The Petty Archives
  • 1999-10-14_The-Observer

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Tom Petty's Last Dance
By Paul Coco
The Observer - October 14, 1999

Rock music is dead. That's the common consensus on popular music at the end of the twentieth century. In today's popular music landscape of Backstreet Boy and Ricky Martin it's hard for anyone who isn't sixteen or Latin to get airplay, but that doesn't mean that rock music is dead. Sure, rock music isn't as popular as it was in the past, but there are still those dedicated few musicians giving rock 'n rollers what they crave. One of these musicians is Tom Petty, and when Petty walks on stage in his long black velvet coat and leather pants with his guitar in hand it is clear that rock 'n roll is alive and well.

Obituaries: Earl Petty
Gainesville Sun - December 12, 1999

Earl Petty of Gainesville died Friday at his home. He was 75.

Mr. Petty, the father of rock star Tom Petty, was a retired insurance salesman for National Standard Life Insurance Co. in Gainesville. He formerly owned Petty's Wholesale Dry Goods Co.

Born in Argyle, Ga., he moved from Argyle to Gainesville 69 years ago. He served in the U.S. Air Force during World War II.

He was a deacon and a Sunday school teacher at North Central Baptist Church.

Mr. Petty enjoyed fishing, and after retirement, he volunteered at "The Tackle Box," a fishing store in Gainesville.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Katherine "Kitty" Petty.

Survivors include two songs, Bruce Petty of Tallahassee and Tom Petty of California; a sister, Pearl Guynn of Ocala; two brothers, Wesley Petty and Buck Petty, both of Old Town; and four grandchildren.

Gainesville Sun - December 17, 1999

In response to the many calls I've received: Yes, Tom Petty was in town Tuesday for his father's funeral. Tom gave a warm and touching eulogy at Earl Petty's service, as did Janey Petty, the 11-year-old daughter of Tom's brother Bruce. Earl died Dec. 10, at age 75.