Bruce Gist

Pop, Rock, Country Songwriter

Born: St. Joseph, TN

Lived in Killen, AL

Source: Alabama Music Hall of Fame




Bruce Gist

Published: Thursday, April 15, 2010 at 3:30 a.m.

Last Modified: Wednesday, April 14, 2010 at 8:42 p.m.

Willie Bruce Gist, 71, passed away Tuesday, April 13, 2010, at his home in Killen, Ala. He was surrounded by his family members at the time of his passing.

Mr. Gist was a founding member of the legendary Muscle Shoals Sound, where as a singer and songwriter, he cataloged more than 150 songs, many which were performed by a plethora of artists, most notably Percy Sledge. His song, "Love Me Like You Mean It" was often covered by Janis Joplin during her live performances, and was most recently recorded by the artist Pink for an upcoming Joplin movie.

He leaves behind his loving wife and soul mate of more than 48 years, Maudie Pettus Gist; a son, Robin Gist; daughter-in-law, Lori Glauser-Gist; and loving grandcat, Bogey; siblings, Edward Gist, of New Smyrna Beach, Fla., Carrol Gist and wife, Joan, of St. Joseph, Tenn., and Margie Phillips and husband, Bob, of Rogersville.

He was preceded by parents, Clinton Gist and Ila Craft Gist; a sister, Stella Gist; a brother-in-law, J.B. Pettus Jr.; a father-in-law, J. Britten Pettus Sr.; and mother-in-law, Ruby Segers Pettus.

Pallbearers will be Grady Smith, Carrol Quillen, Dylan Gist, Rick Corum, David Ivy, Spooner Oldham and Jerry McGee. The service will be performed by Brother Bryan McIntyre.

Visitation will be from 10 a.m. to noon Thursday, April 15, 2010, at Spry-Williams Funeral Home, Florence. The funeral service will be at noon, with burial to follow at Killen Cemetery.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital was Mr. Gist's lifelong charity. The family requests that instead of flowers, donations be made online to St. Jude at, or to: St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude's Place, Memphis, TN 38105.

"I crawled ... I walked ... I ran ... I flew ..."


RIP Bruce. He was taken from us suddenly after a bout of pancreatic cancer. Carroll was among the pallbearers along with Rick Corum, David Ivy, Spooner Oldham, Jerry McGeem, and his nephew, Dylan Gist.

.....However, following the Wee Juns’ 45 in 1967 it is likely that the next Quinvy label release that year was in fact one of several little-known non-soul Quinvy label recordings which have kindly been brought to our attention by collector Peter Hoogers, to whom we are most grateful. This is a Quinvy 267 forty-five by the rather exotically-named white duo Zamar & Tyran comprising the pop-ish “I Live In Your Love” and the slightly more folksy “Steal The Sun”.

Both songs were co-penned by Bruce Gist, one with Grady Smith and one with David Briggs. Willie Bruce Gist had been born in St Joseph, Tennessee but had made his home in Killen, Alabama. Early on he had tried his hand at rock ‘n roll with a song called “Searching For Love” and soon became a writer/friend of Marlin Greene’s, composing Greene’s own 1963 Phillips 40103 release “General Of Broken Hearts”, as well as co-penning its flip “If It Takes A Fool” with David Briggs. Gist and Greene would then combine to write several songs together including 1965’s “Pretty White Dress” and “Rich In Sorrow” while in the same year Chet Atkins produced Gist and Carroll Quillen on their lone country-pop-duo 45 on RCA 8568, on which, as Bruce & Carroll, they featured their self-penned “When I Leave Love” c/w “Her And Him”. At Quinvy in 1966, Gist and Greene came up with “Love Me Like You Mean It” for Percy Sledge’s  “When A Man Loves A Woman “ LP and then “Heart Of A Child” for Percy’s follow-up “Warm & Tender Soul” set.  Next, in 1967, Gist and Quillen co-penned the Wee Juns’ “I Spy” (see last Part) and, pairing up again with Marlin Greene, Gist co-wrote The Dimensions’ “Only Yesterday” (on Quinvy Custom QC 101, see shortly). Gist became quite a part of the Muscle Shoals songwriting scene and after running an industrial supply business for many years, issued a CD in 2004 on which he sang some of his own mainly pop and rock songs which he’d penned for others. Gist died, aged 71, on 13 April 2010 and, at his funeral in Killen two days later, the pallbearers included Carroll Quillen and Spooner Oldham.






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