, Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family in the late 1920s.  

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