Skip to main content

Roland 'Big Arnie' Adams

The Highland County Press - Staff Photo - Create Article

Roland “Big Arnie” Adams, 86, of Greenfield, passed away peacefully Monday, August 28, 2023 at home, surrounded by family and friends.
To say Arnie led a colorful life would be an understatement. He had a long life of love and adventure. His early years were filled with music as he and his brothers, Don and Gary, formed the core of what was widely considered one of the best country bands in the industry. That is attested to by the fact that at varying times they were the touring backup band for nearly every country star of the day, including George Jones, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson and of course, lifelong friend Johnny Paycheck.

Their legacy has not been overlooked. He was very proud to have been recently honored with the presentation of The Ameripolitan Music Awards “Founders of the Sound” award in Memphis, Tenn. and induction into the Ohio Country Music Hall of Fame, as well as being featured in episodes of the Mike Judge Cinemax series “Tales From the Tour Bus.”
Following his retirement from the road and the grind of being a traveling musician, he gave his life over to Christ. It was then that he received the fulfillment that he sought. His remaining years were devoted to his family and his other great passion, breeding and training paint and quarter horses. He was a lifelong Cincinnati Reds fan and rarely missed a game.
If you were ever a friend, you were always a friend. He had an uncanny knack for recalling people and events from many decades past. He frequently regaled friends and acquaintances with stories from what George Jones described as “the wild times.” Though the frequency of “the wild times” diminished with age, his love and devotion to family and friends never did. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
He is survived by his children, Brad Adams of Bangkok, Thailand, Brent (Missi) Adams of Washington C.H., Lisa Haney of Columbus, Lee Ann Arnold of Dayton, Curtis “Little Arnie” (Debra) Adams of Columbus, Rhonda (Mick) Runk of Wilmington and Carla Adams and Tiffany Adams, both of Greenfield; brothers, Don Adams and Farrell Adams of Greenfield and Darrell Adams of Nashville, Tenn.; 28 grandchildren; 33 great-grandchildren; and special friends, Ron Sexton, Ralph May, Terri Robledo and a very special friend, Aaliyah Ford.

He was preceded in death by both parents, Frank and Katherine Adams; wife, Barbara; brothers, Howard, Wayne and Gary Adams; and sisters, Marcie Howland, Elaine Scott and infant sister Sharon.
Memorial service will be Saturday, Sept. 2 at 1 p.m. at the Murray-Fettro Funeral in Greenfield.
Visitation will be from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Community Care Hospice, 1669 Rombach Ave, Wilmington 45177.

Condolences may be sent to

Add new comment

This is not for publication.
This is not for publication.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
Article comments are not posted immediately to the Web site. Each submission must be approved by the Web site editor, who may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours for any submission while the web site editor reviews and approves it. Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number and email address is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.