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Ray Batts “The Furniture Man” Passes at 90

Furniture World News


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It was reported by “The Tennessean” that Ray M. Batts age 90, of Ashland City, TN, passed away on November 20, 2015.

“Mr. Batts," his obituary noted, "was born in Cheatham County, TN, on September 19, 1925. Ray was in Retail Furniture for almost forty years and was known as “The Furniture Man" in the Nashville area and all through middle Tennessee. He had five furniture stores in Middle, TN and two La-Z-Boy stores. Many people got their start with Ray Batts and went on to having successful careers. Earlier in his life, Ray Batts had a country band and recorded several records.”

Tom Liddell of Planned Furniture Promotions and a longtime friend of Mr. Batts provided the following additional information.

“There are many of us that owe a LOT to Mr. Batts. He helped get so many started and although he wanted everyone to think he was tough, he really had a heart of gold. For many years, Ray was known as "The Furniture Man" in Nashville, with stores in Clarksville, Murfreesboro and three in Nashville, including two La Z Boy stores. He was big before anyone ever heard of Sprintz, Rooms to Go, Haverty's or any of the other current monster stores. A few of the companies and people that got their start in Ray's stores are...
  • Ricky Brian and Family: Owns Liberty Furniture 
  • Ron Childress (Sales Director at Liberty Furniture)
  • Ted King (Group VP at Haverty's)
  • Debby Batts (Head merchant at Sprintz Furniture)
  • Gary Green (President of Pinnacle Bank)
  • David Smythia (Nashville Furn Mart, Henco, Mazers)
  • John Darnell (Broyhill Furniture Rentals and others)
  • Sheila McCall (longtime successful furniture sales rep)
  • Doug Wood (son of Millard Wood, owned LZB stores in Nashville)
  • Mike Wood (son of Millard Wood, owns Old South Metalworks)
  • Carl Silcox (two profit centers in for Haverty's in Louisville)

"There were countless other reps, retail salespeople, vendors and others that benefited from Ray's kindness," concludes Liddell who also shared the following links.
  • Ray did a little stint in country music. He's mentioned in this article
  • You can LISTEN to it here 

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