From Spade Cooley wikipedia entry: On August 5, 1968, the California State Adult Authority voted unanimously to parole him on February 22, 1970. Cooley had served nearly nine years of a life sentence, and was in poor health from heart trouble. On November 23, 1969, he received a 72-hour furlough from the prison hospital unit at Vacaville to play a benefit concert for the Deputy Sheriffs Association of Alameda County at the Oakland Auditorium (now known as the Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center) in Oakland. During the intermission, after a standing ovation, Cooley suffered a fatal heart attack backstage. He is interred at Chapel of the Chimes cemetery in Hayward.
Graham upon hearing the news of Cooley’s death wrote a tribute to Spade. The Prolif label of Fairfield, California released it in September, 1970.
Clipping from Oakland Tribune November 3, 1969
Clipping from Oakland Tribune November 20, 1969
Spade Cooley with Red Murrell at his last performance
Ad for Ode To Spade in Billboard September 12, 1970
Spade Cooley’s final resting place, an above ground crypt in an outdoor mausoleum in Hayward, California