Leon Chappelear: Age 53 | Cause Of Death: SUICIDE

aka Leon Chappel

(b. Horace Leon Chappelear, 1 Aug. 1909; d. 22 Oct. 1962)

Chappelear was a gifted songwriter and guitarist who admired Jimmie Rodgers. The Lone Star Cowboys became Chappelear’s group after the Sheltons broke away. Chappelear turned it into a popular early western swing band. On September 13, 1935 (a Friday the 13th), Chappelear was involved in an auto accident that affected his brain, temperament, and behavior. Tragically, his injuries caused him to be unable to sing as well as he once did and his career suffered greatly. He got involved in many strange and questionable activities that landed him in jail at one point for gambling. He moved to the west coast in the early 50s and recorded a series of sides for Capitol as “Leon Chappel.” see: Automatic Mama.  Chappelear committed suicide in 1962, despondent over a career gone sour. He shot himself in the face with a shotgun.  Leon Chappelear was only 53 years old. ~ Cary Ginell