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Subject: Bill Carlisle, a Star of Grand Ole Opry

died March 17
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Date Posted: March 24, 2003 2:08:19 EDT

The Grand Ole Opry performer Bill Carlisle, whose trademark was leaping into the air while performing, died at his home here on Monday. He was 94.

A singer and guitarist, Mr. Carlisle was the Grand Old Opry's oldest performer, and he appeared as recently as last month. He earned the name Jumpin' Bill Carlisle with a routine be began while performing with his brother, Cliff. Staging a mock fight and placing a chair between them, Bill Carlisle would stand flat-footed and jump over the chair and back. It drew so much laughter that he incorporated it into the act.

In November he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, and waved to the audience from his seat at the Grand Ole Opry House during the Country Music Association awards show.

Mr. Carlisle was born in Wakefield, Ky., and began singing professionally with his brother in the 1930's. Cliff retired from the act in 1947 and Bill formed his own group, the Carlisles. Their hit records included "No Help Wanted," "Is Zat You, Myrtle?" "What Kinda Deal Is This?" and "Too Old to Cut the Mustard."

Mr. Carlisle also wrote the hymn "Gone Home."

In his later years, he would walk onto the Opry stage with the aid of a walker, perform his act and then hoist it over his shoulder and walk proudly off on his own as the audience cheered.

Mr. Carlisle's survivors include a son, Billy, and four grandchildren.

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