Breaking: Black Oak Arkansas guitarist dies aged 72 after cardiac arrest


Black Oak Arkansas guitarist Rickie Lee Reynolds has died at the age of 72 his daughter has confirmed.

The musician’s daughter Amber Lee and current Black Oak Arkansas member Sammy Seauphine took to social media to pass on the sad news.

Amber’s statement on Facebook said that her dad was suffering from kidney failure and cardiac arrest and had been hospitalised from Covid-19.

“This morning he suffered another cardiac arrest, which they were unable to resuscitate him from,” she wrote.

“We are all heartbroken by this massive loss, and the whole world feels colder and more empty without his presence among us. All of my love goes out to those who feel this overwhelming loss right now, just as I do.

“Please take heart in knowing he loves all of us, as much as we love him. And he felt that love every day in the center of his big ole heart. He will continue to feel that love, forever. Just as we will never forget the love he bestowed upon us.”

Black Oak Arkansas guitarist Rickie Lee Reynolds

Black Oak Arkansas guitarist Rickie Lee Reynolds died at the age of 72

Sammy also wrote: “It’s with a heavy heart we are [informing] all of you Rickie Lee Reynolds has passed away this morning. We ask right now to give us all privacy while we remember a brother.”

Rickie was one of the original founders of Black Oak Arkansas, originally naming them originally The Knowbody Else in 1963.

He formed the band alongside vocalist Ronnie Smith, guitarists Stanley Knight and Harvey Jett, bassist Pat Daugherty and drummer Wayne Evans.

Ronnie later moved to the band’s stage production manager, with James “Jim Dandy” Mangrum taking over as frontman.

Discussing the band’s name change with Arkansas Democrat Gazette in 2018, Rickie said: “We didn’t name the band after just the people in the town. We named the band after the town. No matter who you are or what you do, there’s a certain point in life when you are at the pivot point from what you were to what you are.

“The city of Black Oak was a pivoting point for us. Whether they liked us or not, that was the pivot in our history.”

Among some of the band’s biggest hits were Uncle Lijah, Lord Have Mercy on My Soul and When Electricity Came to Arkansas.

Fans took to Twitter on Sunday to share their condolences and memories.

Rickie Lee Reynolds was one of the founding members of Black Oak Arkansas

Rickie Lee Reynolds was one of the founding members of Black Oak Arkansas

One wrote: “Being from Arkansas, I grew up listening to their music, of course, and eventually met Jim. Never saw Rickie Lee Reynolds perform, unfortunately, but his playing will always be a part of my love of music.”

Another commented: “RIP Rickie Lee Reynolds. Black Oak Arkansas were so underrated. Hot n Nasty. Jim Dandy. When Electricity Came… Hot Rod. Classics!!!”

And a third penned: “I am gutted. Rickie Lee Reynolds from Black Oak Arkansas has passed away. To say this man changed the world and made it better for those around him is an egregious understatement. Rickie, this kid from Nebraska will never forget your friendship. Thank you for everything.”

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