Chuck Pyle was a country-folk singer-songwriter and guitarist who was known as the “Zen Cowboy” for his spiritual and philosophical approach to life and music. He wrote songs that captured the beauty and spirit of Colorado, where he lived for most of his career. He died on November 6, 2015, at the age of 70, in a tragic accident near his home in Palmer Lake.
Early Life and Career
Chuck Pyle was born on January 28, 1945, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and raised in Newton, Iowa, where he sang in the school choir. He was the adopted son of Lyle, a railroad conductor, and Julie, a school teacher. He dropped out of college in Iowa and moved to Boulder, Colorado, in 1965, hoping to build a career in music.
He started as a bass player in a band called Colours, and then became a solo artist in the 1970s. He wrote songs that were recorded by famous artists such as Chris LeDoux, Jerry Jeff Walker, John Denver, Suzy Bogguss, and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. He also appeared on radio and television shows, such as Austin City Limits and Colorado Public Radio. He released 13 albums in his career, the last one being Cover Stories in 2015, which featured songs by other songwriters he admired.
Death and Legacy
Chuck Pyle died on November 6, 2015, while fly-fishing near his home in Palmer Lake, Colorado. He was found floating face down on the lake and pronounced dead at the hospital. According to an autopsy report, he drowned just after 8 p.m., and atherosclerosis, a disease in the arteries, could have also contributed to his death.
His death was a shock and a loss to the Colorado music community and his fans. He was remembered as a talented, generous, and humble person, who had a passion for his craft and a love for nature. His songs were praised for their poetic and inspiring lyrics, and his guitar playing was admired for its skill and grace. He also composed and sang the theme song for Rocky Mountain PBS’s series The Spirit of Colorado.
Chuck Pyle’s legacy lives on through his music, which is still enjoyed and appreciated by many people around the world. He also left behind a loving family, who cherish his memory and honor his achievements. He was a true Zen Cowboy, who lived his life with wisdom and joy.