Wayne Secrest, longtime bass player of the country-rock group Confederate Railroad,  died after a long illness that forced him to retire from touring late last year. He was 68.

"It is with profound sorrow we announce that Wayne Secrest has passed away after a long illness," the band wrote on their Facebook page Saturday (June 2). "Wayne played bass with Confederate Railroad through the Johnny Paycheck and David Allan Coe years and continued until his health forced him to retire in late 2017. We shared millions of miles, thousands of concerts and a lifetime of memories. Wayne’s memory will live on in every note we play for as long as you allow us to continue." 

Secrest founded the Atlanta-based Confederate Railroad along with with Danny Shirley, Michael Lamb, Gates Nichols, Chris McDaniel and Mark Dufresne in 1987. The band worked as the backing band for both Coe and Paycheck before signing with Atlantic Records in 1992.

From there, they released seven albums (moving to different label homes along the way), with their first two hitting multi-platinum and platinum status respectively. Their latest album, Lucky to be Alive, came out in 2016.

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