Wayne Secrest, one of the founding members of country-rock band Confederate Railroad, has died. He was 68 years old.

Confederate Railroad shared the news of Secrest's death on Facebook late Saturday night (June 2). According to the band, he had been battling an illness for a long period of time; his health had forced him off the road with the group late in 2017.

"We shared millions of miles, thousands of concerts and a lifetime of memories," the band writes. "Wayne’s memory will live on in every note we play for as long as you allow us to continue."

Secrest was born in April of 1950. He founded Confederate Railroad with Danny Shirley, Michael Lamb, Gates Nichols, Chris McDaniel and Mark Dufresne in 1987, in the Atlanta, Ga., area. The band played bars and clubs in that area, and worked as the backing band for both David Allan Coe's and Johnny Paycheck, before signing with Atlantic Records in 1992.

Confederate Railroad's self-titled debut album includes six Top 40 singles, including the Top 5s "Jesus and Mama" and "Queen of Memphis." That record has been certified double platinum, and their sophomore disc, 1994's Notorious, has been certified platinum. Confederate Railroad earned Best New Group at the 1993 ACM Awards.

Confederate Railroad's fourth and final album with Atlantic, Keep on Rockin', debuted in 1998. They signed to the Audium/Koch for 2001's Unleashed, then did not record another project together until 2007, when they released Cheap Thrills. Their most recent album, Lucky to Be Alive, was released in 2016.

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