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ISA • International Songwriters Association • Founded 1967 • Representing Songwriters In More Than 60 Countries Worldwide
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ISA Songwriter Obituaries


Songwriter Obituaries 2017


Carl Horton
(57), songwriter and pianist, who penned several film scores including Mickey Rooney's "Home for Christmas" and the award-winning movie "Breakfast With Monica."

In Quebec, Canada, following a heart attack


Warren 'Pete' Moore
(79), songwriter, producer, and vocalist with The Miracles, whose compositions for the band included such hits as 'Ooo Baby Baby', 'The Tracks Of My Tears', 'My Girl Has Gone', 'Going To A Go-Go' and 'Love Machine', but who also wrote songs recorded by Marvin Gaye ('Ain’t That Peculiar' and 'I’ll Be Doggone'), The Temptations ('It's Growing' and 'Since I Lost My Baby'), Linda Ronstadt, Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, George Michael, The Rolling Stones, Ramsey Lewis, Tom Jones, Luther Vandross, The Four Tops and Debby Boone.

Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Inductee.

In Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, of complications from diabetes


Wayne Cochran
(78), singer and frontman for the CC Riders, and songwriter whose composition 'Last Kiss' was a US Number 1 hit for both J. Frank Wilson & The Cavaliers in 1964, and again in 1998 for Pearl Jam.

Cochran's Las Vegas stage act inspired Elvis Presley, and later Dan Ackroyd and John Belushi in the movie "Blues Brothers". At the height of his career in 1975, Wayne Cochran abandoned show business to found the Voice For Jesus Church in Miami, Florida, of which he remained pastor until his death.

In Miramar, Florida, USA, of cancer


Mitch Margo
(70), songwriter and lead falsetto with The Tokens ('The Lion Sleeps Tonight'), who wrote his first hit song ('Tonight I Fell In Love') at the age of fourteen. Other hits written for The Tokens include "I Hear Trumpets Blow", before he joined Cross Country, scoring a 1973 hit with 'In The Midnight Hour'. He later rejoined a touring version of the Tokens.

In Los Angeles, Calfornia, USA, of heart failure


Tommy Keene
(59), singer-songwriter in the power-pop genre, whose songs included such radio hits as 'Places That Are Gone' and 'Hanging On To Yesterday', and who played with Nils Lofgren, REM’s Peter Buck, Matthew Sweet, The Goo Goo Dolls, Robert Pollard of Guided by Voices and Paul Westerberg of the Replacements, while releasing more than 15 solo albums on such labels as Dolphin, Geffen and Matador.

In Los Angeles, Calfornia, USA, of heart failure


David Cassidy
(67), singer-songwriter, member of The Partridge Family and actor, whose hits include 'Cherish', 'The Last Kiss', 'I Think I Love You', 'Daydreamer', 'I Write The Songs', 'I Woke Up In Love This Morning', 'I Can Feel Your Heartbeat', 'How Can I Be Sure', and 'Breaking Up Is Hard To Do', and whose sixty published compositions include songs recorded by himself, Asia, Cher and The Partridge Family.

The son of singer and actor Jack Cassidy and actress Evelyn Ward, David Cassidy started his career as an actor, featuring in more than thirty television movies including 'Bonanza', 'CSI', 'Malcolm In The Middle', 'Alfred Hitchcock Presents', 'Fantasy Island', 'The Island', 'Marcus Welby MD', 'Ironside', 'The FBI', and 'Police Story'. He also starred in a number of stage musicals, including 'Blood Brothers' and 'Joseph & Tne Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat'.

In Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA, of organ failure


Mel Tillis
(85), singer, movie actor, TV personality, music publisher (Sawgrass Music, Sabal Music and Guava Music), and songwriter whose hit compositions include 'Detroit City', 'Ruby Don’t Take Your Love to Town', 'Mental Revenge', 'I Ain’t Never', 'Heart Over Mind', 'Burning Memories', 'All The Time', 'Honky Tonk Song', 'Holiday For Love', 'Tupelo County Jail', 'A Thousand Miles Ago', 'No Love Have I', 'Take Time', 'Crazy Wild Desire', 'Cow Town', 'Sooner Or Later', 'How Come Your Dog Don’t Bite Nobody But Me', and 'Emotions'.

His songs were recorded by such stars as Brenda Lee, Patsy Cline, Tom Jones, Kenny Rogers, The Everly Brothers, Ricky Skaggs, Guy Clark, Dolly Parton, Dean Martin, Wanda Jackson, Johnnie & Jack, Margie Bowes, Billy Grammer, Johnny Darrell, Lefty Frizzell, Linda Ronstadt, The Stonemans, Burl Ives, Jean Shepard and Ernest Tubb.

As a solo artist, Mel Tllis also placed 77 titles on the country charts between 1958 and 1990, including 35 Top 10 hits.

His movies included 'WW & The Dixie Dancekings', 'The Villain', 'Smokey & The Bandit II', 'The Cannonball Run', 'Beer For My Horses', 'Cannonball Run II' and 'Murder In Music City' while his comic talents were to the forefront on such TV shows as 'The Tonight Show', 'The Dean Martin Show', 'The Love Boat', 'The Dukes of Hazzard', 'Tony Orlando & Dawn' and 'Love, American Style', plus the talk shows of Merv Griffin, Dinah Shore, David Letterman and Mike Douglas.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member. Nashville Songwriters Hall Of Fame Inductee. Grand Ole Opry Inductee..

In Ocala, Florida, USA, of respiratory failure


Charles Milles Manson
(83), singer-songwriter and career criminal, whose songs were recorded by The Beachboys, The Lemonheads, Marilyn Manson, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Crispin Glover and Guns N' Roses, and who was convicted on seven counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Abigail Ann Folger, Wojciech Frykowski, Steven Earl Parent, Sharon Tate Polanski, Jay Sebring and Leno and Rosemary La Bianca.

In hospital at Bakersfield, California, USA, of intestinal bleeding, having been transferred there from California State Prison in Corcoran, California, USA


Malcolm Young
(64), singer, songwriter and regarded as a leading rock exponent of rhythm guitar, and who with AC/DC. the band he founded, scored such hits as 'For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)', 'Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap', 'Highway To Hell', 'Problem Child', 'You Shook Me All Night Long', 'Thunderstruck', 'Let There Be Rock', 'Whole Lotta Rosie' and 'Back In Black'.

In Sydney, Australia, of dementia


Billy Mize
(88), singer, songwriter, steel guitarist, television host and radio DJ, whose eleven vocal hits include 'You Can’t Stop Me' and 'Make It Rain', while also penning songs for Charlie Walker ('Who Will Buy The Wine?'), Johnny Sea ('My Baby Walks All Over Me'), Dean Martin, Merle Haggard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Red Simpson, Johnny Cash, Ernest Tubb, Bob Luman, Vikki Carr, Waylon Jennings, Porter Wagoner, Jim Ed Brown, Ray Price and Buck Owens.

As a steel guitarist, Billy Mize recorded with Merle Haggard, Buck Owens, Johnny Bond, Merle Travis, and Tommy Duncan and also worked as a member of Haggard’s band The Strangers. Following a stint as a DJ on KMPC in Bakersfied. Mize went on to host Gene Autry’s Melody Ranch series on KTLA-TV, before setting up his own television production company.

Academy Of Country Music Television Personality Of The Year (1965, 1966 and 1967).

In Pleasanton, California, USA of heart failure


Gord Downie
(52), singer, songwriter and actor, whose songs for Tragically Hip include such radio classics as 'New Orleans Is Sinking', 'Blow At High Dough', 'Courage (For Hugh MacLennan)', 'Ahead By A Century' and 'Bobcaygeon'.

Member Of The Order Of Canada.

In Toronto, Canada, of glioblastoma


Skip Haynes
(71), songwriter, vocalist and guitarist with Aliotta, Haynes & Jeremiah, and writer of the group’s signature tune amd Chicago anthem 'Lake Shore Drive', featured in the movie 'Guardians Of The Galaxy II'.

In Chicago, Illinois, USA, of cancer


Fats Domino
(89), singer and songwriter, whose hits include such classics as 'Ain't That A Shame', 'Blueberry Hill', 'My Blue Heaven', 'Blue Monday', 'Whole Lotta Loving', 'I'm Ready', 'My Girl Josephine'. 'Let The Four Winds Blow', 'When I'm Walking (Let Me Walk)', 'Lady Madonna', 'The Big Beat', 'The Fat Man', 'Valley Of Tears', 'I’m Walking', 'I’m In Love Again', 'I Want To Walk You Home', 'Country Boy, 'Three Nights A Week', 'My Girl Josephine', 'It Keeps Raining', 'What A Party', 'Red Sails In The Sunset' and 'Walking To New Orleans'.

Although Fats Domino outsold every rock and roll artist other than Elvis, and was even described by Presley as "the real king of rock and roll", he remained a modest, even shy person, factors which - coupled in later years, with an unwillingness to perform in public outside of New Orleans - may have led to him being under-estimated by critics.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member. Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Inductee. Rhythm & Blues Hall Of Fame Inductee.

In Harvey, Louisiana, USA, from heart failure.


George Young
(70), singer, songwriter, producer and member of both the Easybeats and Flash & The Pan, and whose hit compositions include 'Friday On My Mind' for the Easybeats and 'Love Is In The Air' for John Paul Young, along with songs covered by such acts as Grace Jones, Tom Jones, David Bowie and Meatloaf.

Brother of Angus and Malcolm Young of AC/DC, George Young produced a number of that band's early albums, including 'Let There Be Rock' and 'Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap', along with their 2000 album 'Stiff Upper Lip'.

In Sydney, Australia, of undisclosed causes


Jimmy Beaumont
(76), songwriter and lead singer with the Skyliners, whose classic hit 'Since I Don't Have You' was also recorded by Barbra Streisand, Patti LaBelle, Art Garfunkel, Don McLean, Ronnie Milsap, The Brian Setzer Orchestra, Chuck Jackson, The Four Seasons, Manfred Mann, Jay & The Americans, The Vogues, Lenny Welch, Ricky Nelson, Patti LaBelle, Dorothy Moore, Eddie Meduza, Gloria Loring, Shturcite, Johnny Mathis, Ron Sexsmith and Guns N’ Roses. Other hits include 'This I Swear' and 'Pennies From Heaven'.

In his sleep, at his home in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, USA, from a suspected heart attack


Jerry J Ross
(84), songwriter and record producer whose hits include 'I’m Gonna Make You Love Me' (Diana Ross & The Supremes), 'Sunday Will Never Be The Same' (Spanky & The Gang), 'Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie' (Jay & The Techniques), 'Sunny' (Bobby Hebb), 'When We Get Married' (The Dreamlovers) and 'Venus' (Shocking Blue).

In Meadowbrook, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, of prostate cancer


Bunny Sigler
(76), songwriter, singer and record producer whose hits, many with the team of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, include tracks by The O'Jays, The Roots, Jackie Moore, Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, Barbara Mason, Billy Paul, Lou Rawls, Patti LaBelle and Stephanie Mills.

In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, following a heart attack


Kenny Beard
(59), songwriter and record producer, whose hits include 'The Rest Of Mine', 'Big Time' and 'Brown Chicken, Brown Cow' for Trace Adkins, 'As Any Fool Can See', 'My Second Home', 'If The World Had A Front Porch', and 'Is That A Tear?' (Tracy Lawrence), 'Where The Stars And Stripes And Eagle Fly' (Aaron Tippin) and 'The Love Song' (Jeff Bates).

In Nashville, Tennesse, USA, of heart failure


Tom Petty
(66), songwriter, actor, and singer with both Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers and The Traveling Wilburys, and whose hits include such classics as 'Anything That's Rock 'n' Roll', 'American Girl', 'I Need To Know', 'You're Gonna Get It!', 'Listen To Her Heart', 'Don't Do Me Like That', 'Refugee', 'Here Comes My Girl', 'The Waiting', 'A Woman in Love (It's Not Me)', 'You Got Lucky', 'Change Of Heart', 'Don't Come Around Here No More', 'Make It Better (Forget About Me)', 'Rebels', 'Jammin', 'I Won't Back Down', 'Runnin' Down A Dream', 'Free Fallin'', 'Love Is A Long Road', 'A Face In The Crowd', 'Yer So Bad', 'Learning To Fly', 'Out In The Cold', 'Mary Jane's Last Dance', 'Something In The Air', 'You Don't Know How It Feels', 'You Wreck Me', 'It's Good To Be King', 'A Higher Place', 'The Last DJ', 'Stop Draggin' My Heart Around', 'Handle With Care' and 'End Of The Line'.

Tom Petty's acting credits include 'The Gary Shandling Show', 'FM', 'Made In Heaven', 'The Larry Sanders Show', 'The Postman' (with Kevin Costner), 'The Simpsons' and 'King Of The Hill.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member. Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductee.

In Santa Monica, California, USA, following a heart attack


Frank Slay
(87), songwriter, recording artist, record producer and label owner, whose hit songs included such classics as 'Silhouettes' (The Rays, The 4 Seasons, Herman's Hermits, The Diamonds and Cliff Richard), 'Daddy Cool' (The Rays and The Darts), 'La Dee Dah' (Billy & Lillie and Jackie Dennis), and 'Tallahassee Lassie' (Freddy Cannon).

As a solo act (Frank Slay & His Orchestra), he had such hits as 'Flying Circle', while his biggest hits as a producer were 'Incense And Peppermints', a US Number 1 for Strawberry Alarm Clock' and 'Don't Call Us, We'll Call You' by Sugarloaf, on Slay's own label Claridge Records.

In Philadelhpia, Pennsylvania, USA, of heart failure


Mark Selby
(56), singer-songwriter of such hits as 'Deja Voodoo', 'Slow Ride', 'Last Goodbye', and 'Blue On Black', (Number 1 for 17 weeks), as well as the Dixie Chicks’ first Number 1 single 'There’s Your Trouble'.

Mark Selby's songs were also recorded by such stars as Wynonna, Trisha Yearwood, Johnny Reid, Jo Dee Messina and Lee Roy Parnell.

In Nashville, Tennessee, USA, of cancer


Judy Parker Gaudio
(79), songwriter and actress, whose hits, many penned with husband Bob Gaudio of the Four Seasons, included 'December, 1963 (Oh, What A Night)', 'Glad You're Here With Me Tonight', and 'Who Loves You'. Apart from the Four Seasons, her songs were also recorded by such stars as Neil Diamond.

As an actress, she appeared in many TV shows including 'Batman', 'Bonanza', and 'My Three Sons'.

In Nashville, Tennessee, USA, of respiratory complications


Jenny Mae Leffel
(49), singer-songwriter, whose albums included 'Don’t Wait Up For Me' and 'There’s A Bar Around The Corner'.

In Columbus, Ohio, USA, of complications due to alcoholism


Michael Friedman
(41), composer and lyricist for the hit Broadway rock musical 'Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson', as well as such musicals as 'Canard, Canard, Goose?', 'Gone Missing', '[I Am] Nobody's Lunch', 'This Beautiful City', 'The Great Immensity' and 'In The Footprints'.

In New York City, USA, due to complications from HIV


Don Williams
(78), singer, songwriter, movie actor and former member of the Pozo Seco Singers, whose 44 hits include such classics as 'I Believe In You'. 'You're My Best Friend', 'Tulsa Time', 'Some Broken Hearts Never Mend', 'I Recall A Gypsy Woman', 'It Must Be Love', 'Amanda', 'Good Ole Boys Like Me', 'I'm Just A Country Boy' and 'Come Early Morning', and whose compositions have been recorded by such acts as Solomon Burke, Dickey Lee, Charley Pride, Johnny Rodriguez, Jean Shepard, Sonny James, Lefty Frizzell, Tompall Glaser and Kenny Rogers.

His movies include ''W.W. & The Dixie Dancekings' and 'Smokey & The Bandit', both with Burt Reynolds.

Member of the Country Music Hall Of Fame.

In Mobile, Alabama, USA of emphysema


Troy Gentry
(50), singer and songwriter, and one half of the duo Montgomery Gentry, whose hits include 'My Town', 'Hillbilly Shoes', 'She Couldn't Change Me', 'If You Ever Stop Loving Me', 'Something to Be Proud Of', 'Lucky Man', 'Back When I Knew It All', 'Roll With Me' and 'Headlights'.

Member of the Grand Ole Opry.

In Medford, New Jersey, USA, following a helicopter crash


Pete Kuykendall
(79), songwriter, musician and publisher, whose compositions include 'Down Where The Still Waters Flow', 'I Am Weary Let Me Rest' (from tbe movie 'O Brother Where Art Thou'), 'Journey's End', 'No Blind Ones There', 'Out On The Ocean', 'Remembrance Of You' and 'Rollin' Stone', and publisher of the magazine 'Bluegrass Unlimited'.

Owner of Wynwood Recording Studio and Winwood Music, he was instrumental in setting up the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) and the International Bluegrass Music Museum (IBMM). International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame inductee.

In Warrenton, Virginia, USA, from heart failure


Walter Becker
(67), singer, songwriter, guitarist, record producer, and founder member of Steely Span, as well as being a member of both China Crisis and in his earlier days, Jay & The Americans.

Walter Becker's hit songs include 'Rikki Don't Lose That Number', 'Do It Again', 'Hey Nineteen', 'Peg', 'Reeling In The Years', 'Deacon Blues', 'Time Out Of Mind', 'FM (No Static At All)', 'Josie', 'Black Friday', 'Pretzel Logic', 'The Fez', 'Show Biz Kids', 'My Old School' and 'Kid Charlemagne'.

In Maui, Hawaii, USA, of undisclosed causes


Arleta
(72), singer-songwriter whose hits include 'I Remember A Time When Once You Used To Love Me' and who worked with such Greek composers as Giannis Spanos, Manos Hatzidakis and Mikis Theodorakis, producing recordings such as 'Serenata', 'Tsai Yasemiou', 'Bar To Navagio' and 'To Tragoudi Tis Erimou'.

In Athens, Greece, following a stroke


Thomas Meehan
(88), writer of the books for such musicals as 'Annie', 'The Producers', 'Hairspray', 'Young Frankenstein', 'Cry Baby', 'Elf - The Musical', 'Ain't Broadway Grand', 'Oh Kay!, 'Bombay Dreams', 'Annie Warbucks', 'Spaceballs', 'To Be Or Not To Be', 'One Magic Christmas', 'Death Takes A Holiday', 'Rocky' and 'Limelight - The Story Of Charlie Chaplin'.

Thomas Meehan is the only writer to have written three Broadway shows that each ran for more than 2,000 performances. He was also a three-time winner of the Tony Award for Best Book Of A Musical.

In New York City, USA, of cancer


Sonny Burgess
(88), singer-songwriter and radio DJ, whose hits included 'Red Headed Woman' and 'We Wanna Boogie' and who toured with Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash and Conway Twitty.

In Little Rock, Arkansas, USA, following a fall


Jesse Boyce
(69), songwriter and bass guitarist whose hits include 'Firefly' (The Temptations), and who backed Little Richard for more than 30 years, as well as such stars as Candi Staton, Bobby Gentry and Wilson Pickett.

In Nashville, Tennessee, USA, of cancer


Michael Johnson
(72), singer-songwriter and former member of the Chad Mitchell Trio and Denver, Boise & Johnson (with John Denver), whose own Top 40 hits include 'Bluer Than Blue', 'This Night Won't Last Forever' amd 'I'll Always Love You', before moving to vountry om 1986 where he scored five Top Ten country hits from 1986 to 1989, including the chart-toppers 'Give Me Wings', 'That's That' and 'The Moon Is Still Over Her Shoulder'.

In Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, of cancer


Billy Joe Walker
(64), songwriter, recording act and record producer, whose compositions include such hits as 'I Wanna Dance With You' and 'Burning Up With Love', and whose songs were recorded by Eddie Rabbitt, Trisha Yearwood, Van Zandt, Tanya Tucker, Billy Currington, Chet Atkins and John Anderson.

Billy Joe Walker also produced hits for acts like Travis Tritt, Collin Raye, Mark Chesnutt, Billy Ray Cyrus, Tracy Byrd, Pam Tillis and Bryan White whom he originally discovered as well as backing Ray Charles, Merle Haggard, The Dixie Chicks, Tom Jones, Hank Williams Jr, Bryan Adams, George Jones, Glen Campbell, The Beach Boys and Randy Travis.

In Kerrville, Texas, USA, of heart failure


Glen Campbell
(81), singer-songwriter, musician, actor and television host, whose own compositions include 'I'm Not Gonna Miss You' (Best Country Song at the 2015 57th Annual Grammy Awards), 'Back In The Race' (Jody Miller, Roy Clark and Dinah Shore), 'Friends' (Bill Anderson), 'Here I Am' (Rick Nelson), 'Less Of Me' (covered by 23 acts including Bobby Bare, the Kingston Trio, Leroy VanDyke, Bill Anderson, Roger Miller, Dottie West, Bobby Gentry, the Everly Brothers, Wanda Jackson, Loretta Lynn, George Hamilton 1V and Wanda Jackson), 'Love Is A Lonesome River' (Wild & Blue) and 'Senses' (Connie Smith, Quicksilver and Johnny Carver).

In addition, Campbell scored 82 charted songs penned by other writers, including John Hartford's 'Gentle on My Mind', Jimmy Webb's 'By the Time I Get To Phoenix', 'Wichita Lineman' and 'Galveston', Larry Weiss's 'Rhinestone Cowboy' and Allen Toussaint's 'Southern Nights'.

As a guitarist and vocalist, Glen Campbell recorded with or appeared on stage backing such stars as Bobby Darin, Ricky Nelson, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, the Monkees, Nancy Sinatra, The Crickets, Merle Haggard, Jan and Dean, The Beach Boys, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Ronnie Dove, and Phil Spector. He played on such hits as Elvis Presley’s 'Viva Las Vegas', 'Mr. Tambourine Man' from the Byrds, Frank Sinatra’s 'Strangers In The Night', 'You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling' from the Righteous Brothers and 'Fun Fun Fun' by the Beach Boys.

His movie appearances include 'Baby The Rain Must Fall', 'The FBI', 'The Cool Ones', 'True Grit', 'Norwood', 'Strange Homecoming', 'Christmas In Disneyland', 'Any Which Way You Can', 'Uphill All the Way' and 'Players'.

Country Music Hall Of Fame inductee. Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient.

In Nashville, Tennessee, USA, of Alzheimers disease


Red West
(81), songwriter, stuntman, movie actor and author, whose songs for close friend Elvis Presley included 'You'll Be Gone', 'That's Someone You Never Forget', 'If You Think I Don't Need You', 'Separate Ways' and 'If You Talk In Your Sleep'. He also penned 'I'm A Fool' for Ricky Nelson, which went on to become a Top 20 hit for Dino, Desi and Billy. After a falling out with Presley's father, he wrote the best-selling book 'Elvis: What Happened?' which detailed the singer's drug addiction.

A cousin of actor Sonny West, Red West appeared in sixteen Presley films, as well as such TV series as 'The Rebel' with friend Nick Adams, 'Baa Baa Black Sheep', 'Magnum, PI', 'The A-Team', 'Knight Rider', 'The Fall Guy' and 'The Twilight Zone'. Movies included 'Road House' with Patrick Swayze, 'Walking Tall', 'Walking Tall Part II', 'Her Hidden Truth', 'The Rainmaker', 'I Still Know What You Did Last Summer', 'Goodbye Solo', 'Father Of Invention', 'At Any Price' and 'Safe Haven'.

In Memphis, Tennessee, USA, following an aortic aneurysm


Geoff Mack
(94), Australian singer-songwriter and radio presenter (American Forces Network), whose song 'I've Been Everywhere' was recorded by Hank Snow, Johnny Cash and more than 130 other acts. Nashville Songwriters Hall Of Fame inductee. Medal Of The Order Of Australia recipient.

In Benowa, Gold Coast, Australia, from heart failure


Naomi Martin
(89), songwriter whose Number 1 hits include 'My Eyes Can Only See As Far As You' (Charley Pride) and 'Let's Take The Long Way Around The World' (Ronnie Milsap), and whose songs were recorded by such acts as Leona Williams, Jeannie C. Riley, Dee Mullins, Paul Martin, Johnny Adams, Jeannie C Riley, Ed Brown & Helen Cornelius, Freddy Fender, Kitty Wells, B.J. Thomas, Kenny Rogers & Dottie West, Ray Price, John Conlee, Porter Wagoner, T.G. Sheppard, Faron Young, Milsap, Barbara Mandrell, Cleve Francis & Patti Austin, Lee Greenwood, Rosemary Clooney, Kenny Rogers, David Slater, Glen Campbell, Conway Twitty, Roy Clark, Twister Alley, Anne Murray, and Lorrie Morgan.

She also founded the Naomi Martin Music Group, where she signed Blake Shelton to his first song-publishing contract. Mother of singer-songwriters Dale Daniel and Marty Yonts.

In Nashville, Tennessee, USA, of cancer


Gary deCarlo
(75), lead singer with Steam and co-writer of their 1969 hit 'Na Na Hey Hey (Kiss Him Goodbye)' which sold a reported eight million copies and has since become both a sports anthem and a political chant. Penned originally to kick-start deCarlo's own solo career, Mercury Records released the demo under the name of a non-existent band Steam, making deCarlo lead vocalist. Later charting versions of the song included recordings by Bananarama, Dave Clark & Friends, the Belmonts and The Supremes.

In Branford, Connecticut, USA, of metastatic cancer


Earl Clark
(70), Native-American songwriter who started out as a bus-driver for Ernest Tubb, Waylon Jennings and Jerry Reed, and whose compositions were later recorded by Willie Nelson, Johnny Rodriguez, George Strait ('One Step At A Time'), Tanya Tucker ('I Can Do That'), Tim McGraw ('What She Left Behind'), and Tracey Lawrence ('Can't Break It To My Heart' and 'Renegades, Rebels And Rogues').

In Smyrna, Tennessee, USA, of cancer


Norro Wilson
(79), singer-songwriter and record producer, whose hit songs include 'The Grand Tour' (George Jones, Aaron Neville, Sammy Kershaw, Joe Stampley, Dwight Yoakam, Dale Watson and currently Tony Jackson), 'A Picture Of Me Without You' (George Jones, Lorrie Morgan),  'A Very Special Love Song' (Charlie Rich), 'Soul Song' (Joe Stampley), 'The Most Beautiful Girl' (Charlie Rich), 'Another Lonely Song' (Tammy Wynette), 'Baby Baby I Know You're A Lady' (David Houston), 'I'll See Him Through' (Tammy Wynette), 'Then He Touched Me' (Jean Shepard), 'My Man Understands' (Tammy Wynette), 'Bring It On Home To Your Woman' (Joe Stampley), 'I Love My Friend' (Charlie Rich), 'The Door' (George Jones), 'Still A Woman' (Margo Smith), 'Never Been So Loved' (Charley Pride), 'Surround Me With Love' (Charly McClain), 'Night Games' (Charley Pride), 'You've Got Something On Your Mind' (Mickey Gilley) and 'He Loves Me All The Way' (Tammy Wynette).

Born in Scottsville, Kentucky, Norro Wilson moved to Nashville as a member of The Southlanders Quartet, before forming a vocal duo with fellow future Nashville music publisher Don Gant. He later got a solo recording contract with Monument Records, scoring his first hit 'Do It To Someone You Love' for Smash Records in 1969, while recording also as a backing singer for several stars including Faron Young and Ferlin Husky. He later went into music publishing as CEO of Merit Music, going on to produce hits for such acts as George Jones, Reba McEntire, Shania Twain, John Anderson, Chely Wright, John Michael Montgomery, Craig Morgan and Sara Evans, amongst many others.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member. Nashville Songwriters Hall Of Fame Member.

In Nashville, Tennessee, USA, of heart failure


Bill Dana
(92), actor, comedian, singer and songwriter, who scored a Top 10 hit with 'The Astronaut (Part 1 & 2)' in 1961.

In  Nashville, Tennessee, USA, of heart failure


Carlo Driggs
(67), songwriter ('Get Off') and former lead singer with Paul Revere & The Raiders.

In Miami, Florida, USA, of a heart attack


Gregg Allman
(69), musician, singer, member of the Allman Brothers Band, and songwriter ('Don't Keep Me Wonderin', 'Dreams', 'End Of The Line', 'Hot 'Lanta', 'It's Not My Cross To Bear', 'Melissa', 'Midnight Rider' and 'Whipping Post').

In Savannah, Georgia, USA, following a heart attack 


Joy Byers
(82), songwriter who penned sixteen movie tunes for Elvis Presley as well as songs for Timi Yuro, Aretha Franklin, Brenda Lee, Connie Francis, Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs, Eddie Arnold, The Orlons, Arthur Alexander, Gene Vincent, Bill Haley & The Comets, Rick Nelson, Solomon Burke, Steve Alaimo, Hank Locklin, Nancy Sinatra, The 5 Royales, Del Shannon, Betty Everett, Joe Henderson, Anita Bryant, Jimmy Church, Joe Hinton, Jerry Lee Lewis, Big Al Downing and Marty Robbins. Married to producer Bob Johnston who himself worked with such stars as Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Simon & Garfunkel and Leonard Cohen.

In Gallatin City, Tennessee, USA, of cancer


Robert Miles
(47), DJ, record producer, and composer of such hits as 'Children', 'Fable', 'Freedom' and 'One And One'.

In San Antonio, Ibiza, Spain, of cancer


Chris Cornell
(52), singer, songwriter and lead vocalist for the bands Soundgarden and Audioslave, whose songs include 'Flower', 'Hunger Strike', 'Say Hello 2 Heaven', 'Outshined', 'Rusty Cage', 'Seasons', 'Spoonman', 'The Day I Tried To Live' and 'Like A Stone'.

In Detroit, Michigan, USA, by suicide 


Kevin Stanton
(61), songwriter and guitarist with New Zealand band Mi-Sex ('Computer Games', 'But You Don't Care', 'People', 'Space Race', 'It Only Hurts When I'm Laughing', 'Shanghaied!', and 'Castaway').

In Auckland, New Zealand, from complications caused by cervical spondylosis


Kelley Sallee Snead
(59), songwriter and Nashville music industry executive with Country Music Hall Of Fame and BMG Music, daughter of singer Vikki Gallee and step-daughter of musician Doug Dillard.

In Nashville, Tennessee, USA, of complications from Parkinson's Disease


Bob Forshee
(80), songwriter whose songs were recorded by such stars as Darrell McCall ('A Stranger Was Here'), Buddy Meredith ('I May Fall Again'), Hank Cochran ('A Good Country Song'), Etta James ('Would It Make Any Difference To You?'), Burl Ives, Connie Francis, Mac Wiseman, Jan Howard, Jimmy C. Newman, Skeeter Davis, Linda Manning, Johnny Rodriguez and Sonny Williams, but who quit the music industry in 1966 at the age of 29 to take up a position with State Farm Insurance.

In Nashville, Tennessee, USA, of natural causes


Rosalie 'Rosie' Hamlin
(71), songwriter and lead singer of Rosie & The Originals whose biggest hit 'Angel Baby' was penned by Rosalie for her boyfriend when she was just fourteen and was said to have been one of John Lennon's favourite songs, later recorded by him and also by many other recording stars including Kathy Young, Linda Ronstadt, Angelica, Charles Brown, Reparata & The Delrons, Jenni Rivera and Tiffany.

In Belen, New Mexico, USA, having suffered from fibromyalgia for many years 


Sylvia Moy
(78), singer, songwriter and record producer for Tamla Motown whose hit songs include 'Uptight (Everything's Alright)', 'My Cherie Amour' and 'I Was Made To Love Her' for Stevie Wonder, 'It Takes Two' for Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston, 'With A Child's Heart' for Michael Jackson and 'This Old Heart Of Mine' for the Isley Brothers.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member.

In Dearborn, Michigan, USA, from pneumonia


Bruce Langhorn
(78), folk musician, songwriter, movie composer and session guitarist and the inspiration for Bob Dylan's song 'Mr Tambourine Man', who worked with such acts as The Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem, Joan Baez, Richie Havens, Carolyn Hester, Peter LaFarge, Gordon Lightfoot, Hugh Masekela, Odetta, Peter, Paul and Mary, Richard and Mimi Fariña, Tom Rush, Steve Gillette, and Buffy Sainte-Marie as well as writing music for such movies as 'The Hired Hand', 'Idaho Transfer', 'Fighting Mad', 'Stay Hungry', 'Melvin And Howard' and 'Night Warning'.

At his home in Venice, California, USA, following a stroke


David Peel
(73), musician, songwriter and close friend of John Lennon, whose songwriting coupled campaigns for the legalisation of marijuana ('Give Hemp A Chance') with support for the Occupy Wall Street movement ('Up Against The Wall Street').

At the Military Veterans Hospital in New York City, USA, following a series of heart attacks


Pete Shotten
(75), member of The Quarrymen, businessman, and close friend and confidant of The Beatles who contributed to several of their songs including 'I Am The Walrus' and 'Eleanor Rigby'.

At his home in Knutsford, Cheshire, UK, from heart failure


Ric Marlow
(91), songwriter, singer and actor, who penned the 1962 Grammy Award winning song 'A Taste Of Honey' which went on to sell more than 300 million copies in versions by such acts as The Beatles, Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass, Lenny Welch, Barbra Streisand, Tony Bennett, Peggy Lee, and Johnny Mathis, as well as acting in such television shows as 'Bonanza', 'Hawaii Five-O' and 'Magnum, PI'.

In Palm Springs, California, USA, of heart failure


David Axelrod
(83), composer, arranger, and producer whose works include 'Mass In F Minor' and 'Release Of An Oath', who worked with such acts as Lou Rawl and The Electric Prunes and whose material has been sampled by De LaSoul, The Beatnuts, T-Raym, Swizz Beatz, and Manic Street Preachers.

In Los Angeles, California, USA, of lung cancer


Chuck Barris
(87), songwriter and television personality who wrote the 1962 hit 'Palisades Park' for Freddy Cannon before going on to pen much of the music used in his many hugely successful television programmes, including 'The Gong Show', 'The Dating Game', 'The Newlywed Game', 'Three's A Crowd', 'Treasure Hunt' and 'Camouflage'. He also wrote a number of books, including an autobiography 'Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind' in which he claimed to have also been an assassin for the CIA, and which was later turned into a hit movie directed by George Clooney and starring Sam Rockwell.

In Palisades Park, New York, USA, of heart failure     


Chuck Berry
(90), singer and songwriter ('Johnny B. Goode', 'Maybellene', 'Roll Over Beethoven', 'Rock & Roll Music', 'Sweet Little Sixteen'. 'Memphis Tennessee', 'You Never Can Tell', Come On', Little Queenie', 'School Days', 'No More Monkey Business','Nadine', 'No Particular Place To Go', 'Reeling & Rocking' and 'Brown Eyed Handsome Man').

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Chuck made his first appearance as a musician at Sumner High School. While still at school however, he was charged alongside several other students with armed robbery and was sent to a reformatory. Following his release three years later, Berry joined the Johnnie Johnson Trio, and on the advice of Muddy Waters, auditioned for Leonard Chess of Chess Records. His first release 'Maybellene', based on the country tune 'Ida Red', sold more than a million copies.

Many more hits, worldwide tours, and appearances on TV and in movies followed, and by the mid 1960's, Berry was widely accepted as the Father Of Rock & Roll. In spite of serving further terms in jail on both morals and later tax evasion charges, his reputation as the greatest ever Rock & Roll musician never dimmed and at the invitation of President Carter, he performed at the White House in 1979, and was also honoured in later years by President Clinton.

He continued to record and tour well into his eighties, while maintaining a wide range of business interests, including his Berry Park amusement complex and the Southern Air restaurant in Missouri.

Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. Laureate Of The Polar Music Prize. Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Inductee. Kennedy Center Honoree. International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member.

In  Ladue, Missouri, USA, of heart failure


Tommy Page
(46), singer and songwriter ('I'll Be Your Everything', 'Turning Me On', The Shag', 'A Shoulder To Cry On', 'A Zillion Kisses,' and 'I Think I'm In Love'), who went on to become an executive at Warner Brothers Records where he was involved in the careers of Michael Bublé, Alanis Morissette, Josh Groban, and Green Day, before becoming publisher of the trade publication 'Billboard'.

In New York City, USA, by suicide


Jim Fuller
(69), songwriter and lead guitarist with the Surfaris ('Wipe Out').

In Monrovia, California, USA, of heart failure


Valerie Carter
(64), singer-songwriter who sang backup on tunes by Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor, Jackson Browne and various members of the Eagles, and wrote such songs as Judy Collins' 'Cook With Honey' and Jackson Browne's 'The Deceiver'.

In Saint Petersburg, Florida, USA, following a heart attack


Ritchie Adams
(77), songwriter, movie actor, lead singer with the Fireflies ('You Were Mine'), who penned hits for Bobby Lewis ('Tossin' And Turnin' and 'What A Walk'), Engelbert Humperdinck ('After The Lovin'), Al Martino ('The Next Hundred Years'), Eddy Arnold ('Country Loving'), Ronnie Dove ('Happy Summer Days'), and Southern Reign ('Cheap Motels And One Night Stands').

In Brooklyn, New York City, USA, of heart failure


Hurshel Wiginton
(79), affectionately known as Commercial Hurshel, arranger of such songs as 'Little Band Of Gold' (James Gilreath), and 'Road Runner' (The Gants), and who led the Nashville Edition group of singers on more than 12,000 recordings including Dolly Parton's 'I Will Always Love You', Elvis Presley's 'The Wonder Of You', as well as countless hits for George Jones, Tammy Wynette, Brenda Lee, Marty Robbins, Bobby Bare, Lynn Anderson, Hank Williams Jr and Nancy Sinatra, while also appearing in most episodes of TV's 'Hee Haw'.

In Carthage, Tennessee, USA, of heart failure


Peter Skellern
(69), singer-songwriter ('You're A Lady', 'Hold On To Love' and 'Love Is The Sweetest Thing'), and Church of England priest.

In Lanteglos-by-Fowey, Cornwall, UK, of a brain tumour


Leon Ware
(77), songwriter who penned hits for artists like Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones including such songs as 'After The Dance', 'I Wanna Be Where You Are', 'Inside My Love,' 'If I Ever Lose This Heaven' and 'Sumthin, Sumthin'. He also worked with The Isley Brothers, Ike & Tina Turner, the Four Tops,  Teena Marie, Jeffrey Osborne, Loose Ends, James Ingram, Melissa Manchester, Krystol, Bobby Womack, Lulu, and Bobby Womack.

In Detroit, Michigan, USA, of prostrate cancer


Al Jarrreau
(76), singer and songwriter ('We're In This Love Together', 'Your Precious Love' and 'Moonlighting').

In Los Angeles, California, USA, of heart failure


Ilene Berns
(73), songwriter and ('You Forgot How To Love') and music publisher (Bang Records and Web IV Publishing) whose catalogues included hits written by Paul Davies ('I Go Crazy', 'Sweet Life', 'Ride 'Em Cowboy' and 'Do Right'), and her husband Bert Berns ( 'Twist and Shout', 'Piece of My Heart', 'Tell Him', 'Here Comes The Night', 'Cry to Me', 'Everybody Needs Somebody To Love', 'A Little Bit Of Soap', 'I Want Candy', 'Cry Baby' and 'Hang On Sloopy').

In Miami, Florida, USA, of cancer


Maggie Roche
(65), folk-rock singer-songwriter who worked and recorded with her Irish-American sisters Terre and Suzzy as The Roches, and who sang background vocals on Paul Simon's album 'There Goes Rhymin' Simon'.

In New York City, USA, of cancer


Joey Powers
(82), singer-songwriter ('Midnight Mary') whose early recordings were backed instrumentally by Paul Simon and Roger McGuinn, and who went on to record albums with Roy Orbison and Bobby Bare. He also owned a recording studio working with Jethro Tull, Tony Orlando, Steve Allen, The Kinks and Aerosmith and won a Gospel Music Association Dove Award for Album Of The Year in 1991 for 'Triumphant Return' by Whitecross. In 1994, he was ordained a minister, and later moved to Saint Petersburg, Russia to set up an orphanage and a recording studio.

In Washington, Pennsylvania, USA, of heart failure


Larry Steinbachek
(56), keyboardist and songwriter with Bronski Beat ('Smalltown Guy', 'Why?' and 'Hit That Perfect Beat').

In London, UK, of cancer


Bobby Freeman
(76), singer-songwriter whose classic song 'Do You Wanna Dance' was also recorded by Del Shannon, the Beach Boys, Johnny Rivers, Bette Midler, John Lennon, Cliff Richard, Marc Bolan & T.Rex, the Mamas & The Papas, Bobby Vee and the Ramones. His other hits include 'Betty Lou Got A New Pair Of Shoes', 'Need Your Love', 'Shimmy Shimmy' and 'C'mon And Swim'.

In San Francisco, California, USA, of heart failure


John Wetton
(67), singer-songwriter with such bands as Mogul Thrash, Family, King Crimson, Roxy Music, Uriah Heep, and Wishbone Ash, before founding Asia ('Only Time Will Tell' and 'Heat Of The Moment').

In Bournemouth, Dorset, UK, from colon cancer


Walter Morrison
(62), musician and songwriter ('Funky Worm' and 'One Nation Under A Groove'), who worked with such acts as The Ohio Players and Parliament-Funkadelic.

In Dayton, Ohio, of heart failure


Tommy Allsup
(85), guitarist and songwriter ('Guitar Twist') who backed Buddy Holly on the Winter Dance Party tour and flipped a coin with Ritchie Valens for a seat on the aircraft that took the lives of Holly, Valens and the Big Bopper. Allsup who also worked with such stars as Roy Orbison, Willie Nelson, Eddie Cochran, Walter Brennan, Bobby Vee, Johnny Burnette, Julie London, Vickie Carr, George Jones, Mickey Gilley, Hank Thompson, Lorrie Morgan and Asleep At The Wheel, played guitar on more than 10,000 recordings including Buddy Holly's 'It's So Easy', The Everly Brothers 'Lucille', Jan & Dean's 'Dead Man's Curve', Kenny Rogers' 'The Gambler', and Asleep At The Wheel's 'The Letter That Johnny Walker Read'.

In Springfield, Missouri, USA, following complications from hernia surgery


William Onyeabor
(70), musician and songwriter, whose nine electronic-funk albums included such songs as 'Body and Soul,',  'Atomic Bomb' and 'Why Go To War.'.

In  Enugu, Nigeria, from cancer


Buddy Bregman
(86), arranger and composer ('The Pajama Game', 'Five Guns West', 'The Wild Party', 'The Delicate Delinquent', and 'Born Reckless'), and who worked with such stars as Alan King, Andre Previn, Andy Williams, Barbra Streisand, Betty Hutton, Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Bobby Darin, Buddy Holly, Count Basie, Dean Martin, Debbie Reynolds, Dionne Warwick, Duke Ellington, Eddie Fisher, Frank Sinatra, Fred Astaire, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jane Fonda, Jimmy Durante, Judy Garland, K.C. & The Sunshine Band, Louis Armstrong, Mary Tyler Moore, Michael Crawford, Oscar Peterson, Paul Anka, Peggy Lee, Peter Lawford, Quincy Jones, Rick Nelson, Ritchie Valens, Sam Cooke, Stan Getz, Theolonius Monk, Tony Bennett, Vic Damone, Victor Borge and Yves St. Laurent. 

In Los Angeles, California, USA, of Alzheimer's disease


Billy Joe Burnette
(76), singer-songwriter ('Teddy Bear' 'Teddy Bear's Last Ride', 'Marlene,' 'Stomp, Shout & Twist,' 'Billy The Kid' and 'Blue Misery') and who recorded for Parkway, Warner Bros., Magic Lamp, Deville, Gold Standard and Badger.

In Port Orange, Florida, USA, of cancer


Ruth B. White
(87), music publisher and writer, who spent her entire life working in Nashville with such songwriters as Carmol Taylor, Norro Wilson, Sonny James, Gary Gentry and Joe Stampley, and for such companies as Hickory Records, October Records, Sounds of Nashville, Reed Music, Sound Factory Records and Porter Wagoner Enterprises. Her books include Every Highway Out of Nashville, The Original Goober (with Goober Buchanan), You Can Make It If You Try (with Ted Jarrett), Nashville Steeler (with Don Davis), Every Highway Out of Nashville Volume Two and Knoxville's Merry-Go-Round.

In Nashville, Tennessee, USA, of heart failure


Greg Trooper
(61), singer-songwriter whose songs have been recorded by such stars as Vince Gill ('When I Call Your Name'), Steve Earle ('Little Sister'), Robert Earl Keen, and Billy Bragg.

In Austin, Texas, of pancreatic cancer


Peter Sarstedt
(75), singer-songwriter ('Where Do You Go To My Lovely' winner of an Ivor Novello Award, 'Frozen Orange Juice', 'Beirut', 'Take Off Your Clothes' and 'I'm A Cathedral'). Brother of singers Eden Kane and Robin Sarstedt.

In Sussex, UK, of progressive supranuclear palsy

Songwriter Obituaries 2016


George Michael
(53), singer-songwriter and former member of Wham! (the duo whose hits included 'Last Christmas' and 'Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go'). George Michael's subsequent solo successes included 'Careless Whisper', 'Freedom! '90', 'A Different Corner', 'Faith', 'One More Try', 'Praying For Time', 'Heal The Pain', 'Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me' (with Elton John), 'Somebody To Love' (with Queen), 'Jesus To A Child', 'Fastlove', 'Waltz Away Dreaming', 'Outside', 'Amazing' and 'December Song (I Dreamed Of Christmas)'. Winner of three Brit Awards (winning Best British Male twice), four MTV Video Music Awards, four Ivor Novello Awards, three American Music Awards, and two Grammy Awards.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member.

In Goring-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, UK, from a dilated cardiomyopathy with a myocarditis


Rick Parfitt
(68), singer-songwriter and founding member of Status Quo, whose hits included 'Whatever You Want', 'Again And Again', 'Rain', 'Rocking All Over The World', 'Pictures Of Matchstick Men', 'In The Army Now', 'Caroline' and 'Down Down'.

In  Marbella, Spain, following an infection


Frank Murray
(66), manager who worked with such acts as Thin Lizzy, Elton John, The Specials and The Pogues,  and reputedly the person who persuaded Shane McGowan to write 'Fairytale Of New York'.

In Dublin, Ireland, of heart failure


Andrew Dorff
(40), songwriter whose  Number 1 hits included 'My Eyes' and 'Neon Light' for Blake Shelton, Kenny Chesney's 'Save It For A Rainy Day' and Hunter Hayes' 'Somebody's Heartbreak'. The brother of Hollywood actor Stephen Dorff and son of songwriter Steve Dorff,

In Turks and Caicos, by drowning


Holly Dunn
(59), singer-songwriter, painter and radio-TV host, whose hits included  'Daddy's Hands', 'Are You Ever Gonna Love Me' and 'You Really Had Me Going'.

In Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, of ovarian cancer


Mark Gray
(64), singer-songwriter and former member of Exile, whose Number 1 songs included  Alabama's 'Take Me Down' and 'The Closer You Get' and Janie Fricke's 'It Ain't Easy Being Easy', as well as his own Top 10 hits, 'Left Side Of The Bed' and 'Diamonds In The Dust'.

In Lebanon, Tennessee, USA, of heart failure


Greg Lake
(69), singer-songwriter and founding member of both King Crimson and Emerson, Lake & Palmer (ELP), whose hit compositions included  'Lucky Man', 'From The Beginning' and 'I Believe In Father Christmas'.

In London, UK, from cancer 


Alan Thicke
(69), actor, TV host and songwriter, who came to fame as the father in the hit television series 'Growing Pains'. He also composed theme songs for several top shows including 'Wheel Of Fortune', 'The Facts Of Life' and 'Diff'rent Strokes'.

In Los Angeles, California, USA, following a heart attack


Claude 'Curly' Putman Jr
(85), singer and songwriter, whose hits include 'Green Green Grass Of Home' for Porter Wagoner (covered by Tom Jones, Roger Miller, Elvis Presley, Kenny Rogers, Don Williams, Burl Ives, Johnny Darrell, Gram Parsons, Joan Baez, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Grateful Dead, Johnny Cash, Roberto Leal, Dean Martin, Merle Haggard, Bobby Bare, Joe Tex, and Nana Mouskouri), along with such classics as the George Jones hit 'He Stopped Loving Her Today' (often cited as the greatest country song of all time), Tammy Wynette's 'D-I-V-O-R-C-E', 'My Elusive Dreams' for David Houston & Tammy Wynette, 'Blood Red And Goin' Down' (Tanya Tucker), 'Do You Wanna Go To Heaven' ( T.G. Sheppard), and 'It's A Cheatin' Situation' (Moe Bandy).

In addition, Mr. Putman scored several hits as a recording artist for ABC Records during the 1960's, including 'The Prison Song', 'My Elusive Dreams' and Set Me Free'. Even the Putman family farm was immortalised in song when Paul McCartney penned 'Junior's Farm' while living with the Putmans during a six-week recording session in Nashville in 1974.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member. Nashville Songwriters Hall Of Fame Inductee.

In Nashville, Tennessee, USA, of cancer


Leonard Cohen
(82), legendary singer-songwriter whose classic compositions include 'The Sisters Of Mercy', 'Bird On A Wire'. 'Suzanne', 'Chelsea Hotel', 'Hallelujah', 'Hey That's No Way To Say Goodbye', 'Tower Of Song', 'Everybody Knows', 'Leaving The Table' and 'First We Take Manhattan'.

Leonard Cohen's songs have been covered by such acts as Johnny Cash, Nina Simone, John Cale, Jeff Buckley, Alexandra Burke, Bruce Springsteen, Noel Harrison, Willie Nelson, k.d. lang, U2, Tom Jones,  Lloyd Cole, Tori Amos, Don Henley, Rufus Wainwright and Bette Midler.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member.

In Los Angeles, California, USA, following a fall


Bap Kennedy
(54), singer-songwriter ('Flowers for Julie' and 'Shine On Christmas Star') and former member of Energy Orchard.

In Belfast, Ireland, of cancer


Al Caiola
(96), guitarist and composer ( 'The Magnificent Seven' and 'Bonanza'), who also worked as a session musician with such acts as Buddy Holly, Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Johnny Mathis, Simon and Garfunkel, Sarah Vaughan, Glen Campbell and Rosemary Clooney.

In Allendale, New Jersey, USA, of heart failure


Leon Russell
(74), singer and songwriter whose songs include 'Tight Rope' and 'Lady Blue' recorded by himself, as well as such hits as 'Everybody Loves A Clown' and 'She's Just My Style' (both for Gary Lewis & The Playboys), 'Delta Lady' (Joe Cocker), and 'A Song For You' (recorded by The Carpenters, Ray Charles, Peggy Lee, Willie Nelson, Helen Reddy, Whitney Houston, Elkie Brooks, Amy Winehouse, Donny Hathaway, and Christina Aguilera).

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member. Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Inductee. Songwriters Hall of Fame Inductee.

In Nashville, Tennessee, USA, of heart failure


Mentor Williams
(70), singer-songwriter, brother of songwriter Paul Williams, and composer of Dobie Gray's hit, 'Drift Away', 'A Few Ole Country Boys' (Randy Travis and George Jones), Alabama's classic 'When We Make Love' along with songs recorded by The Ventures, Rod Stewart, Michael Bolton, Ray Charles and Roy Orbison.

At his home in Taos, New Mexico, USA, of heart failure


Bobby Vee
(73), singer-songwriter whose hits include 'Devil Or Angel', 'Rubber Ball', 'Run To Him', 'Take Good Care Of My Baby' 'The Night Has A Thousand Eyes' and 'Come Back When You Grow Up', and who was regarded as perhaps the foremost American teen idol of the 1960's, scoring 38 entries on the Billboard charts.

An ardent Buddy Holly fan, Bobby started his career at the age of 15 as a replacement for Holly on the night following that singer's death in an air-crash not far from Vee's home town, and he later teamed up for an album with Holly's former group, The Crickets.

In his early days, his pianist was Robert Zimmerman, later to become Bob Dylan, and it was Dylan who suggested that Bobby Velline change his surname to Vee. Dylan later wrote that Vee 'had a metallic, edgy tone to his voice and it was as musical as a silver bell.' When Dylan appeared in St. Paul Minnesota, in 2013, he pointed out Bobby Vee in the audience before performing Vee's first hit 'Suzie Baby.'

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member.

In Rogers, Minnesota, USA, from Alzheimer's disease


Rod Temperton
(66), songwriter-producer and former member of Heatwave ('Boogie Nights' and 'Always And Forever'), and whose hits for others included 'Thriller', 'Off The Wall' and 'Rock With You' for Michael Jackson, 'Give Me The Night' for George Benson, 'Baby, Come To Me' for Patti Austin and James Ingram and  'Stomp!' for The Brothers Johnson.

Rod also received an Oscar nomination for 'Miss Celie's Blues (Sister)' from the movie The Colour Purple, and penned multiple hits for such acts as Donna Summer, Herbie Hancock, The Manhattan Transfer and Mica Paris.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member.

In London, UK, from cancer 


Jean Shepard
(82), country singer-songwriter whose 73 hits included 'A Dear John Letter', 'I Want To Go Where No One Knows Me', 'Second Fiddle (To An Old Guitar)', 'If The Teardrops Were Silver', 'Slippin' Away', ' and 'I'll Do Anything It Takes (To Stay With You)'.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member. A sixty-year veteran of the Grand Ole Opry and a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

In Hendersonville, Tennessee, USA, of Parkinson's Disease


Robert Bateman
(80), Motown songwriter ('Please Mr. Postman', 'Playboy' and 'Twistin' Postman'), and founder of The Satintones, Motown's first group to release a single. Robert later discovered The Marvelettes, and well as producing The Falcons, Wilson Pickett and Supremes' member Florence Ballard.

In Sherman Oaks, California, USA, following a heart attack


Don Ciccone
(71), song and jingle writer, and recording member of The Critters ('Younger Girl', 'Mr Dieingly Sad', 'Bad Misunderstanding' and 'Don't Let The Rain Fall Down On Me') and The Four Seasons ('Who Loves You' and 'December,1963'), and performing member of Tommy James & The Shondells.

In Platsfield, New Jersey, USA, of heart failure


Richard Trentlage
(87), jingle writer (Oscar Mayer Wieners, McDonald's, The National Safety Council and V8).

In Libertyville, Illinois, USA, following a heart attack


Oscar Brand
(96), folk singer-songwriter who published more than 300 songs and recorded over 100 albums, as well as being host of radio's Oscar Brand's Folksong Festival, which was broadcast continuously since 1945 on WNYC-AM 820 in New York City, making it the longest-running radio show featuring the same presenter.

In Great Neck, New York, USA, of heart failure


Kashif
56), singer-songwriter, record producer former member of B T Express and multiple Grammy nominee whose hits include tracks by Whitney Houston, Evelyn 'Champagne' King, George Benson and Jermaine Jackson. Kashif also wrote the book Everything You'd Better Know About The Record Business and founded Kashif University, a college young people interested in music and the arts.

In Los Angeles,California, USA, of heart failure


Rob Meurer
(65), singer-songwriter and former member of the rock band Christopher Cross ('Ride Like The Wind', 'Arthur's Theme' and 'Sailing').

In Studio City, California, USA, following a hit-and-run accident


Prince Buster
(78), Jamaican singer-songwriter and record producer and one of the most important figures in ska and rocksteady music, whose hits include 'Ten Commandments', 'One Step Beyond' and 'Al Capone'.

In Miami, Florida, USA,  following a heart attack


Juan Gabriel
(66), Mexican singer-songwriter whose 1500 published songs include such hits as 'Amor Eterno', 'Querida', 'Yo No Nací Para Amar', 'Hasta Que Te Conocí', 'El Noa Noa', 'No Tengo Dinero', 'Abrázame Muy Fuerte', 'Te lo Pido por Favor', 'En Esta Primavera', 'Pero Qué Necesidad', 'Te Sigo Amando', 'Siempre en Mi Mente, 'De Mí Enamórate', and 'Lo Pasado, Pasado'.

While on an American tour, in Santa Monica, California, USA, following a heart attack


John D Loudermilk
(82), singer-songwriter, whose solo hits include 'Language Of Love' 'Thou Shalt Not Steal', 'Callin' Doctor Casey' and Road Hog, and whose songs for other artists include 'Sittin' In The Balcony' (Eddie Cochran), Abilene' (George Hamilton IV), 'Angela Jones' (Johnny Ferguson and Michael Cox), 'A Rose and a Baby Ruth' (George Hamilton IV), 'Bad News' (Johnny Cash), 'Big Daddy s Alabamy Bound' (Boots Randolph, Chet Atkins, the Willis Brothers), 'Blue Train' (George Hamilton IV), 'Break My Mind' (George Hamilton IV, Anne Murray, Sammy Davis, Jr, Glen Campbell, Linda Ronstadt, Roy Orbison, Gram Parsons, Wreckless Eric, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Vern Gosdin and The Box Tops), 'Ebony Eyes' (The Everly Brothers), 'Everything's Alright' (The Newbeats), 'Google Eye' (The Nashville Teens), 'The Great Snowman' (Bob Luman), 'Indian Reservation' (Don Fardon and Paul Revere and The Raiders), 'Norman' (Sue Thompson) 'Paper Tiger' (Sue Thompson), 'Sad Movies' (Sue Thompson), 'Sun Glasses', (Skeeter Davis, Sandy Posey and Tracey Ullman), 'Talk Back Trembling Lips' (Johnny Tillotson), 'Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye' (The Casinos and Johnny Nash), 'This Little Bird' (Marianne Faithfull and The Nashville Teens), 'Thou Shalt Not Steal' (Dick and Dee Dee), 'Tobacco Road' (The Nashville Teens, Lou Rawls, the Blues Magoos, Jefferson Airplane, Rare Earth, Edgar Winter's White Trash and David Lee Roth), 'Top 40, News, Weather and Sports' (Mark Dinning), 'Torture' (Kris Jensen), 'Turn Me On' (Norah Jones) and 'Waterloo' (Stonewall Jackson).

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member.

In Christiana, Tennessee, USA, of bone cancer


Kacey Jones
(66), singer-songwriter and comedian, whose hits include 'I'm the One Mama Warned You About' (Mickey Gilley) and 'Cold Turkey' (David Allan Coe), as well hits for Cledus T. Judd, Richard Fagan, Ray Stevens and Marshall Chapman, along with such solo recordings as 'One Nite Stan', 'It's Just The Whiskey Talkin', 'Last Night I Really Laid Down The Law', 'Smokin' In Bed', 'Up Against Your Love',  'Christmas In Rehab,' 'Whatever Happened To Kenny Rogers' Face,' 'Show Up Naked - Bring Beer,' 'I Wanna Be Up Front Like Dolly,' 'Dressin' Up For The Pizza Man,' 'I Can Always Get Skinny But You'll Never Be Tall,' 'Put The Seat Back Down' and 'I Miss My Man (But My Aim's Gettin' Better)'.

In Nashville, Tennessee, USA, of cancer


Pat Upton
(75), lead vocalist and guitarist with the Spiral Staircase (as well as being a former guitarist for Rick Nelson), and writer of such hits as  'More Today Than Yesterday' (a song intended for Bobby Goldsboro), 'Baby What I Mean', 'No One For Me To Turn To' and 'She's Ready'.

In Guntersville, Alabama, USA, of cancer


Richard Fagan
(69), songwriter whose hits include 'Sold (The Grundy County Auction Incident)' and 'Be My Baby Tonight' for John Michael Montgomery, 'The Good Lord Loves You' (Neil Diamond), as well as hits for  Com Hunley, Mel McDaniel, B B Watson, Clay Walker, Ricochet, Hank Williams, Jr., Charlie Floyd, George Jones, Shania Twain, Patty Loveless, Collin Raye, Shenandoah, The Crickets, Jason & the Scorchers and The Blues Brothers Band.

In addition, he penned a Presidential campaign song, several network television themes, a national sports anthem and a large number of movie songs. In 2008, he was accused of the murder of his best friend and manager Tom Oteri, but was later released when it transpired that Oteri had in fact died of a heart attack.

In Nashville, Tennessee, USA, of cancer     


Mike Hart
(73), singer songwriter and former leader of Liverpool band The Roadrunners, whose songs include 'Aberfan' and 'Shelter Song'.

In Edinburgh, Scotland, of cancer


William Hawkins
(75), singer songwriter whose hits include 'Gnostic Serenade' (3's A Crowd), and whose songs were recorded by The Esquires, The Children and Tom Rush.

In Ontario, Canada, of cancer
 

Fred Tomlinson
(88), singer songwriter who penned Monty Python's 'The Lumberjack Song' and who for many years led the Fred Tomlinson Singers, providing vocals for 'Monty Python's Flying Circus', 'The Two Ronnies', 'Dad's Army', 'Only Fools And Horses' and many other television shows.

In Rawtenstall, Lancashire, UK, of heart failure


Ralph Stanley
(89), bluegrass singer songwriter and one half of The Stanley Brothers, whose hits include 'Man Of Constant Sorrow' (used in the movie 'O Brother, Where Art Thou') and 'Finger Poppin' Time'. Grammy Award winner, honorary Doctor of Music at Lincoln Memorial University,  International Bluegrass Music Hall inductee and Member of the Grand Ole Opry. 

In Coeburn, Virginia, USA, of skin cancer


Gary S. Paxton
(77), singer, songwriter and co-producer of 'Alley Oop' (the Hollywood Argyles) as well as being the 'Flip' half of the duo Skip and Flip ('It Was I' and 'Cherry Pie'), but who also produced such hits as 'The Monster Mash' (Bobby 'Boris' Pickett), 'Along Comes Mary' and 'Cherish' (The Association), 'Sweet Pea' and 'Hooray For Hazel' (Tommy Roe).

In the 1970's, he moved to Bakersfield, California, starting another career as a country music producer and songwriter, before being shot and seriously wounded by a hit man hired by a recording act he was producing. In 1975, he produced and performed as a gospel singer, winning the Best Inspirational Grammy for his 1975 album 'The Astonishing, Outrageous, Amazing, Incredible, Unbelievable, Different World Of Gary S. Paxton'. A Country Gospel Music Hall Of Fame Member.

In Branson, Missouri, USA, from Hepatitis C   


Bonny 'Sir Mack' Rice
(82), former member of The Falcons ('You're So Fine'), who turned to songwriting in the 1960's, penning such songs as 'Mustang Sally' (a hit for fellow Falcons member Wilson Pickett), 'Respect Yourself' (The Staple Singers and later Bruce Willis), as well as Johnnie Taylor's 1973 hit 'Cheaper To Keep Her'.

In Detroit, Michigan, USA of complications from Alzheimer's Disease


Elliot Marvin Wolff
(60), songwriter and producer whose hits include Paula Abdul's 'Straight Up' Johnny Gill's 'Super Love', Paula Abdul's 'Cold Hearted', Taylor Dayne'a 'Heart Of Stone' and Color Me Badd's 'The Earth, The Sun, The Rain'. He also worked with Atlantic Starr, Aretha Franklin, the Corrs, Chynna Phillips and Debbie Gibson.

In the Pecos River, New Nexico, USA, from drowning while on a camping trip


Rokusuke Ei
(83), songwriter and radio program host, who wrote the lyrics for Kyu Sakamoto's 'Ue O Muite Aruko', which became a Number 1 hit in the US in 1963 as 'Sukiyaki', becoming the only Japanese language song to reach Number 1 in America. The original Japanese title 'I Look Up As I Walk' was renamed after a popular Japanese dish when an executive at Capitol Records in New York discovered that the song was actually a protest against continued American Air Force involvement in Japan.

In Tokyo, Japan, from heart failure 


Gérard Bourgeois
(80) composer and songwriter who penned Brigitte Bardot's 'La Madrague' and Juliette Greco's 'Un Petit Poisson, Un Petit Oiseau'.

In Bordeaux, France, from heart failure


Corry Brokken
(83), winner of the 1957 Eurovision Song Contest for the Netherlands with the 'Net Als Toen', written by Guus Jansen and Willy van Hemer. Brokken appeared again in the 1958 contest, and went on to have a successful entertainment career in Holland which included presenting the 1976 Eurovision, before quitting to study law, eventually being appointed a judge. She returned to show business upon her retirement from the legal profession recording several albums and also working as a magazine columnist.

In Laren, Holland, from heart failure 


Chips Moman
(79), producer and songwriter whose compositions included 'Dark End Of The Street' (James Carr), 'Do Right Woman, Do Right Man' (Aretha Franklin), '(Hey Won't You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song' (B J Thomas), and 'Luckenbach, Texas' (Waylon Jennings). In addition, he produced such acts as Elvis Presley, The Mar-Keys, Carla Thomas, William Bell, The Gentry's, BJ Thomas, Neil Diamond, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Roy Orbison.

In LaGrange, Georgia, USA, following a lengthy struggle with lung disease


Floyd Robinson
(83), country singer-songwriter whose hits included 'Makin' Love', and 'The Little Space Girl' and who worked with such stars as Chet Atkins, George Jones, Jim Reeves, Eddy Arnold and Jimmy Dickens.

In Nashville, Tennessee, USA, of heart failure


Rick Christian
(61), singer-songwriter best known for penning the Kenny Rogers' hit 'I Don't Need You', but who also released a number of solo country albums.

In Nashville, Tennessee, USA, of cancer


Bill Ham
(79), songwriter, manager, producer and publisher, best known as the longtime manager, producer and publisher of ZZ Top, but who also worked with Clint Black and whose company Hamstein Music signed such writers as Clint Black, Hayden Nicholas, Frankie Miller, members of Little Texas, Tom Shapiro, Chris Waters, Rick Giles, Chuck Jones, Tommy Barnes, Stephen Allan Davis, Billy Kirsch, Tony Martin, Reese Wilson, Lee Thomas Miller, Monty Criswell, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and others.

At his home in San Antonio, Texas, USA, of heart failure


Freddy Powers
(84), singer, songwriter, musician and producer who worked with Merle Haggard on such hits as 'I Always Get Lucky With You', 'A Friends In California', 'Let's Chase Each Other Around The Room Tonight', as well as producing Willie Nelson's album 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow'.

In Nashville, Tennessee, USA, of Parkinson's Disease


Ned Miller
(90), singer-songwriter whose hits included 'From A Jack To A King' (covered by such stars as Elvis Presley, Ricky Van Shelton and Bobby Darin),  'Dark Moon' (receded by Gale Storm and Bonnie Guitar), 'Do What You Do Well' and 'Invisible Tears'.

In Medford, Oregon, USA, from heart failure


Guy Clark
(74), singer-songwriter whose hits included 'Desperados Waiting For A Train' and whose songs were recorded by such stars as Johnny Cash, Brad Paisley and Alan Jackson ('Out In The Parking Lot'), Steve Wariner and Kenny Chesney.

In Nashville, Tennessee, USA, of cancer


Johnny Sea
(75), singer-songwriter whose hits included 'Day For Decision' (a conservative response to Barry McGuire's 'Eve Of Destruction'), 'Nobody's Darling But Mine'. and 'My Old Faded Rose'.

Near the town of West in Texas, when the plane he was piloting hit a cell-phone tower   


Emilio Navaira
(53), Tejano singer-songwriter whose crossovers included the country hit 'It's Not The End Of The World' and who was both a Grammy and a Latin Grammy Award winner.

In New Braunfels, Texas, USA, following a heart attack


James King
(57), the Grammy-nominated bluegrass artist affectionately known as 'The Bluegrass Storyteller'.

In Salem, Virginia, USA, from complications of cirrhosis of the liver


Lonnie Mack
(71), guitarist and composer whose hits include 'Memphis' and 'Wham!' who not only charted seven times on his own, but also played on sessions for James Brown, Freddie King, Hank Ballard and on the Doors' 'Morrison Hotel'.

Rockabilly Hall Of Fame Member. International Guitar Hall Of Fame Inductee.

In Smithville, Tennessee, USA, following a heart attack


Bob Tubert
(90), country songwriter whose hits include 'When You Loved Me', (Brenda Lee), the Sonny James hits 'You're The Only World I Know' and 'I'll Keep Holding On', 'Gardenias In Her Hair' (Marty Robbins), and 'Here Comes Heaven' (Eddy Arnold), along with country hits for Stonewall Jackson, Dolly Parton, Jerry Lee Lewis, Kitty Wells, Dave Dudley, Faron Young, Dottie West, Connie Smith, Ray Stevens, Cal Smith, Jim Ed Brown, Marie Osmond, Roy Clark , Grandpa Jones, Billy Walker and David Houston.

Although best-known as a country writer, he also wrote songs for Sam the Sham & The Pharaohs ('Ring Dang Doo'), The Letterman ('Our Winter Love'), Lou Rawls ('My Ancestors'), Bobby Vinton ('Satin Pillow'), Chuck Jackson & Maxine Brown ('Please Don't Hurt Me'), Steve Alaimo, Taj Mahal, Sandy Posey, Jimmy Cliff, Perry Como, Anita Bryant, Jackie Wilson, Ketty Lester and Ann-Margret as well as being a founding member of the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), while helping to establish Belmont University's music business program.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member.

In Nashville, Tennessee, USA, of heart failure


Prince
(57), singer, guitarist, bassist, keyboardist and drummer, whose hits include 'Soft And Wet', 'I Wanna Be Your Lover', 'Controversy', 'Let's Work', '1999', 'Little Red Corvette', 'Delirious', 'Let's Pretend We're Married', 'When Doves Cry', 'Let's Go Crazy', 'Purple Rain', 'I Would Die 4 U', 'Take Me With U', 'Raspberry Beret', 'Pop Life', 'America', 'A Love Bizarre', 'Kiss', 'Mountains', 'Anotherloverholenyohead', 'Sign Of The Times', 'If I Was Your Girlfriend', 'U Got the Look', 'I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man', 'Alphabet Street', 'I Wish U Heaven', 'Batdance', 'Partyman', 'Thieves In The Temple', 'Get Off', 'Cream', 'Diamonds & Pearls', 'Money Don't Matter 2 Night', 'My Name Is Prince', '7', 'The 'Morning Papers', 'Pink Cashmere', 'The Most Beautiful Girl In The World', 'Letitgo', and 'I Hate U'.

His songs have been recorded by Sinead O'Connor ('Nothing Compares 2 U'), The Bangles ('Manic Monday') and Tom Jones ('Kiss').

Winner of seven Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and an Academy Award (for the film Purple Rain), he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member.

In Paisley Park, Minnesota, USA, a result of an overdose of fentanyl, a pain-killing drug, taken to alleviate the singer's hip problems


Jack Hammer
(90), co-writer of the Jerry Lee Lewis classic 'Great Balls Of Fire', Wanda Jackson's 'Fujiyama Mama' and The Cadillacs' 'Peek A Boo', as well as being a former member of the Platters. He recorded many solo albums (he was known as the 'Twistin' King' in Europe in the '60s) as well as performing on Broadway in 'Bubblin' Brown Sugar' in the '70s.

In Los Angeles, California, USA, of heart failure


Peter Andreoli
(74), songwriter who also performed with such hit groups as the Videls ('Mister Lonely'), the Trade Winds ('New York's A Lonely Town' and 'Mind Excursion'), the Mystics ('Hushabye') and the Innocence ('There's Got To Be A Word') whose career started in 1956, when he joined the Videls while in high school and met his future songwriting partner Vinnie Poncia. In 1964 they both moved to California to write for Phil Spector, penning 'Do I Love You' and 'The Best Part Of Breaking Up' for the Ronettes as well as songs for The Crystals,  before persuading Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller to release as a single their demo of 'New York's A Lonely Town'.  They also penned hits for other acts, including the theme to Elvis Presley's movie 'Harem Scarum'.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member. Rhode Island Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member.

In Providence, Rhode Island, USA, of cancer


Andy 'Thunderclap' Newman
(73), songwriter and keyboardist whose hits include 'Something In The Air'.

At his home in London, UK, of unknown causes


Merle Haggard
(79), singer and songwriter whose 105 hits include I'm a Lonesome Fugitive', 'Branded Man', 'Bring Me Back Home', 'The Legend of Bonnie and Clyde', 'Mama Tried', 'Hungry Eyes', 'Workin' Man Blues',,'Okie from Muskogee', 'The Fightin' Side of Me', 'Daddy Frank', 'Carolyn', 'Grandma Harp', 'It's Not Love (But It's Not Bad)', 'I Wonder If They Ever Think of Me', 'Everybody's Had the Blues', 'If We Make It Through December', 'Things Aren't Funny Anymore', 'Old Man from the Mountain', 'Kentucky Gambler', 'Always Wanting You', 'Movin' On', 'It's All in the Movies', 'The Roots of My Raising', 'Cherokee Maiden', 'Bar Room Buddies' (with Clint Eastwood), 'I Think I'll Just Stay Here and Drink', 'My Favorite Memory', 'Big City', 'Yesterday's Wine' (with George Jones), 'Going Where the Lonely Go', 'You Take Me For Granted', 'Pancho And Lefty' (with Willie Nelson),  'That's The Way Love Goes', 'Someday When Things Are Good', 'Let's Chase Each Other Around the Room', 'A Place To Fall Apart' (with Janie Frickie), 'Natural High', and 'Twinkle, Twinkle Lucky Star'.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member. Country Music Hall Of Fame Inductee.

In Bakersfield, California, USA, from pneumonia 


Leon Haywood
(74), singer, songwriter and record producer, whose started out as the keyboardist for Sam Cooke, before going solo after Cooke's death. His own hits include 'I Want'a Do Something Freaky To You', 'She's With Her Other Love', 'Keep It In The Family', 'Come An' Get Yourself Some' and 'Don't Push It Don't Force It', as well as writing and producing Carl Carlton's 'She's A Bad Mama Jama', and records for many artists on his own EveJim Records.

In Los Angeles, California, USA, of unknown causes


Keith Emerson
(71), pianist and songwriter with the Nice and Emerson, Lake & Palmer, whose hits include 'Lucky Man' and 'From The Beginning'.

In Santa Monica, California, USA, from a self-inflicted single gunshot wound


George Martin
(90), the man known as 'The Fifth Beatle', and an accomplished pianist, arranger, producer, conductor, audio engineer, and composer, who arranged and/or added music to many Beatles' songs. including, 'Yesterday' and 'Lovely Rita' as well as producing Matt Monro, Cilla Black, Gerry & The Pacemakers, Billy J. Kramer & the Dakotas, The Fourmost, David & Jonathan, The Action, The King's Singers, America, Jeff Beck, John Williams, Neil Sedaka, Ultravox, Kenny Rogers, Cheap Trick, Elton John and Celine Dion, as well as working with Dire Straits, Pete Townshend and Elton John

During a fifty year career, he was involved in 30 number-one hit singles in the United Kingdom and 23 number-one hits in the United States. Although he had learned music as a child, he started working as a quantity surveyor after leaving school and when he was seventeen, joined the Fleet Air Ar becoming a commissioned officer. After the war, he worked for the BBC's classical music department, before joining EMI in 1950.

His early productions were singles and LPs for such comedians as Peter Sellers, Spike Milligan, Bernard Cribbins, Charlie Drake, Terry Scott, Bruce Forsyth, Michael Bentine, Dudley Moore, Flanders and Swann, Lance Percival, Joan Sims, and Bill Oddie.

After these successes, he had a number 1 hit with The Temperance Seven, as well as hits by Jerry Lordan, Shane Fenton and Matt Monro. In May 1962, he was introduced to Brian Epstein, a Liverpool department store director who was managing a local group, The Beatles, and it was Martin who signed the act to Parlophone Records later that year.

In his sleep, at his home in London, England


Steve Young
(73), singer-songwriter, ('Seven Bridges Road' for the Eagles, and 'Lonesome, On'ry, And Mean' for Waylon Jennings), whose songs have been recorded by Eddie Arnold, Hank Williams Jr, Shooter Jennings, Joan Baez, Uncle Josh Graves, Ricochet and Dolly Parton.

In Nashville, Tennessee, following a brain injury caused by a fall.


David Egan
(61), songwriter and musician whose tunes were recorded by such stars as Etta James, Solomon Burke, Percy Sledge, Tab Benoit, Irma Thomas, Marcia Ball, Marc Broussard and Joe Cocker.

In Lafayette, Louisiana, USA, of lung cancer


Jimmy Bain
(68), songwriter and musician who worked with Rainbow and Dio, as well as co-writing songs with Phil Lynott both for the band Thin Lizzie and for Lynott's solo career. Amongst his songs were 'Old Town', a hit for both Lynott and The Corrs, 'Rainbow In The Dark', for the band Dio, and 'Stars' for 'Hear 'n Aid', the charity he helped to found.

Of cancer, while on a cruise with Def Leppard's 'Hysteria On The High Seas' tour 


Colin Vearncombe
(53), singer-songwriter who performed under the name Black. Amongst his hits were the self-composed 'Sweetest Smile', and 'Wonderful Life' which has been used in a large number of advertising campaigns, as well as being covered by Tina Cousins and Katie Melua.

In Cork, Ireland, following a motoring accident


Paul Kantner
(74), musician, singer and songwriter who co-founded both Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship and whose hit songs include  'The Ballad Of You And Me And Pooneil', 'Watch Her Ride', 'Crown Of Creation', 'Run Around', 'We Can Be Together', 'Today', 'Volunteers' 'Let Me In', and 'America'. 

In San Francisco, California, USA, following a heart attack


Maurice White
(74), drummer, songwriter, producer and founding member of Earth, Wind & Fire. who worked as a teenager as a session drummer at Chess Records for such acts as the Impressions, Etta James, Muddy Waters and the Dells. In 1969, he formed the Salty Peppers before moving to Los Angeles and evolving the Peppers into Earth, Wind & Fire, whose hits which he penned, include  'Love Is Life', 'Mighty Mighty', 'Devotion', 'Shining Star', 'That's The Way Of The World', 'Sing A Song', 'September' and 'Boogie Wonderland'.

In addition, he also produced artists like the Emotions, Deniece Williams, Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond. 

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member. Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Inductee. Vocal Group Hall Of Fame Member. Songwriters Hall Of Fame member.

In Los Angeles, California, USA from Parkinson's disease


Kim Williams
(68), songwriter who penned hits for Garth Brooks ('Ain't Goin' Down Till The Sun Comes Up' and 'Papa Loved Mama'), Joe Diffie ('If The Devil Danced In Empty Pockets'), Rascal Flatts, Randy Travis ('Three Wooden Crosses'), Keith Anderson ('Pickin' Wildflowers'), Brooks & Dunn ('Honky Tonk Truth'), George Jones ('Beer Run'), David Kersh ('Goodnight Sweetheart'), Reba McEntire ('The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter') and George Strait ('Overnight Male').

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member. 

In Miami, Florida, USA, following a heart attack


Jimmie Haskell
(79), arranger, composer and songwriter, whose career earned him three Grammy Awards, one Primetime Emmy Award, two Primetime Emmy Award Nominations, three Clio Awards, two Addy Awards and one Cable Car Award. In addition, he composed music for 31 feature films, 32 TV movies and 445 TV episodes, including 'The Matrix', 'Three Kings', 'Grace Of My Heart', 'Pulp Fiction', 'Hotshots', 'Married To The Mob', 'When Harry Met Sally', 'Almost Famous', 'The Color Purple', 'Fools Rush In', 'Mulholland Falls', 'Love Potion #9', 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off', 'The West Wing', 'Bewitched', 'Hollywood Squares' and 'Ode To Billy Joe'.

He also arranged such hits as 'If You Leave Me Now' for Chicago, 'Ode To Billy Joe' for Bobby Gentry, and 'Bridge Over Troubled Waters' for Simon & Garfunkel as well as producing 135 Gold and/or Platinum albums for such stars as Steely Dan, Barbra Streisand, Tina Turner, Elvis Presley, Kenny Rankin, Simon and Garfunkel, The Bee Gees, Blondie, Pat Boone, Glen Campbell, Sam Cooke, Chicago, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Bobby Darin, Mac Davis, Neil Diamond, Fats Domino, The Doobie Brothers, Jose Feliciano, Dan Fogelberg, Bobbie Gentry, Foreigner, The Four Tops, The Grassroots, Engelbert Humperdinck, Michael Jackson, Etta James, Billy Joel,  B.B. King,  Gladys Knight, The Lettermen, Barry Manilow, Bette Midler, Ricky Nelson, Aaron Neville, Wayne Newton, Laura Nyro and Minnie Riperton.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member. 

In New York City. USA from heart failure 


Dan Hicks
(74), singer-songwriter best known for 'I Scare Myself',  'How Can I Miss You When You Won't Go Away?'  and 'Canned Music'.

At his home in Mill Valley, California, USA, from throat and liver cancer


David Bowie
(69), singer-songwriter and record producer whose career stretched from the early 1960's up until his death, involving sales of more than 150 million records including such classics as 'Space Oddity', 'The Jean Genie', 'Life on Mars?', 'Sorrow', 'Rebel Rebel', 'Young Americans', 'Golden Years', 'Sound and Vision', ''Heroes', 'John, I'm Only Dancing (Again)', 'Ashes to Ashes', 'Fashion', 'Under Pressure' (with Queen), 'Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy' (with Bing Crosby), 'Let's Dance', 'China Girl', 'Modern Love',  'Blue Jean', 'This Is Not America' (with the Pat Metheny Group), 'Absolute Beginners', 'Jump They Say', 'Ziggy Stardust', 'Arnold Layne' (with David Gilmour), 'Where Are We Now?', 'Blackstar' and 'Lazarus'. 

In his early years, he was a member of Davie Jones And The King Bees ('Liza Jane'), The Manish Boys ('I Pity The Fool'), The Lower Third ('You've Got A Habit Of Leaving'), The Buzz ('Do Anything You Say'), The Riot Squad and Tin Machine and also worked with Lou Reed, Brian Eno, Iggy Pop, Mick Jagger ('Dancing In The Street'), The Pet Shop Boys ('Hallo Spaceboy'), Arcade Fire, David Gilmour, Marianne Faithfull ('I Got You Babe') and Mott The Hoople. As an actor, he appeared in such films as 'The Man Who Fell To Earth', 'The Hunger', 'The Last Temptation Of Christ' and 'Just A Gigolo'. He also wrote the music and acted in the movie 'Absolute Beginners'.

Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame Inductee. International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member.

In New York City. USA, from cancer

Songwriter Obituaries 2015


Mick Lynch
(56), songwriter for and founder of the London-based punk band Stump, whose songs include 'Charlton Heston', 'Buffalo' and 'Tupperware Stripper'. A former member of Microdisney, Lynch, born in Limerick, Ireland, moved to Cork at an early age before breaking onto the London scene with Stump in 1983.

In Cork, Ireland, from cancer


Stevie Wright
(68), also known as Little Stevie, musician and songwriter and former lead singer with the Easybeats, whose hits include 'Friday on My Mind', 'She's So Fine', 'Wedding Ring', 'Women (Make You Feel Alright)', 'Come and See Her', 'I'll Make You Happy', and 'Sorry'. Long regarded as one of Australia's most important rock music personalities, he was born in Leeds, England, before moving to Melbourne, Australia at the age of nine.

In Moruya, Australia, from cancer


Ian Fraser Kilmister
(Lemmy) (70), singer, songwriter and guitarist, who played with The Sundowners, The Rainmakers, The Motown Sect, The Rockin' Vickers ('It's Alright'), Sam Gopal ('Horse'), Opal Butterfly, Hawkwind ('Silver Machine' and 'Urban Guerrilla') and Motorhead ('Ace Of Spades' and 'Snaggletooth'). He also worked with The Damned, Robert Calvert ('Ejection' and 'Lord Of The Hornets'), Slash and Wendy O. Williams ('Stand By Your Man') and well as writing songs for The Ramones and Ozzy Osbourne.

At his home in Los Angeles, California, USA, from cancer


Natalie Cole
(65), singer-songwriter and daughter of Nat King Cole. Although better known as a singer, she was, like her father, (a prolific songwriter whose tunes include 'Keeping A Light', 'Beautiful Dreamer', 'Annie Mae', 'Hold On', 'Peaceful Living', 'Sophisticated Lady', 'La Costa' and 'Your Eyes'

In Los Angeles, California, USA, from congestive heart failure


Wesley Burrowes
(85), songwriter, author and playwright, whose songs include 'If I Could Choose', Ireland's second-placed entry in the 1967 Eurovision Song Contest.

In Bray, Wicklow, Ireland, from cancer


Troy Shondell
(76), singer-songwriter, whose hits include 'Kissin' At The Drive In' and 'The Trance' (under the name Gary Shelton), and 'This Time' (under the name Troy Shondell) which sold in excess of four million copies. From the 1970's onwards, he worked as a songwriter, producer and music publishing agent.

In Nashville, Tennessee, USA, from complications of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease


Albert Elias
(86), songwriter whose work includes the score from the 1973 movie 'Gordon's War' as well as such left-field classics as 'My Daddy Is A Woman'.

In Miami, Florida, USA, of cancer


Red Simpson
(81), singer-songwriter whose hits include ''Gonna Have Love' (Buck Owens), 'Roll, Truck, Roll' (Tommy Collins), 'Sam's Place' (Buck Owens), 'Lucky Old Colorado' (Merle Haggard) plus a string of songs for himself including  'Truck Driver's Heaven' and 'The Flying Saucer Man and the Truck Driver'.

In Bakersfield, California, USA from heart failure


Elizabeth Swados
(65), composer and director for the musicals  'Runaways' and 'Doonesbury', who also composed music for the films 'Four Friends' and 'Seize The Day'.

In New York, USA, following surgery for oesophageal cancer 


Pablo Manavello
(65), songwriter, arranger and producer whose work was instrumental in the careers of Latin superstars Ricardo Montaner, Olga Tañón, Chayanne and Ricky Martin.

In Miami, Florida, USA, following a heart attack


Marion James
(81), singer and songwriter, known as 'Nashville's Queen of the Blues'.

In Nashville, Tennessee, USA, following a stroke 


Clarence Reid
(76), singer-songwriter whose songs were recorded by such acts as KC & the Sunshine Band, Sam & Dave, Irma Thomas and Bobby Byrd, but who also released more than thirty solo albums under the name Blowfly.

In Miami, Florida, USA, from cancer


Glenn Frey
(67), singer-songwriter and founder of The Eagles, and former member of The Subterraneans, The Four Of Us, The Mushrooms, The Heavy Metal Kids, and Longbranch Pennywhistle. His hits include 'Take It Easy', 'Peaceful Easy Feeling', 'Tequila Sunrise', 'Already Gone', 'Lyin' Eyes', 'New Kid in Town' and 'Heartache Tonight' (all with The Eagles), plus such solo hits as 'The One You Love', 'Smuggler's Blues', 'Sexy Girl', 'The Heat Is On', 'You Belong to the City', 'True Love', 'Soul Searchin'' and 'Livin' Right'.

Also an actor, he played roles in the NBC-TV series 'Miami Vice', 'Wiseguy' and 'South Of Sunset' and in the movie 'Jerry McGuire'.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member. Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Inductee.

In New York, USA, from complications of rheumatoid arthritis


Wayne Bickerton
(74), singer, guitarist and songwriter, whose hit songs (many written with his childhood friend Tony Waddington) include 'Sugar Baby Love' for the Rubettes, 'Nothing But A Heartache' for The Flirtations, 'Can't Stop Loving You' for Tom Jones, and 'Candy Kisses' for Mac and Katie Kissoon. He started his musical career while still a teenager, working with such acts as Steve Bennett & The Syndicate, The Bobby Bell Rockers, The Remo Four, Lee Curtis & The All Stars, The Pete Best Four, Petula Clark, Tom Jones and Kenny Everett, as well as producing Giles & Fripp, The Focal Point, Pacific Drift, Granny's Intentions, Mongrel and World Of Oz.

In 1967, he joined Deram Records as a producer, before moving in 1970 to Polydor Records as Head of A&R, where he signed such acts as Slade, The New Seekers and Cat Stevens. He later went on to found State Records and Odyssey Studios, before becoming first a director of the PRS, and later Chairman of SESAC International, taking charge of all its business activities outside of the United States.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member.

At his home in Hertfordshire, England, after a short illness


Snuff Garrett
(76), record producer who started his career as a DJ on KDAV in Lubbock, Texas during which period he became a close friend of Buddy Holly and probably broadcast the first tribute program to the late singer following the star's death in an aircrash in February 1959.  Four months later, he joined Liberty Records in Los Angeles as a producer, his first production being Johnny Burnette's 'Setting The Woods On Fire'. He went on to even greater success with such acts as Bobby Vee, Gene McDaniels, Buddy Knox, Walter Brennan, Gary Lewis & the Playboys, Del Shannon and later (after leaving Liberty) Cher and Sonny & Cher. His million-selling productions introduced such songs as 'Rubber Ball', 'Take Good Care Of My Baby' and 'The Night Has A Thousand Eyes' with Bobby Vee, 'This Diamond Ring' with Gary Lewis & the Playboys, Johnny Burnette's 'You're 16', 'The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia' (Vicki Lawrence), Gene McDaniels' 'A Hundred Pounds Of Clay',  Tanya Tucker's 'Lizzie And The Rainman', and 'Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves', 'Half Breed' and 'Dark Lady' for Cher.

During this period, he also charted six times under the '50 Guitars Of Tommy Garrett' name, but which actually featured the guitar prowess of Liberty session musician Tommy Tedesco, and he was also responsible for hiring Phil Spector to Liberty Records and employing Leon Russell as his assistant. At the height of his success, he left Liberty to set up Viva Records, whose first signing was the songwriter Sonny Curtis, producing several hit singles and two albums for the former Buddy Holly guitarist as well as a series of country hits for Clint Eastwood, Tanya Tucker, Eddie Rabbitt, David Frizzell and Shelly West. In 1976, he bought the rights to 800 old Republic and RKO Films titles and quickly built a multi-million dollar business in the early days of home video. In 1983, he retired to live at his ranch, concentrating on one of his hobbies, Western Art.

At his ranch near Sonoita, Arizona, USA, of heart failure.


Luigi Creatore
(93), songwriter and producer, whose hits (in collaboration with his cousin Hugo Peretti) include 'The Lion Sleeps Tonight' for the Tokens, 'Honeycomb', 'Kisses Sweeter Than Wine', 'Oh-Oh, I'm Falling In Love Again' and 'Secretly' for Jimmie Rodgers, 'Can't Help Falling in Love' and 'Wild In The Country' for Elvis Presley, 'I Will Follow Him' for Little Peggy March, and 'Chain Gang', 'Twistin' The Night Away' and 'Wonderful World' for Sam Cooke.

He also wrote a well-received novel 'The World Is Mine' based on his World War 2 experiences, as well as being involved in such Broadway successes as 'Maggie Flynn' starring Shirley Jones, and 'Bubbling Brown Sugar' for which he, and Hugo Peretti, known collectively as 'Hugo & Luigi', received a Grammy Award.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member.

In Boca Raton, Florida, USA, from pneumonia


Don Chapel
(84), singer, songwriter and former husband of country vocalist Tammy Wynette. Don Chapel, whose songs for his wife include 'All Night Long', 'My Heart Is Soakin' Wet', 'Together We Stand, Divided We Fall' and 'Joey', also penned hits for such country stars as George Jones ('When the Grass Grows Over Me', 'From Here To The Door', 'Let's Get Together' and 'Call Off The Party Tonight'), Ray Price ('Misty Morning Rain'), Eddy Arnold ('Baby That's Living'), Charlie Louvin ('Loving You Is A Way Of Life For Me') and Doug Kershaw ('Feed It To The Fish'), as well as songs for Conway Twitty, Ernest Tubb, Kitty Wells, Faron Young, Rhonda Vincent, Jerry Lee Lewis, Lynn Anderson, Johnny Paycheck, The Osborne Brothers and Webb Pierce.

In Madison, Tennessee, USA, following a long battle with heart failure and pneumonia


Ted Harris
(78), songwriter whose hits include Charley Pride's 'The Happiness Of Having You' and 'Crystal Chandelier', Dottie West's 'Paper Mansions', Ferlin Husky's 'Once' and the Glen Campbell/Steve Wariner duet 'The Hand That Rocks the Cradle'. Born in Lakeland, Florida, he gave up journalism to move to Nashville in 1957 in the hope of meeting his idol, Hank Snow who shortly afterwards recorded two of his compositions 'Chasin' A Rainbow' and 'My Lucky Friend'. In 1965, he decided to take up songwriting full-time, co-founding the Harbot Music Publishing company. Later that year, Carl Belew recorded 'Crystal Chandelier', which became a top-10 smash and was subsequently recorded by dozens of others, including Mac Wiseman, Louis Armstrong, Dickey Lee, Johnny Russell, Billie Jo Spears, Charley Pride, Warner Mack and Vic Dana, who made it a pop hit.

Other songs were also recorded by such stars as Crystal Gayle, Leroy Van Dyke, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, Charlie Rich, The Wilburn Brothers, Cal Smith, Conway Twitty, Floyd Cramer, Jerry Wallace, Ray Pillow, Kitty Wells, Wilma Burgess, Porter Wagoner, Vern Gosdin, Johnny Duncan, Charlie Louvin, Jean Shepard, Margie Singleton and Connie Smith, making him the most-awarded country songwriter in the history of SESAC.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member. Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Member.

At his home in Lewisburg, Tennessee, USA, of heart failure


Don Pfrimmer
(78), songwriter whose hit-making career stretched almost forty years. A former teacher, whose hits include Tim McGraw's 'All I Want Is a Life', Diamond Rio's 'Meet In The Middle',  Lonestar's 'My Front Porch Looking In', Mickey Gilley's 'The Power Of Positive Drinking', and Ronnie Milsap's 'She Keeps The Home Fires Burning' he published more than 450 songs recorded by such acts as Tanya Tucker, Jim & Jesse, Louise Mandrell, Don Williams, Lee Greenwood, Charlie Louvin, Keith Whitley, The Oak Ridge Boys, Lorrie Morgan, Porter Wagoner, Barbara Mandrell, Tammy Wynette, Michelle Wright, Billy Dean, George Jones, Rita Coolidge, Bryan White, Stephanie Bentley, Tim McGraw, Kevin Sharp, Doug Stone, Le Roy Parnell, Ronnie Milsap, Sylvia, Eddie Rabbitt, Eddy Raven, John Schneider and The Forester Sisters. Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Member.

In Nashville, Tennessee, USA, from  leukaemia


Tommy Overstreet

(78), singer-songwriter whose hits include 'Gwen (Congratulations)', 'I Don't Know You Anymore', 'Heaven Is My Woman's Love', 'Send Me No Roses', 'I'll Never Break These Chains', '(Jeannie Marie) You Were A Lady', 'If I Miss You Again Tonight', 'I'm a Believer', 'That's When My Woman Begins', 'If Love Was A Bottle Of Wine', 'Don't Go City Girl On Me', 'Yes, Ma'am', and 'Fadin' In, Fadin' Out'. A cousin of the singer Gene Austin, he started his career at Norman Petty's studio in Clovis, New Mexico, and for a period, managed Dot Records in Nashville.

At his home in  Hillsboro, Oregon, USA. after a long illness


Allen Toussaint
(77), songwriter, producer and arranger who wrote such classic hits as 'Mother-In-Law' for Ernie K Doe, 'Southern Nights' for Glen Campbell, 'Working In The Coal Mine' (Lee Dorsey), 'Java' (Al Hirt) and 'Whipped Cream', a hit for Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass but probably better known from its use on TV's 'The Dating Game'. He also produced such artists as B.J. Thomas, Dr John, The Meters, and 'Lady Marmalade', a hit for Labelle as well as working with Paul McCartney on the 1975 'Venus And Mars' album.

Songwriters Hall Of Fame inductee, Blues Hall Of Fame member, Louisiana Music Hall of Fame inductee, and International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member.

In Madrid, Spain, following a heart attack

John Fisher
songwriter and instrumentalist, whose songs include ''I Hope It Keeps On Raining', 'Texas' and 'Roseland Romance'. Life Member of the International Songwriters Association.

In Thorpe Bay, Essex, England, after a short illness


P.F. Sloan
(70), songwriter whose songs include 'Eve Of Destruction' (Barry McGuire), 'A Must To Avoid' (Herman's Hermits), 'You Baby (The Turtles) 'Secret Agent Man' (Johnny Rivers), 'Another Day, Another Heartache' (The Fifth Dimension),'Things I Should Have Said', 'Where Were You When I Needed You' and 'Wake Up, Wake Up' (The Grass Roots), and whose songs were recorded by such acts as Jan & Dean, The Mamas And The Papas, Mel Torme, Bruce Willis and The Ventures. He even had a song ('P F Sloan) written about him by songwriter Jimmy Webb.

An International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member.

At his home in Los Angeles, California, USA, of pancreatic cancer.


Winfield Scott
(95), songwriter and lead singer with The Cues, who went on to write the Elvis Presley hits 'Return To Sender', 'Devil In Disguise' and 'One Broken Heart For Sale', as well as LaVern Baker's 'Tweedlee Dee,' Connie Francis' 'Many Tears Ago' and Bill Haley's 'Burn That Candle', and whose songs were also recorded by Pat Boone, Peggy Lee The Mills Brothers and Conway Twitty.

In New York City, USA, of heart failure


Jim Diamond
(64), singer-songwriter and former vocalist with such bands as Silver'. The Method, Jade, Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated, Gully Foyle, Bandit, BACCO, Slick Diamond, and PhD, and whose solo hits include 'I Won't Let You Down', 'I Should Have Known Better' and the theme song from Boon, 'Hi Ho Silver'.

In his sleep at his home in London, UK


Frankie Ford
(76), the singer and songwriter best known for the 1959 hit 'Sea Cruise'. Ford, a Louisiana Music Hall Of Fame Inductee whose other chart songs include 'Alimony', 'Time After Time' and 'Seventeen', also owned Briarmeade Records.

At his home in Gretna, Louisiana, USA following a long illness


Billy Joe Royal
(73), singer-songwriter who started his career as the vocalist on demos of songs written by his friend, Joe South, one of which was 'Down In The Boondocks', the demo of which so impressed Columbia Records that they offered Royal a contract, releasing his version of the song in 1965. Other pop hits include 'I Knew You When', 'Hush', 'Yo-Yo' (later covered by the Osmonds), 'Cherry Hill Park' and 'Under The Boardwalk'. In the eighties, he turned to country music, scoring hits with such songs as 'Burned Like A Rocket', 'I'll Pin A Note On Your Pillow', 'Tell It Like It Is', and 'Till I Can't Take It Anymore' .

In his sleep at his home in Morehead City, North Carolina, USA


Billy Sherrill
(79), producer and songwriter, whose hit compositions include such classics as 'Almost Persuaded', 'The Door', 'Every Time You Touch Me (I Get High)', 'Good Lovin'(Makes It Right)', 'I Don't Wanna Play House', 'I Love My Friend', 'Kids Say The Darndest Things', 'The Most Beautiful Girl', 'My Elusive Dreams', 'Stand By Your Man', 'There's A Party Goin' On', 'Til I Can Make It On My Own', 'A Very Special Love Song' and 'What My Woman Can't Do'.

Billy Sherrill, once described as 'country's answer to Phil Spector' also produced such stars as Tammy Wynette, George Jones, Charlie Rich, Shelby Lynne, Marty Robbins, Ray Charles, Elvis Costello, Johnny Paycheck, Tanya Tucker, Johnny Cash, Janie Fricke, Barbara Mandrell, Lacy J. Dalton, Ray Conniff, Bobby Vinton, Bob Luman, Johnny Duncan, Jody Miller, Moe Bandy, Joe Stampley, Charlie Walker, Barbara Fairchild, Andy Williams, Cliff Richard, Mickey Gilley, Major Lance, and David Allan Coe.

Member Of The International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame, The Country Music Hall of Fame and the Musicians Hall Of Fame.

At his home in Nashville, Tennessee. USA, of heart failure


Daron Norwood
(49), singer and songwriter who penned the Keith Whitley tribute 'Little Boy Lost' in addition to charting as a performer in his own right. A native of Lubbock, Texas, Norwood rose to fame in 1993 with 'If It Wasn't For Her I Wouldn't Have You' and 'Cowboys Don't Cry', going on to have a string of hit singles, during the early 1990's. However, Darron's alcoholism led him to give up singing in 1995, and apart from the occasional foray into the studios, he concentrated on his 'Keep It Straight' program which campaigned against alcohol abuse.

At his apartment in Hereford, Texas, USA. of heart failure


Danny Sembello
(52), songwriter and brother of singer and musician, Michael Sembello, who penned hits for The Pointer Sisters ('Neutron Dance'), Chaka Khan, Patti LaBelle ('Stir It Up'), Irene Cara, Rene & Angela and Jeffrey Osborne, as well as producing George Benson and Pebbles. In 1986, he won a Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media, for his contributions to the 'Beverly Hills Cop' soundtrack.

In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, by drowning while swimming in the Schuylkill River, following the Hidden Rivers Blues Festival in Manayunk


Gary Richrath
(65), songwriter and guitarist for the rock band REO Speedwagon who wrote most of the band's hits, including 'Golden Country', 'Ridin' The Storm Out', 'Son Of A Poor Man', 'Flying Turkey Trot', 'Only The Strong Survive' and 'Take It On the Run'.

At his home in Peoria, Illinois, USA from heart failure


Buddy Buie
(74), songwriter whose hits include Tommy Roe's 'Party Girl' as well as a series of hits for Classics 1V, including  'Spooky', 'Stormy', 'Traces', 'Everyday With You Girl', and 'What Am I Crying For?'. In 1972, he formed The Atlanta Rhythm Section, and in addition to recording and producing their records, also wrote most of their songs. Later hits include 'Rock Bottom' for Wynonna Judd and 'Mr. Midnight' for Garth Brooks.

In Dothan, Alabama, USA, following a heart attack


Wayne Carson
(72), songwriter who wrote Elvis Presley's 'Always On My Mind', a song which returned to Number 1 on two further occasions via The Pet Shop Boys and Willie Nelson. Carson recalled writing 'Always On My Mind' in just ten minutes at his kitchen table in Missouri, before seeing it recorded by more than one hundred acts including Brenda Lee, Michael Buble, Julio Iglesias, The Stylistics, West End Girls, Johnny Cash & Willie Nelson and John Wesley Ryles.

Other hits include 'The Letter', 'Soul Deep' and 'Neon Rainbow' all for The Box Tops, 'No Love At All' for BJ Thomas. 'Somebody Like Me' for Eddy Arnold, 'Keep On' for Bruce Channel, 'The Clown' for Conway Twitty, 'Barstool Mountain' for Moe Bandy, 'Carryin' On' for Tina Turner, 'Something's Wrong In California' for Waylon Jennings, 'Hollywood' for Alabama and 'A Horse Called Music' for Willie Nelson and also Randy Travis.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member.

In Nashville, Tennessee, USA, from heart failure


Van Alexander
(100), who wrote Ella Fitzgerald's first million seller 'A-Tisket, A-Tasket', before going on to compose music for such television shows as  'Bewitched', 'I Dream Of Jeannie', 'Dennis The Menace', 'The Wacky World Of Jonathan Winters' and 'The Dean Martin Show'. In a career which spanned 60 years, he scored such movies as 'Baby Face Nelson', 'The Big Operator' and 'The Private Lives Of Adam And Eve' while also recording such acts as  Kay Starr, Dakota Staton, Paul Whiteman, Benny Goodman, Dinah Shore, Doris Day, and Peggy Lee.

In Los Angeles, California, USA, of heart failure


Ernie Maresca
(76), songwriter and winger who had his own solo hit with 'Shout! Shout! (Knock Yourself Out)', but who will also be remembered for penning most of Dion's classics. Maresca was a native of the Bronx in New York, when in 1958, Dion heard 'No One Knows' a song Maresca had written, and promptly recorded it with his group the Belmonts. The record went to 19 on the pop charts, after which, Ernie concentrated on songwriting, penning such hits as 'Runaround Sue', 'The Wanderer', 'Lovers Who Wander' and 'Donna The Prima Donna'. He also penned 'Runaround' for the Regents, 'Whenever A Teenager Cries' for Reparata and the Delrons, 'Hey Dean, Hey Jean' for Dean & Jean, 'Party Girl' for Bernadette Carroll and the Jimmie Rodgers classic 'Child of Clay'.

Later, he acted as head of publicity for Laurie Records, retiring to Florida in 2002.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member.

In Miami, Florida, USA, from heart failure


Michael Masser
(74), songwriter who composed several Number 1 hits and helped launch the career of singer Whitney Houston. A Chicago stockbroker before he turned to songwriting, his first success was 'Touch Me In The Morning,' which was a Number 1 hit for Diana Ross in 1973. Other hits include  'Greatest Love Of All', 'Didn't We Almost Have It All', 'Saving All My Love For You' and 'All At Once' (for Whitney Houston), along with 'Hold Me' (Teddy Pendergrass and Whitney Houston), 'Tonight, I Celebrate My Love' (Roberta Flack and Peabo Bryson), 'If Ever You're In My Arms Again' (Peabo Bryson), 'In Your Eyes' (Jeffrey Osborne, George Benson), 'Nothing's Gonna Change My Love For You' (George Benson, Glenn Medeiros), 'Miss You Like Crazy' (Natalie Cole) and 'Someone That I Used To Love' (Natalie Cole).

He  was nominated for an Academy Award in 1976 for 'Theme From Mahogany (Do You Know Where You're Going To)'.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member.

At his home in Rancho Mirage, California, USA, of heart failure.


Roy C. Bennett
(97), songwriter who with his co-writer and childhood friend Sid Tepper, penned more than 300 songs, including 40 for Elvis, as well as material for The Beatles, Carl Perkins, Frank Sinatra, Perry Como and Eartha Kitt. These include 'Red Roses For A Blue Lady', the Dean Martin classic 'Naughty Lady Of Shady Lane' and most of Presley's 'Blue Hawaii' movie soundtrack.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member.

In Queens, New York, USA, from heart failure


Sid Tepper
(95), songwriter whose hits, mainly written with Roy C Bennett include 'Red Roses For A Blue Lady', and whose songs have been recorded by  Elvis Presley ('Once Is Enough'), Cliff Richard ('The Young Ones'), Tony Bennett,  Guy Lombardo And His Royal Canadians, Rosemary Clooney, Peggy Lee, Wayne Newton, Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, Sarah Vaughn, Vic Dana, Perry Como, Jeff Beck and Dean Martin.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member.

In New York City, USA, of heart failure


Don Robertson
(92), pianist and songwriter whose career started with the whistling instrumental 'The Happy Whistler', but who as a songwriter penned such classics as 'I Really Don't Want To Know' (Les Paul & Mary Ford, Eddy Arnold, Elvis and Tommy Edwards), 'Ringo' (Lorne Greene), 'Please Help Me, I'm Falling' (Hank Locklin), 'I Love You More And More Every Day' (Al Martino) and 'Anything That's Part Of You' (Elvis Presley).

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member. Member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.

In Santa Monica, California, USA, from heart failure


Ben E. King
(76), singer-songwriter and former lead singer with The Drifters, whose solo hits include 'Stand By Me', (voted one of the Songs of the Century by the Recording Industry Association of America), 'Amor', 'I (Who Have Nothing') and 'Spanish Harlem'. As lead singer with the Drifters, he scored with the self-written 'There Goes My Baby', as well as 'Save The Last Dance For Me' and 'This Magic Moment', while other hits include 'Don't Play That Song (You Lied)', 'Seven Letters', 'How Can I Forget', 'On the Horizon', 'Young Boy Blues', 'First Taste of Love', 'Here Comes the Night', 'Ecstasy', 'That's When It Hurts'. 'What is Soul?', 'Tears, Tears, Tears' and 'Supernatural Thing', giving him a total of 38 Top 40 entries between 1959 and 1986.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member.

In  Hackensack, New York, USA, following a heart attack


Lynn Annette Ripley
(67), singer-songwriter whose hits under the stage name of Twinkle include 'Terry' and 'Golden Lights'.

On the Isle of Wight, UK, of cancer


James Horner
(61), composer and songwriter whose film scores include 'Titanic', 'Star Trek II', 'Braveheart' 'Avatar', 'Apollo 13', 'Mighty Joe Young', 'An American Tail', 'The Land Before Time', 'How The Grinch Stole Christmas', 'The Perfect Storm', 'Enemy At The Gates', 'The Mask Of Zorro', 'The Legend Of Zorro', 'House Of Sand And Fog', 'Bicentennial Man' and 'A Beautiful Mind'.

His score for 'Titanic' is the best -selling orchestral soundtrack of all time, and in a career which stretched forty years, Horner won two Academy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, three Satellite Awards, and three Saturn Awards, and was nominated for three British Academy Film Awards.

Near Santa Barbara, California, USA, when the plane he was piloting crashed


Johnny Keating
(88), trombonist, songwriter, producer and arranger whose hits include 'Theme from Z-Cars' and 'Bunny Hop', and who worked with Ted Heath, Eden Kane, Adam Faith, Petula Clark, Sammy Davis Jr and Anthony Newley.

In London, UK, of heart failure


Brian Carman
(69), guitarist with the Chantays and writer of 'Pipeline', one of the biggest instrumentals of the surf era.

In Santa Ana, California, USA. from complications from Crohn's disease


Jackie Trent
(76), singer-songwriter whose hits include 'I Couldn't Live Without Your Love', 'Don't Sleep In The Subway','Colour My World',  'If You Love Me, Really Love Me', 'Where Are You Now (My Love),' and 'Neighbours', the theme tune from the television series. Former wife of songwriter Tony Hatch.

In Minorca, Spain, from cancer


Jørgen Ingmann
(89), guitarist-songwriter, who had the US hit version of 'Apache' as well as the 1963 Eurovision winner 'Dansevise'.

In Copenhagen, Denmark, from heart failure


Kim Fowley
(75), producer, singer and songwriter, who co-wrote songs for Helen Reddy, Leon Russell, Kiss, Alice Cooper and Kris Kristofferson, as well as managing and producing such acts as The Sleepwalkers, The Runaways, The Murmaids, The Modern Lovers, The Germs and Flash Cadillac & The Continental Kids.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member.

In Los Angeles, California, USA, of cancer


Ervin Drake
(95), songwriter of such classic hits as 'It Was A Very Good Year' and 'I Believe', who penned songs for  Duke Ellington,  Billie Holiday, Diana Ross, Perry Como, Frankie Laine, Steve Lawrence, Barbra Streisand, Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley. Songwriter's Hall Of Fame Inductee.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member.

In Great Neck, New York, USA, of cancer


Joe B. Mauldin
(74), bassist, audio engineer and songwriter, whose songs for Buddy Holly include 'I'm Gonna Love You Too' and 'Well Alright', and lifetime member of The Crickets ('That'll Be The Day', 'Maybe Baby', 'Oh, Boy!', 'It's So Easy' and 'Love's Made A Fool Of You').

Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame Inductee, West Texas Walk Of Fame Inductee and Musicians Hall Of Fame And Museum Inductee.

In Nashville, Tennessee, USA, of cancer


Rod McKuen
(81), poet, singer and songwriter whose songs include  'If You Go Away', 'Jean', 'The World I Used To Know', 'Doesn't Anybody Know My Name' and 'Seasons In The Sun' and whose compositions have been recorded by such acts as Barbra Streisand, Glenn Yarbrough, Dusty Springfield, Petula Clark, Waylon Jennings, Al Hirt, The Kingston Trio, Chet Baker, Johnny Cash, Perry Como, Andy Williams, Pete Fountain, Percy Faith and Johnny Mathis.

In Beverly Hills, California, USA, of cancer


Rose Marie McCoy
(92), singer. songwriter and music publisher, who songs have been recorded by Elvis Presley ('I Beg Of You'), Little Willie John, The Eagles, Faye Adams ('It Hurts Me To My Heart'), Aretha Franklin, Ike & Tina Turner ('It's Gonna Work Out Fine'), Eddy Arnold, Nat King Cole, Little Esther, Lenny Welch, The Clovers, Ruth Brown and Big Maybelle ('Gabbin' Blues').

In Urbana, Illinois, USA, of heart failure

Songwriter Obituaries 2014


Don Covay
(76), singer and songwriter ('Pony Time' and 'See Saw') as well as being a member of The Cherry Keys, The Rainbows, The Soul Clan and Don Covay And The Goodtimers ('Mercy Mercy') and whose songs have been recorded by Aretha Franklin ('Chain Of Fools'), Grant Green, Steppenwolf ('Sookie Sookie'), Gladys Knight & The Pips, Chubby Checker, Jerry Butler, Bobby Womack, Peter Wolf, Solomon Burke, The Rolling Stones, The Small Faces and Wilson Pickett ('I'm Gonna Cry'). Don Covay also worked with Little Richard and Jimi Hendrix.

In  Orangeburg, South Carolina, USA, following a heart attack


Larry Henley
(77), singer and songwriter, whose hits include the Grammy Award winning 'Wind Beneath My Wings', 'I Love Bread And Butter', ''Til I Get It Right', 'Lizzie And The Rainman', 'He's A Heartache', and 'Why Don't We Go Somewhere And Love', and whose songs have been recorded by Bette Midler, Judy Collins, Perry Como, Tammy Wynette, Tanya Tucker, Randy Travis, Barbara Streisand, Delbert McClinton, Lynn Anderson, The Carter Family and Kenny Rogers.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member and Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Member.

In Nashville, Tennessee, USA, from complications resulting from Parkinson's disease


Lynsey de Paul
(66), singer-songwriter ('Rock Bottom', 'There's No Place Like London' and 'Hearts Of Gold')).

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member.

In London, UK, following a brain haemorrhage


Alvin Stardust
(72), singer and songwriter ('My Coo Ca Choo', 'Jealous Mind' and 'I Feel Like Buddy Holly'), who also worked as Shane Fenton ('Cindy's Birthday' and 'I'm A Moody Guy').

In Ifold, West Sussex, UK, of prostate cancer


Acker Bilk
(75), singer and clarinettist ('Stranger On The Shore', 'Summer Set' and 'That's My Home'), who led the Paramount Jazz Band.

In Bath, Somerset, UK, of cancer


Augusto Martelli
(74), composer, conductor and arranger ('Djamballa'),

In Milan, Italy, of cancer


Dave Appell
(92), guitarist, engineer, songwriter and arranger, who led the Applejacks ('Rocka-Conga' and 'The Mexican Hat Rock'), working with Charlie Gracie The Orlons, Chubby Checker, Dee Dee Sharp, Bobby Rydell and The Dovells, writing such hits as 'Let's Twist Again,' 'Bristol Stomp,' 'Mashed Potato Time' and 'South Street', before going on produce Tony Orlando and Dawn ('Knock Three Times' and 'Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree').

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member.

In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, of heart failure


Al Byron
(72), songwriter of such hits as 'Roses Are Red' (Bobby Vinton), 'Happy Go Lucky Me' (Paul Evans and George Formby), 'Forget Me Not' (Steve Wariner) and 'Something Blue' (Elvis Presley).

In Hollywood, California, of natural causes


Bob Montgomery
(77), songwriter and producer who recorded and performed with Buddy Holly as Buddy and Bob (co-writing Holly's hits  'Heartbeat' 'Wishing' and 'Love's Made A Fool Of You'), as well as 'Back In Baby's Arms' for Patsy Cline, and 'Misty Blue', which has become a crossover standard, having been recorded by Wilma Burgess, Eddie Arnold, Billie Jo Spears, Dorothy Moore, Joe Simon, and more than 200 other recording acts.

Other hits penned by him were 'Somebody Else's Girl' (Billy Fury) and 'Wind Me Up, Let Me Go' (Cliff Richard). He also produced such stars as Bobby Goldsboro ('Honey', which sold more than eight million copies), Buddy Knox, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and Marty Robbins as well as publishing hits like 'Behind Closed Doors', 'Honey' and 'The Wind Beneath My Wings',

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member.

In Lee's Summit, Missouri, USA, of Parkinson's disease


Udo Jürgens
(80), singer, pianist and composer (Shirley Bassey's 'Reach For The Stars', Matt Monro's 'Walk Away,' Bing Crosby's 'Come Share The Wine,', and his own Eurovision winner, 'Merci, Cherie').

In Munsterlingen, Switzerland, of heart failure


Bob Crewe
(83), songwriter, singer and producer who led The Bob Crewe Generation and went on to produce the Four Seasons. His songs have been recorded by Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons ('Big Girls Don't Cry', 'Bye, Bye, Baby, Baby Goodbye', 'Can't Take My Eyes Off You', 'Girl Come Running', 'Let's Hang On!', 'My Eyes Adored You', 'New Mexican Rose', 'The Proud One', 'Rag Doll', 'Ronnie', 'Save It For Me', 'Silence Is Golden', 'The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore' and 'Swearin' To God'), Mitch Ryder And The Detroit Wheels, Herman's Hermits ('Silhouettes'), The Rays, Diane Renay, Freddy Cannon, Michael Jackson, Lesley Gore, Patti LaBelle Lady Marmalade ('Voulez-Vous Coucher Avec Moi Ce Soir'), Bobby Darin, Roberta Flack and Peabo Bryson.

In addition to his own solo career both as a vocalist and instrumentalist ('Music To Watch Girls By'), he is also credited as the lyricist for the hit musical 'Jersey Boys'.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member.. Songwriter's Hall Of Fame Inductee.

In Scarborough, Maine, USA, following a fall


Johnny Mann
(86), composer, arranger and singer who led The Johnny Mann Singers and worked with Johnny Burnette, The Crickets, Eddie Cochran, Nat King Cole, Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra, as well as being the musical director for the original Alvin And The Chipmunks TV show where he sang the voice of Theodore.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member.

In Anderson, South Carolina, USA, following a stroke


George Hamilton IV
also known as The International Ambassador of Country Music (77), songwriter and singer whose hits include 'A Rose And A Baby Ruth', 'Why Don't They Understand' and 'Abilene'.

In Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA, following a heart attack


Dale Ward
(74), singer and songwriter ('A Letter From Sherry' and 'You Little Flirt'), who co-wrote Ronnie Dove's 'They Can't Love Like You And Me'.

In Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA following a heart attack


Tim Johnson
(52), songwriter who wrote Daryle Singletary's 'I Let Her Lie', Diamond Rio's 'God Only Cries', Jimmy Wayne's 'Do You Believe Me Now', Kellie Pickler's 'Things That Never Cross A Man's Mind' and Tim Rushlow's 'She Misses Him'.

In Nashville, Tennessee, USA, of cancer


George Riddle
(79), guitarist and songwriter, who worked with George Jones, The Jones Boys and Bill Carlisle and who wrote songs for Ray Charles, Tammy Wynette, Mickey Gilley, Del Reeves, Melba Montgomery and Margie Singleton.

In Indianpolis, Indiana, USA, of cancer


Jimi Jamison
(63), singer, pianist and composer who wrote the theme song for TV's  'Baywatch' as well as being a member of Survivor ('The Moment Of Truth' and 'Is This Love').

In Los Angeles, California, USA, following a heart attack


Arthur Smith
(93), musician and songwriter whose songs have been recorded by Chet Atkins, Tom Petty, Glen Campbell, Johnny Cash, The Statesmen Quartet, Al Hirt, Barbara Mandrell, Willie Nelson, The Oak Ridge Boys, Roy Orbison, The Statler Brothers and Boots Randolph. North Carolina Music Hall Of Fame Inductee.

In Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, of heart failure


Peter Callander
(74), songwriter and record producer whose hits include 'The Ballad Of Bonnie And Clyde' (Georgie Fame), 'Hitchin' A Ride' (Vanity Fare), 'Even The Bad Times Are Good' (The Tremeloes), 'Goodbye Sam, Hello Samantha' (Cliff Richard), 'Ragamuffin Man' (Manfred Mann), 'Las Vegas' ''Is This The Way To Amarillo' and 'I Did What I Did For Maria' (Tony Christie), 'Daddy Don't You Walk So Fast'(Wayne Newton), and 'Billy Don't Be A Hero' (Paper Lace and also Bo Donaldson).

He also penned hits for Cilla Black, Tom Jones, Frankie Vaughan, Shirley Bassey, Acker Bilk, Dana, Vic Damone, Sacha Distel, Joe Dolan, Val Doonican, Adam Faith,  Agnetha Fältskog, Wayne Fontana, Lulu, Marmalade,  Peter Noone, Gene Pitney, P J Proby, Charlie Rich, Dusty Springfield,  Bobby Rydell and Sandie Shaw.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member. Founder member of the Society Of Distinguished Songwriters (SODS). Director of PRS For Music.

In London, UK, following a heart attack


Gerry Goffin
(75), songwriter whose hits include 'Will You Love Me Tomorrow' and 'What A Sweet Thing That Was' (The Shirelles), 'Go Away Little Girl' (Steve Lawrence), 'Point Of No Return' (Gene McDaniels), 'Take Good Care Of My Baby', 'How Many Tears', 'Sharing You', 'Walkin' With My Angel' and 'Run To Him' (Bobby Vee), 'Some Kind Of Wonderful', 'When My Little Girl Is Smiling','At The Club' and 'Up On The Roof' (The Drifters), 'Halfway To Paradise' (Tony Orlando), 'The Locomotion' and 'Keep Your Hands Off My Baby' (Little Eva), 'I Can't Stay Mad at You' (Skeeter Davis), 'Hey Girl' (Freddie Scott), I Want To Stay Here' (Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme), 'I'm Into Something Good' (Earl-Jean and Herman's Hermits), 'Oh No Not My Baby' (Maxine Brown, Manfred Mann and Cher), 'One Fine Day' (The Chiffons, Rita Coolidge and Carole King), 'He's In Town' (The Tokens), 'It Might As Well Rain Until September' and 'Smackwater Jack' (Carole King), 'You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman' (Aretha Franklin), 'Pleasant Valley Sunday' and 'Take a Giant Step' (The Monkees), 'Goin' Back' (Dusty Springfield), 'Don't Bring Me Down' (The Animals), 'Just Once in My Life' and 'Hung On You' (The Righteous Brothers), 'This Little Girl' (Dion), 'Her Royal Majesty' (James Darren), 'Do You Know Where You're Going To' (Diana Ross), 'Saving All My Love For You' (Whitney Houston), 'Who Put the Bomp' (Barry Mann) and 'Don't Ever Change' (The Crickets).

Previously married to songwriter Carole King, and father of songwriter Louise Goffin.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member. Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame Member.

In Los Angeles, California, USA, of cancer


Pete Seeger
(94), singer and songwriter ('Where Have All The Flowers Gone?' and 'Turn, Turn, Turn!'), who was a member of The Almanac Singers and The Weavers ('Goodnight, Irene') and who worked with Donovan, Sonny Terry, Brownie McGhee, Johnny Cash, John Mellencamp, Willie Nelson, Dave Matthews Buffy Sainte-Marie, Bruce Springsteen, Arlo Guthrie, Lee Hays, Woody Guthrie, The New Lost City Ramblers and Neil Young.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member. Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Inductee. Songwriters Hall Of Fame Inductee.

In New York City, USA, of natural causes


Franny Beecher
(92), guitarist and composer (''Goofin' Around' and 'Shaky'), who worked with Bill Haley & His Comets, The Kingsmen, The Merri-Men, Buddy Greco And The Sharps and Benny Goodman. Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Inductee.

In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, of natural causes


Raymond Louis Kennedy
(67), singer, saxophonist producer and songwriter (he co-wrote The Beach Boys', 'Sail On, Sailor' and The Babys' 'Everytime I Think Of You') as well as being half of the duo Jon And Ray, and a member of Group Therapy. He worked with Kenny Gamble ('Number 5 Gemini'), Dizzy Gillespie, J. J. Johnson, Brenda Lee and Buddy Rich.

In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, following a heart attack


Anna Gordy Gaye
(92), songwriter and co-founder of Anna Records who co-wrote The Originals' 'Baby, I'm For Real' and Stevie Wonder's 'What Christmas Means To Me'. Sister of Motown Records founder Berry Gordy and wife of singer Marvin Gaye.

In Los Angeles, California, USA, of natural causes


Steven Fromholz
(67), singer and songwriter (Willie Nelson's 'I'd Have To Be Crazy'), who was half of the duo Frummox and who produced and wrote songs for Lyle Lovett as well as working with Manassas, Hoyt Axton, John Denver, Jerry Jeff Walker and Michael Nesmith,

In Eldorado, Texas, USA, when he accidentally shot himself

Songwriter Obituaries 2013


Colonel Robert Morris
(58), also known as 'The Man With The Golden Pen', drummer, singer and songwriter, who worked with Charlie Feathers ('Trucker's Last Ride'), Rufus Thomas, Big Sam Clarke, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ronnie Milsap, Charlie Rich, Eddie Bond, B.B. King, Cordell Jackson, Ma Rainey and Little Laura Dukes.

A Rockabilly Hall Of Fame Inductee and Traditional Country Hall Of Fame Inductee.

In Southaven, Mississippi, USA, from complications of an earlier heart attack


Riz Ortolani
(87), jazz composer who worked on more than 200 films, including 'Revenge Of The Dead', 'The Spy With A Cold Nose', 'Castle Of Blood' and 'The Yellow Rolls Royce', and the husband of actress and singer Katyna Ranieri.

In Rome, Italy, from heart failure.


Lou Reed
(71), singer and songwriter whose hits include 'Walk On The Wild Side' and 'Vicious' and who was a member of The Jades, The Primitives ('The Ostrich'), The Warlocks, The Velvet Underground ('Sweet Jane' and 'What Goes On') and The Metal Machine Trio. He also worked with Metallica ('The View' and 'Pumping Blood').

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member. Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Inductee.

In Southampton, New York, USA, from complications from a liver transplant


Bobby Parker
(76), singer and songwriter ('Watch Your Step' and 'Blues Get Off My Shoulder') and who worked with Otis Williams And The Charms, Bo Diddley, Paul Williams, Sam Cooke, The Everly Brothers, Jackie Wilson, LaVern Baker and Clyde McPhatter.

In Lafayette, Louisiana, USA, of heart failure


Bob Day
also known as Bob Allison (72), singer, songwriter and one half of The Allisons who represented the UK at the 1961 Eurovision Song Contest with 'Are You Sure'.

In Trowbridge, Wiltshire, UK, following a long illness


Georges Moustaki
(79), singer-songwriter who wrote 'Milord', recorded by Edith Piaf, Bobby Darin and Cher, as well as hits for Cindy Daniel, Yves Montand, Juliette Greco, Pia Colomba, Dalida, Francoise Hardy, Herbert Pagani and France Gall.

In Nice, France, from  emphysema


Don Bowman
(76), singer, radio broadcaster ('American Country Countdown'), comedian and songwriter, whose solo country hits include 'Chit Atkins, Make Me A Star', but who also penned hits for Jim Stafford ('Wildwood Weed') and Waylon Jennings ('Just To Satisfy You').

In Forsyth, Missouri, USA, of heart failure


Bob Thompson
(88), pianist, composer, arranger and orchestra leader ('On The Rocks' and 'Dancing On The Ceiling') who worked with Mae West, Rosemary Clooney, Julie London, Duane Eddy, Judy Garland, Jerry Lewis, Van Dyke Parks, Phil Ochs, Bing Crosby and The Andrews Sisters as well as writing music for films, television and commercials.

In Los Angeles, California, USA, of heart failure

Picture Credit: www.bobthompsonmusic.com


Bernardo Bonezzi
(48), former member of Los Zombies, and noted movie composer ('Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown',  'Farmacia De Guardia' and 'Todos Los Hombres Sois Iguales').

In Madrid, Spain, of unknown causes

John Carpenter
(68), songwriter and guitarist, whose eight recorded songs all reached Number 1 on SoundClick, including such titles as 'Dublin City Waltz', 'Tracey & Glen', 'Come Dance With Me Caroline' and 'Man On The Run'. His ninth published track, 'Blue Marco', an instrumental, also charted. All nine published songs can currently be heard at  soundclick.com/songwriterireland

In Dublin, Ireland, of cancer.


Johnny MacRae
(84), songwriter whose songs have been recorded by Conway Twitty ('I'd Love To Lay You Down'), Reba McEntire ('You Lift Me Up To Heaven') and Doug Stone ('I'd Be Better Off In A Pine Box').

In Ashland City, Tennessee, USA, of heart disease


Brett Walker
(51), singer and songwriter who wrote music for films and TV and also recorded ('Give Me Back Tomorrow' and 'No Fire Without You'), working with Jim Peterik, Survivor, Jonathan Cain, Russ Ballard, Alias ('Waiting For love') and Nick Gilder.

In Draper, Utah, USA, of cancer


JJ Cale
(74), singer and songwriter ('After Midnight' and 'Crazy Mama'), whose songs have been recorded by Eric Clapton, Jai, Kansas, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Tom Petty, Captain Beefheart, Widespread Panic, Randy Crawford, Waylon Jennings, Harry Manx, Carlos Santana, Herbie Mann and Cissy Houston.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member.

In La Jolla, California, USA following a heart attack


Nick Nixon
(74), singer ('Rocking In Rosalee's Boat' and 'A Habit I Can't Break'), and songwriter whose songs have been recorded by Barbara Fairchild ('The Teddy Bear Song'), Willie Nelson, Roy Rogers ('Lovenworth'), Barbi Benton, Waylon Jennings and Tanya Tucker.

In St Louis, Missouri, USA, of pulmonary lung disease


'Cowboy' Jack Clement
(82), producer, musician and songwriter who worked at Sun Records with Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis and whose songs have been recorded by Ray Charles, Johnny Cash, Dickey Lee, Bobby Bare, Elvis Presley, Jim Reeves, Jerry Lee Lewis, Cliff Richard, Dolly Parton, Carl Perkins, Charley Pride, Hank Snow and Tom Jones.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member, Nashville Songwriters Hall Of Fame Inductee and Country Music Hall Of Fame Inductee.

In Nashville, Tennessee, USA, of heart failure


Big Bopper Jr
whose real name was Jay Perry Richardson (54), singer and songwriter and son of J P (The Big Bopper) Richardson.

In Katy, Texas, USA, of heart failure


Johnny Smith
(91), guitarist and composer whose tune 'Walk, Don't Run' was recorded by Chet Atkins and The Ventures, and who worked with Stan Getz as well as being an NBC studio musician.

In Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA, of heart failure


Jackie Lomax
(69), singer, guitarist and songwriter, as well as being a member of Dee And The Dynamites, The Undertakers ('Just A Little Bit'and 'Everybody Loves A Lover'), The Lomax Alliance, Heavy Jelly ('Chewn In' and 'Time Out') and Badger ('White Lady' and 'Don't Pull the Trigger'), who worked with The Tea Bags, George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Gene Clark, Jeff Beck, John Stewart, P.F. Sloan, Lucinda Williams, Leon Russell and Nicky Hopkins.

In Wirral, Merseyside, England, of cancer


Larry Wayne Clark
(63), songwriter and ISA International Songwriters Association contributing editor, amongst whose hundreds of published songs were singles recorded by such country stars as The Statler Brothers and Lee Greenwood.

Member of the International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame. Member of the British Columbia Country Music Hall of Fame.

In British Columbia, Canada, from cancer


Lorene Mann
(76), singer and songwriter whose own hits include 'Hide My Sin' and 'You Love Me Too Little', who worked with Archie Campbell ('Dark End Of The Street' and 'Tell It like It Is') and Justin Tubb ('Hurry Mr. Peters' and 'We've Gone Too Far Again'), and whose songs have been recorded by Kitty Wells ('Left To Right'), Norma Jean, Rex Allen ('Don't Go Near The Indians'), The Wilburn Brothers, Skeeter Davis ('Something Precious'), Vernon Oxford, Rex Allen, Marvin Rainwater, Walter Brennan, Ben Colder and Jerry Wallace ('My Wife's House'),

In Huntland, Tennessee, USA, of heart failure


George Jackson
(68), singer and songwriter who wrote, 'One Bad Apple' for The Osmonds and 'Old Time Rock & Roll' for Bob Seger, and whose songs have been recorded by Otis Clay, Clarence Carter, Wilson Pickett , Z.Z. Hill, Johnnie Taylor, Little Milton and Denise LaSalle.

In Ridgeland, Mississippi, USA, of cancer


David Rea
(65), guitarist and songwriter who wrote 'Ninety Degrees By Ninety Degrees' and 'Pilgrimage to Paradise' and co-wrote Mountain's, 'Mississippi Queen', and who worked with Gordon Lightfoot, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Roosevelt Sykes, Tom Rush, Reverend Gary Davis, Richie Havens, Mississippi John Hurt, Ian And Sylvia and Joni Mitchell.

In Ontario, Canada, of cancer

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Ray Whitley
(69), singer and songwriter who recorded 'Deeper In Love' and whose songs have been recorded by The Tams ('Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy' and 'What Kind Of Fool'), Joe South, Billy Joe Royal ('Everything Turned Blue') and Tommy Roe.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member.

In Altlanta, Georgia, USA, of cancer


Alan O'Day
(72), singer and songwriter,and  a member of The Shoves, The Renes, The Archers and Alan & Bob & Denny. His songs have been recorded by Helen Reddy ('Angie Baby'), Cher ('Train Of Thought'), Bobby Sherman ('The Drum') and The Righteous Brothers ('Rock And Roll Heaven').

In Westwood, Los Angeles, California, USA, of brain cancer


George Jones
(81), singer and songwriter, and regarded widely as the greatest country vocalist of the 20th century, whose hits include such classics as 'A Picture of Me (Without You)'. 'What My Woman Can't Do', 'The Grand Tour', 'These Days (I Barely Get By)', 'The Door', 'Bartender's Blues', 'He Stopped Loving Her Today', 'If Drinkin' Don't Kill Me (Her Memory Will)', 'Still Doin' Time', 'I Always Get Lucky With You', 'She's My Rock', 'Wine Colored Roses', 'The Right Left Hand', 'Radio Lover', 'The King Is Gone (So Are You)', 'Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes', 'I Don’t Need Your Rockin’ Chair', 'The One I Loved Back Then (The Corvette Song)', 'Golden Ring', 'The Race Is On', 'White Lightning' and 'Choices'.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member, Country Music Hall Of Fame Inductee and Texas Country Music Hall Of Fame Inductee.

In Nashville, Tennessee, USA, of hypoxic respiratory failure.


Diane Lampert
(88), songwriter ('Nothin' Shakin' (But The Leaves On The Trees)' and 'Break It To Me Gently', whose songs have been recorded by Brenda Lee, Jerry Wallace, Judith Durham, Tommy Sands, Steve Lawrence, Earl Grant, Tex Williams, Red Foley and The Lettermen,

In New York City, USA, of heart failure


Shadow Morton
(73), songwriter ('Remember Walking In The Sand' and 'Leader Of The Pack' for The Shangri-Las), who worked with such acts as Janis Ian ('Society's Child'), Vanilla Fudge ('You Keep Me Hangin' On'), Haystacks Balboa, Iron Butterfly ('In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida'), Jimi Hendrix, The Who, The Blues Project, Mott The Hoople,The New York Rock And Roll Ensemble, The New York Dolls and Isis.

In Laguna Beach, California, USA, of heart failure


Sammy Johns
(66), singer, guitarist and songwriter ('Chevy Van', Waylon Jennings' 'America',  John Conlee's 'Common Man' and Conway Twitty's 'Desperado Love').

In  Gastonia, North Carolina, USA, following an accidental electrocution


Tandyn Almer
(70), songwriter (The Association's 'Along Comes Mary', the Beachboys' 'Sail On Sailor'), and who worked with such acts as Eddie Hodges ('The Paper Fortress', 'Butterfly High' and 'Sleepy Hollow People'), The Purple Gang, The Garden Club, Pleasure and Brian Wilson. 

In McLean, Virginia, USA, from complications of respiratory and cardiac illnesses


Larry Marks
(73), songwriter, producer and singer who sang the Scooby-Doo theme song 'Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!', and went on to produce Chad And Jeremy, Gene Clark, The Merry-Go-Round, Liza Minnelli, Helen Reddy, Phil Ochs, The Flying Burrito Brothers and Jimmy Webb,

In Los Angeles, California, USA, following a heart attack


Gregory Carroll
(83), singer and songwriter who wrote 'Just One Look' which was recorded by Doris Troy, Linda Ronstadt and Anne Murray and worked with The Orioles and Little Esther.

In Creston, North Carolina, USA, following an aneurysm


Reg Presley
(71), singer and songwriter ('I Can't Control Myself', 'Love Is All Around', 'Wild Thing' and 'With A Girl Like You'), and lead singer with The Troggs.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member.

In Andover, Hampshire, UK, of lung cancer


Eric Lowen
(60), singer and songwriter whose songs were recorded by such acts as Lowen & Navarro ('Learning To Fall' and 'Purpose'), Pat Benatar ('We Belong'), David Lee Roth, The Bangles, The Temptations, Dave Edmunds and The Four Tops.

In Los Angeles, California, USA, of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis


Tommy Wells
(70), guitarist, jingle writer and songwriter who wrote the theme for the TV show 'WKRP In Cincinnati'.

In Atlanta, Georgia, of cancer


Mickey Goldsen
(99), founder of and up to his death, Chairman of Criterion Music, which published such hits as Don Ho's 'Tiny Bubbles', Burl Ives' 'Pearly Shells', Nancy Sinatra's 'These Boots Are Made For Walkin', Roseanne Cash's 'Sven Year Itch', The Rivingtons' 'Papa Oom Mow Mow', Nancy Sinatra's 'Sugar Town', Dean Martin's 'Houston', and Jackson Browne's 'Doctor My Eyes', along with such evergreens as 'Moonlight In Vermont' (Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Nat King Cole, Tony Bennett, Billie Holiday, Linda Ronstadt and Willie Nelson) and 'Let The Good Times Roll' (Shirley & Lee, Roy Orbison, Harry Nilsson, Barbra Streisand and Joe Strummer). He also established the Association Of Independent Music Publishers, serving as its first president.

Although fascinated by Hawaiian music since working on rhe soundtrack for the Marlon Brando movie 'Mutiny On The Bounty', Mr Goldsen had wide musical tastes, acquiring for example the Charlie Parker catalogue as well as tunes from Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Barnett, and setting up a country music division which published hits by Roseanne Cash, Rodney Crowell and Lyle Lovett.

Member of the Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame.

In Encino, California, USA, of heart failure

Songwriter Obituaries 2012


Dave Brubeck
(92), jazz pianist and composer, whose hits include such classics as 'Take Five', 'Raggy Waltz', 'Unsquare Dance', and 'Blue Rondo a la Turk', and who led the Dave Brubeck Quartet.

In addition to his work in the field of jazz, Mr Brubeck also composed orchestral and sacred music as well as soundtracks for such television series 'Mr Broadway' and 'This Is America, Charlie Brown'.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member.

In Norwalk, Connecticut, USA, of heart failure


Frank Wilson
(72), singer, songwriter and producer ('Do I Love You, Indeed I Do'), who wrote for and produced Patrice Holloway, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, Brenda Holloway, The Four Tops, Eddie Kendricks, The Supremes, Lenny Williams and The Temptations as well as creating the publishers Traco Music and Specolite Music.

In Houston, Texas,  USA, of prostate cancer


Gabriel Hardeman
(69), singer, pianist and songwriter (Stephanie Mills' 'I Feel Good All Over' and Teddy Pendergrass' 'Truly Blessed') who worked with The El Dantes, Patti Labelle, Phil Perry and Phyllis Hyman.

In College Park, Georgia, USA, of interstitial fibrosis


B.B. Cunningham
(70), singer, songwriter and pianist, who was a  member of The Hombres ('Let It Out - Let It All Hang Out' and 'Am I High - Boy Am I High') and who worked with Ronnie & The Daytonas and Jerry Lee Lewis, as well as being the chief engineer at Independent Recorders where he worked with Billy Joel, Elton John and Lou Rawls.

In Memphis, Tennessee, USA, following a shooting when he came to the aid of a security guard


Frank Dycus
(72), songwriter and guitarist who wrote George Strait's 'Unwound' and 'Marina Del Rey' and George Jones' 'I Don't Need Your Rockin' Chair' and whose songs have been recorded by Mark Chesnutt, George Morgan. Gary Allan and Doug Supernaw.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member.

In Lyons, Georgia, USA, of cancer


Juan Carlos Calderon
(77), singer, songwriter and pianist who wrote The Mocedades' 'Eres Tu', and whose songs have been recorded by  Luis Miguel, Julio Iglesias, Chayanne, Nino Bravo, Camilo Sesto, Mari Trini, Cecilia, Paloma San Basilio, Rocio Durcal and David Bustamante.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member.

In Madrid, Spain, of heart failure


Pecker Dunne
(79), folk singer, songwriter and musician ('Sullivans John'), who worked with Margaret Barry.

In Killimer, County Clare, Ireland, of heart failure


Jimmy McCracklin
(91), pianist, singer and songwriter ('Just Got To Know' and 'The Walk'), whose songs have been recorded by Otis Redding, Carla Thomas and Salt-n-Pepa.

In San Pablo, California, USA, of heart failure


Billy Barnes
(85), songwriter, pianist and actor ('Have I Stayed Too Long At The Fair' and 'Something Cool'), whose songs have been recorded by Patti Page, June Christy and Barbra Streisand.

In Los Angeles, California, USA, of heart failure


Hal David
(91), lyricist whose songs have been recorded by Marty Robbins ('The Story Of My Life'), B. J. Thomas ('Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head'), Dionne Warwick ('Walk On By'), Herb Alpert, ('This Guy's In Love With You'), Sandie Shaw ('There's) Always Something There To Remind Me'), Perry Como ('Magic Moments'), The 5th Dimension ('One Less Bell To Answer'), Tom Jones ('What's New Pussycat?') and many others and who collaborated with Burt Bacharach.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member, Songwriters Hall Of Fame Inductee and Nashville Songwriters Hall Of Fame inductee.

In Los Angeles, USA, following a stroke


Joe South

(72), singer, songwriter and guitarist ('Games People Play' and 'Don't It Make You Want To Go Home'), who worked with Aretha Franklin ('Chain Of Fools'), Tommy Roe ('Sheila'), Bob Dylan, Eddy Arnold and Marty Robbins, and whose songs have been recorded by Elvis Presley, The Osmonds, Deep Purple, Billy Joe Royal ('Down In The Boondocks'), Lynn Anderson ('(I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden'), Bryan Ferry, Coldcut and Gene Vincent.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member, Nashville Songwriters Hall Of Fame Inductee and Georgia Music Hall Of Fame Inductee.

In Buford, Georgia, USA, from heart failure


Marvin Hamlisch
(68), composer and conductor (Lesley Gore's 'Sunshine, Lollipops And Rainbows' and 'California Nights'), who penned music for the Woody Allen films 'Take The Money And Run' and 'Bananas', and and also wrote music for the films, 'The Sting', 'The Spy Who Loved Me', 'Ordinary People' and 'Sophie's Choice' as well as working with Barbra Streisand, Groucho Marx, Linda Ronstadt and Johnny Mathis.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member and Songwriters Hall Of Fame Inductee.

In Los Angeles, California, USA, of lung failure


Scott McKenzie
(73), songwriter and singer ('San Francisco - Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair', 'Like An Old Time Movie' and the Beach Boys' 'Kokomo') and who worked with The Singing Strings, The Abstracts, The Smoothies, The Journeymen and a new version of The Mamas And The Papas.

In Los Angeles, California, USA, of complications from Guillain-Barre Syndrome


Jimmy Jones
(82), singer and songwriter ('Handy Man' and 'Good Timin'), who worked with Jones And Jones, The Berliners, The Sparks Of Rhythm, The Jones Boys and The Savoys.

In Birmingham, Alabama, USA, of heart failure


Ralph Ferraro
(83), drummer who composed music for movies ('Flesh Gordon'), and for TV ('The Virginian' and 'It Takes A Thief'), and who worked with Nino Rota, Ennio Morricone, Armando Trovaioli, Riz Ortolani, Donny Osmond, Andy Williams and Rod McKuen.

In Los Angeles, USA, of respiratory failure


Robin Gibb
(63), singer and songwriter ('Saved By The Bell', 'Give Me A Smile', 'Stayin' Alive' and 'I've Gotta Get A Message To You'), and member of The Bee Gees.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member.

In London, UK, of colorectal cancer


Johnny Schott
(66), musician and songwriter ('The Watcher'), who worked with Dime A Dance and The Heywoods.

In Nashville, Tennessee, USA, of heart failure


Johnny Otis
(91), singer, bandleader, television host, journalist, radio DJ, politician and composer of such hits as 'Willie And The Hand Jive', 'Every Beat Of My Heart' and 'Roll With Me Henry', as well as being the person who discovered and then produced such stars as Little Esther Phillips, Etta James, Big Mama Thornton, Johnny Ace, Jackie Wilson, Little Willie John, Hank Ballard, and The Robins (later to become The Coasters).

He also led the Johnny Otis Show ('Ma He's Making Eyes At Me') and for a period was deputy chief of staff to Democratic Congressman Mervyn M. Dymally

In Los Angeles, California, USA, of heart failure

Songwriter Obituaries 2011


John Carter
(65), A&R man, songwriter (Strawberry Alarm Clock's 'Incense And Peppermints' and The Rainy Daze's 'That Acapulco Gold'), producer and manager, who worked with Bob Seger, Steve Miller, Melissa Etheridge, The Motels, Tonio K, Paula Cole, Bob Welch, Sammy Hagar, Chickenfoot, A&M, Atlantic, Chrysalis, Island and Capitol Records, and who is credited with reviving the career of Tina Turner by producing the hit single 'Private Dancer'.

In Palm Springs, California, USA, of cancer


George Green
(59), songwriter (John Mellencamp's 'Hurts So Good' and 'Crumblin' Down'), whose songs have been recorded by The Oak Ridge Boys, Barbra Streisand ('Higher Ground'), Hall & Oates, Ricky Skaggs, Sue Medley, Vanessa Williams and Jude Cole.

In  Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, of lung cancer


Country Johnny Mathis
(88), singer and songwriter, who was half the duo Jimmy & Johnny ('If You Don't Somebody Else Will' and 'Please Talk To My Heart'), and whose songs have been recorded by George Jones, Johnny Paycheck, Webb Pierce, Ray Price, Elvis Costello, Wanda Jackson and Tammy Wynette.

In Maud, Tennessee, USA, of pneumonia


Taz DiGregorio
(67), musician and member of  Paul Chaplain & The Emeralds ('Shortnin Bread'), Little Joe & The Romans and The Charlie Daniels Band, for whom he wrote  'The Devil Went Down To Georgia'.

On Interstate 40 in Cheatham County, Tennessee, USA, following a car accident


Paul Leka
(70), pianist and songwriter (Steam's, 'Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye' and The Lemon Pipers', 'Green Tambourine'). who wrote songs for REO Speedwagon, Jimmie Spheeris, Lori Lieberman, Harry Chapin and Gloria Gaynor.

In Sharon, Connecticut, USA, of cancer


Johnny McCauley
(87), singer and songwriter ('Pretty Little Girl From Omagh' and 'Destination Donegal'), whose songs have been recorded by Christy Moore and Daniel O'Donnell.

In London, UK, of heart failure


Richard Adler
(90), songwriter who penned such Broadway shows as 'The Pajama Game' and 'Damm Yankees' and whose songs have been recorded by Eddie Fisher ('Heart'), Sarah Vaughan ('Whatever Lola Wants'), Patti Page ('Steam Heat'), Doris Day ('Everybody Loves A Lover'), Rosemary Clooney ('Hey There'), Tony Bennett ('Rags To Riches') and Archie Bleyer ('Hernando's Hideaway). Other hits included tunes recorded by The Shirelles and Debelah Morgan ('Dance With Me').

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member. Songwriters Hall Of Fame Inductee.

In Southampton, New York, USA, of natural causes


George Wilberforce Kakoma
(90), songwriter and university professor at Makerere University, who composed 'Oh Uganda, Land Of Beauty' Uganda's national anthem, but subsequently remained unrecognised and uncompensated by his own country.

In Kampala, Uganda, following a stroke


Don Wayne
(79), singer, and songwriter, whose hits include 'Country Bumpkin' (Cal Smith), 'Walk Tall' (Faron Young and Val Doonican), 'Lonesome Waltz' (George Morgan), 'Poor Little Jimmy' (Burl Ives and Hank Snow), 'Saginaw, Michigan' (Lefty Frizzell), 'Belles Of Southern Bell', (Del Reeves) and 'If Teardrops Were Silver' (Jean Shepard), plus songs for such acts as Jim Reeves, Loretta Lynn, Conway Twitty and Hank Williams, Jr.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member. Nashville Songwriter's Hall Of Fame Inductee

In Nashville, Tennessee, USA, of cancer


Robert Sherman
(86), songwriter who co-wrote with his brother Richard, many songs for such Walt Disney movies as 'Mary Poppins', 'The Jungle Book', 'The Many Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh', 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang', 'The Slipper And The Rose', and 'Charlotte's Web', including such hits as 'Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious', 'Chim Chim Cher-ee', 'Feed The Birds' and 'It's A Small World After All', the theme park song which Time Magazine states has become the 'most performed song of all time'.

According to Walt Disney, the Sherman Brothers were responsible for more motion picture musical song scores than any other songwriting team in film history.

In addition, Robert Sherman penned such pop hits as 'You're Sixteen' (Johnny Burnette and Ringo Starr), 'Tall Paul' (Annette Funicello) and 'Let's Get Together' (Hayley Mills).

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member. Songwriters Hall Of Fame Inductee.

In London, England, of heart failure


Noel Kelehan
(76), pianist, conductor and composer, who conducted of The RTE Concert Orchestra and directed it in 29 Eurovision Song Contests, including the Irish Eurovision winning performances of 1980, 1987, 1992, 1993 and 1996. In addition to being the musical director for Radio Telefís Eireann. he also wrote the string arrangements for U2's 'The Unforgettable Fire' album.

In Dublin, Ireland, of cancer


Billy Strange
(81), singer, songwriter, session guitarist, and actor, who co-wrote Elvis Presley's 'A Little Less Conversation' and 'Memories', as well as Chubby Checker's 'Limbo Rock'. He also worked as a member of the famed Wrecking Crew, with Willie Nelson, The Everly Brothers, Jan & Dean, The Beach Boys ('Sloop John B'), Nancy Sinatra ('Bang Bang My Baby Shot Me Down'), Nat King Cole, Wanda Jackson, Randy Newman, Sammy Davis Jr, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, The Ventures and Duane Eddy.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member.

In Franklin, Tennessee, USA, of cancer


Al DeLory
(82), pianist, producer, composer and arranger who co-wrote Larry Verne's 'Mr. Custer' and worked as a member of the Wrecking Crew with The Crystals ('He's A Rebel'), The Beach Boys, Tina Turner, The Righteous Brothers, Glen Campbell ('By the Time I Get To Phoenix', 'Wichita Lineman' and 'Galveston'), Wayne Newton, Dobie Gray, The Lettermen and The Turtles.

In Los Angeles, California, USA, of cancer


Robert Lockhart
(52), pianist and composer who was musical director for such films as 'Cold Comfort Farm', 'The Long Day Closes', 'Vicious Circles', 'Distant Voices' and 'Still Lives' as well as such television classics as 'The Inspector Lynley Mysteries', 'Between The Lines', 'Grafters', 'The Bullion Boys' and 'Unnatural Pursuits'.

In London, England, following a heart attack


Larry Butler
(69), keyboardist, singer, songwriter and producer, who wrote Tammy Wynette's 'Only The Strong Survive' and co-wrote B.J. Thomas' 'Hey, Won’t You Play Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song'. A child prodigy who started performing at the age of six with the Harry James Orchestra, and by the time he was ten, was singing with Red Foley, Larry Butler went on to play keyboards with Ronnie & The Daytonas ('Little GTO'), as well as being a member of Jerry Woodward And The Esquires and The Gentry ('Keep On Dancin'' and 'Every Day I Have To Cry Some'). Later, He worked with George Jones, Conway Twitty, Bobby Goldsboro, Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roger Miller and Jean Shepard

Through Larry Butler Productions, he produced hits for such stars as Charlie Rich ('You're Gonna Love Yourself In The Morning'), Mac Davis ('It's Hard To Be Humble'), Debbie Boone ('Are You On The Road To Loving Me Again'), Billie Jo Spears ('Blanket On The Ground'), Don McLean ('Crying') and John Denver ('Some Days Are Diamonds'), as well as a string of chart toppers for Kenny Rogers, including 'Lucille', 'Love Or Something Like It', 'The Gambler', 'She Believes In Me', 'You Decorated My Life' and 'Coward Of The County.

In 1984, he formed Larry Butler Music Publishing which signed writers Mickey Newbury, Dean Dillon, Bud McGuire, Paul Nelson, Marty Raybon, Julie Didier, Larry Jon Wilson, and Bob Melton, producing hits for George Strait ('The Chair', 'Ocean Front Property' and 'It Ain't Cool'), as well as 'Shine, Shine, Shine' for Eddy Raven, 'Miami My Amy' for Keith Whitley, 'The Factory' for Kenny Rogers, 'I Just Called To Say Goodbye Again' for Larry Boone and 'One Man Band' for Moe Bandy, plus singles for Vern Gosdin, Alabama, Shenandoah, Razzy Bailey, T.G. Sheppard and Tracy Lawrence.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member.

In Pensacola, Florida, USA, of cancer


Liz Anderson
(81), singer ('Mama Spank' and 'The Wife Of The Party') and songwriter whose songs have been recorded by Merle Haggard, including 'Lonesome Fugitive' and 'My Friends Are Gonna Be Strangers' (after which Haggard named his band The Strangers), Tammy Wynette, Bill Anderson, Skeeter Davis, Charley Pride, Brenda Lee, Waylon Jennings, Loretta Lynn, George Jones, Kitty Wells, Ernest Tubb, Norma Jean, Conway Twitty, and Connie Smith. During the 1960's, she scored 26 Top 50 entries, more than any other female country songwriter, while also writing most of the early hits for her own daughter Lynn Anderson.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member.

In Roseau, Minnesota, USA, of heart failure


Ruth Roberts
(84), songwriter of such hits as 'Mailman, Bring Me No More Blues' and 'Meet The Mets', and whose songs have been recorded by Hugo Winterhalter, Arthur Godfrey, The McGuire Sisters, Buddy Holly, Jerry Vale, Jimmy Dean, Steve Allen, Sarah Vaughn, Teresa Brewer and The Beatles.

In New York, USA, following a heart attack


Fred Steiner
(88), son of composer George Steiner, who went on to write 'Park Avenue Beat', the theme song for TV's 'Perry Mason', as well as a considerable catalogue of music for such shows as 'The Big Valley', 'Bonanza', 'Gilligan's Island', 'Hawaii Five-O', 'The Untouchables', 'Gunsmoke', 'Star Trek', 'Peyton Place', 'The Richard Boone Shoe', 'Lost In Space', 'The Lone Ranger', 'Hogan's Heroes', 'Dynasty', 'Mannix', 'The Long Hot Summer', 'The Man From UNCLE', 'Dennis The Menace', 'From Here To Eternity', 'The Twilight Zone' and 'Amazing Stories'.

Mr Steiner also penned music for such Hollywood blockbusters as 'The Color Purple', 'Gremlins', 'The Man With The Golden Arm', 'The Greatest Story Ever Told', 'Star Trek: The Motion Picture' and 'The Saint Valentine's Day Massacre'.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member.

In Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico, following a stroke


Eddie Burris
(79), drummer and songwriter ('Okie From Muskogee'), who worked with Merle Haggard & The Strangers.

In Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA, following a heart attack


Hazel Dickens
(85), singer, songwriter and pro-union, feminist activist, whose songs have been recorded by Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash and Kathy Mattea.

In Mercer County, West Virginia, USA, from pneumonia


Dolores Fuller
(88), movie actress who starred in more than twenty movies, including 'Glen Or Glenda' and 'Jail Bait', and songwriter, whose hits include 'Rock-a-Hula Baby' and 'Someone To Tell It To'. Dolores Fuller had a dozen songs recorded by Elvis Presley including 'I Got Lucky' and 'Spinout', as well as cuts by Nat King Cole, Shelley Fabares, Terry Stafford and Peggy Lee.

In Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, of heart failure


Lee Pockriss
(87), songwriter whose hits include 'Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini' (Brian Hyland), '"Catch a Falling Star' (Perry Como), 'Tracy' (The Cuff Links), 'Kites' (Simon Dupree), 'Johnny Angel' (Shelley Fabares) and 'Leader Of The Laundromat' (The Detergents), and whose songs have also been recorded by such stars as Paul Evans and Anita Bryant.

In addition, he penned the music for the Broadway musicals 'Wonderful Olly', 'Dolley Madison', and 'Divorce Of Course' as well as the scores for such movies as 'The Subject Was Roses', 'One, Two, Three' and 'Stagecoach'.

In Hartford, Connecticut, USA, following a heart attack


Dobie Gray
(71), singer and songwriter of such hits as 'The In Crowd' and 'Drift Away', who straddled the soul, country and pop genres over a forty-year career. He was also an actor, spending nearly three years for example in the Los Angeles production of the musical 'Hair'.

Dobie Gray's country successes included 'If Love Must Go', 'That's One To Grow On' and 'You Can Do It', and he also penned hits for Don Williams, Ray Charles, George Jones, Charley Pride and Johnny Mathis.

In Nashville, Tennessee, USA, of cancer


Ralph MacDonald
(67), drummer, and songwriter of such hits as 'Just The Two Of Us' (Bill Withers and Grover Washington), 'Mister Magic' (Grover Washington), and 'Where Is The Love' (Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway, and which won a Grammy Award), and who worked with Burt Bacharach, David Bowie, Quincy Jones, Carole King, Paul Simon, Aretha Franklin, Steely Dan, The Average White Band, James Taylor, Art Garfunkel, Billy Joel, Amy Winehouse, George Benson and Hall & Oates.

In Stamford, Connecticut, USA, of lung cancer


Andrew Gold
(60), singer-songwriter ('Thank You For Being A Friend' and 'Lonely Boy'), member of Bryndle ('Woke Up This Morning') and Wax ('Right Between The Eyes' and 'Bridge To Your Heart') and who worked with Linda Ronstadt ('You're No Good' and 'When Will I Be Loved'), Stephen Bishop, John Lennon, Brian Wilson, James Taylor, Paul McCartney, 10cc, Jackson Browne, Don Henley, Ringo Starr and Art Garfunkel. Son of singer Marni Nixon and composer Ernest Gold.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member

In Los Angeles, California, USA, of heart failure.


Fred Imus
(69), radio personality, younger brother of radio talk show host Don Imus, and writer of 'I Don't Want To Have To Marry You' (a Number 1 for Jim Ed Brown and Helen Cornelius),

In Tucson, Arizona, USA, of heart failure


Billy Grammer
(86), songwriter and singer whose hits include 'I Wanna Go Home' (later renamed 'Detroit City'), 'Gotta Travel On' (reputedly one of the last songs performed live by Buddy Holly hours before his death in a 1959 air-crash), and 'The Ballad Of John Dillinger'.

50 Year Veteran of Nashville's Grand Ole Opry.

In Benton, Illinois, USA, following a heart attack


Betty Thatcher
(67), poet and songwriter whose hits include Renaissance's 'Northern Lights' and 'Bonjour Swansong', as well as songs for Annie Haslam and Don Airey,

In London, UK, of cancer


Jerry Leiber
(78), songwriter, producer and record label owner, who co-wrote such hits as 'Kansas City' (Wilbert Harrison, Hank Ballard, Ricky Nelson, Little Richard, Trini Lopez, James Brown), 'Hound Dog' (Big Mama Thornton, Elvis Presley), 'Black Denim Trousers And Motorcycle Boots' (The Cheers), 'Smokey Joe's Cafe' (The Robins, Buddy Holly), 'Ruby Baby' (The Drifters), 'Lucky Lips' (Ruth Brown, Gale Storm, Cliff Richard), 'Searchin' (The Coasters, The Hollies, Ace Cannon, Jim Croce), 'Loving You' (Elvis Presley), 'Jailhouse Rock' (Elvis Presley), 'Treat Me Nice' (Elvis Presley), 'You're So Square, Baby I Don't Care' (Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Joni Mitchell), 'Don't' (Elvis Presley, Sandy Posey), 'Yakety Yak' (The Coasters), 'Drip Drop' (The Drifters, Dion DiMucci), 'King Creole' (Elvis Presley), 'Charlie Brown' (The Coasters), 'Poison Ivy' (The Coasters, The Paramounts, The Lambrettas), 'Love Potion No 9' (The Clovers, The Searchers, The Coasters), 'There Goes My Baby' (The Drifters, Donna Summer), 'Dance With Me' (The Drifters, Rick James), 'What About Us' (The Coasters), 'Lorelei' (Lonnie Donegan), 'Little Egypt' (The Coasters), 'Stand By Me' (Ben E King, Cassius Clay, Kenny Lynch, Earl Grant, Soyder Turner, John Lennon, Mickey Gilley, Rose Royce), 'I'll Be There' (Damita Jo), 'Girls! Girls! Girls!' (The Coasters, The Fourmost, Elvis Presley), 'She's Not You' (Elvis Presley), 'Just Tell Her Jim Said Hello' (Elvis Presley), 'I'm A Woman' (Maria Muldaur, Peggy Lee), 'Some Other Guy' (Richie Barrett, The Big Three), 'What To Do With Laurie' (Mike Clifford), 'Bossanova Baby' (Elvis Presley), 'On Broadway' (The Drifters), 'The Reverend Mr. Black' (The Kingston Trio, Johnny Cash), 'I Who Have Nothing' (Ben E. King, Shirley Bassey, Tomy Jones, Terry Knight & The Pack), 'Only In America' (Jay and the Americans), 'D W Washburn' (The Monkees), 'Pearl's A Singer' (Elkie Brooks), 'I Keep Forgetting Every Time You're Near' (Michael McDonald), 'Regulate' (Warren G and Nate Dogg), 'Spanish Harlem' (Ben E. King, Jimmy Justice, Aretha Franklin), and 'Jackson' (Johnny Cash and June Carter, Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra).

Jerry Leiber's songs, most co-written with Mike Stoller, have also been recorded by such atars as Conway Twitty, Count Basie, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, James Brown, Jerry Lee Lewis, Edith Piaf, The Clovers, Stealers Wheel, Muddy Waters, The Everly Brothers, John Mellencamp, Ray Charles, Donald Fagen, Jimi Hendrix, Otis Redding, Johnny Mathis, and Bobby Darin.

In 1964, Jerry Leiber and his co-writer Mike Stoller set up Red Bird Records, which signed such acts as The Dixie Cups, The Shangri-Las, The Jelly Beans, Ral Donner and Andy Kim, scoring 11 Top 50 hits with their first eleven releases. The pair handed over the label to a third partner, George Goldner in 1965.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member. Songwriters Hall of Fame Inductee. Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Inductee. ASCAP Founders' Award Winner. National Academy of Songwriters Lifetime Achievement Award. Johnny Mercer Award From The National Academy of Popular Music. Ivor Novello International Songwriters Award.

In Los Angeles, USA, of cardiopulmonary failure


Nicholas Ashford
(69), singer and songwriter and one half of the duo Ashford & Simpson who scored with 'Solid' and 'I'll Find You'. He also wrote many hits songs with his wife Valerie Simpson, including 'Ain't No Mountain High Enough' and 'Reach Out And Touch Somebody's Hand' for Diana Ross, 'You're All I Need To Get By' for Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, 'I'm Every Woman' for Chaka Khan (later remade by Whitney Houston). and 'Let's Get Stoned' for Ray Charles, along with chart entries for The 5th Dimension, Aretha Franklin, Teddy Pendergrass, Rufus, Gladys Knight & The Pips and Martha Reeves & The Vandellas.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member. Songwriters Hall Of Fame Inductee.

In New York, USA, of throat cancer


Jack Hayes
(92), composer and bandleader who wrote music for the films 'The Unsinkable Molly Brown' and 'The Color Purple', and who worked with Leo Shuken on the movies 'Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid' and 'The Magnificent Seven' as well as  TV's 'The Virginian' and 'Gunsmoke'.

In Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, USA, of heart failure


Gene McDaniels
(76), singer and songwriter whose own hits include 'A Hundred Pounds Of Clay', 'Spanish Lace', 'Chip Chip' and 'Tower Of Strength', and whose compositions have been recorded by Roberta Flack ("Feel Like Makin' Love"), Della Reese and Eddie Harris.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member.

In Maine, USA, of heart failure


Jerry Ragovoy
(81), songwriter and producer who wrote such hits as 'Time Is On My Side' (Rolling Stones), 'A Wonderful Dream' (The Majors), 'Stay With Me' (Bette Midler), 'Girl Happy' (Elvis Presley), 'One Way Love' (The Drifters, Bryan Ferry), and 'Cry Baby' (Garnet Mimms, Janis Joplin), and whose songs have also been recorded by Elvis Costello, Foghat, Manfred Mann, Aretha Franklin, Dusty Springfield, Dionne Warwick, B. B. King, Bonnie Raitt, Barry White, The Move, The Walker Brothers, Bonnie Tyler, Miriam Makeba, Osibisa, Soul II Soul, Love Unlimited, The Yardbirds, Chris Farlowe, Percy Faith, The James Gang, Jimi Hendrix, Barbara Acklin, Irma Thomas, Fabian, The Moody Blues, The Pointer Sisters, and The Small Faces.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member.

In Philadelphia, USA, following a stroke


Amy Winehouse
(27), singer, songwriter, and regarded by many as the most talented female artiste of her generation, whose album 'Back To Black' resulted in six Grammy Award nominations, while she also won the Ivor Novello Award three times, first in 2004 for Best Contemporary Song for 'Stronger Than Me', again in 2007 for 'Rehab', and finally in 2008 for 'Love Is a Losing Game'. At one point, she had no fewer than eight songs simultaneously on the UK charts.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member.

In London, UK, of an alcohol overdose


Terry Oates
(74), musician and music publisher, who founded Eaton Music in 1975, signing Harry Nilsson, Jimmy Webb and Status Quo . Greatly admired by songwriters for his integrity and kindness.

In London, UK, of heart failure


Johnny Preston
(72), singer and songwriter whose hits include 'Running Bear' and 'Cradle Of Love'.

In Beaumont, Texas, USA. of heart failure


Hugh Martin
(97), composer and vocal coach who co-wrote, 'The Trolley Song' and 'Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas', and worked with Judy Garland.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member.

In Encinitas, California, USA, of heart failure


Joe Morello
(83), drummer and composer, who worked with The Boston Symphony Orchestra, Hank Garland And The Grand Old Opry, Tal Farlow, Stan Kenton, Art Pepper, Howard McGhee, Marian McPartland and The Dave Brubeck Quartet.

In Irvington, New Jersey, USA, of heart failure


Big Jack Johnson
(71), singer, guitarist and songwriter, who was a member of Frank Frost And The Night Hawks, Big Jack Johnson And The Oilers and The Jelly Roll Kings ('The Jelly Roll King' and 'Catfish Blues').

In Memphis, Tennessee, USA, of heart failure


Argentino Luna
(70), singer-songwriter who wrote 'Mire Que Lindo Es Mi País Paisano' and 'Desde El Recuerdo Te Canto'.

In Buenos Aires, Argentina, of cancer


Ralph Mooney
(83), steel guitarist and songwriter who co-wrote one of country music's biggest hits 'Crazy Arms', and who worked with Buck Owens, Wynn Stewart, Wanda Jackson, Waylon Jennings, Marty Stuart and Merle Haggard.

In Kennedale, Texas, USA, of cancer


Johnny Pearson
(86), pianist and composer, who worked with The Rhythm Makers, The Malcolm Mitchell Trio, The Romance In Rhythm Orchestra, The Peter York Concert Orchestra, Sounds Orchestral, The Johnny Pearson Orchestra, Cilla Black and The Top Of The Pops Orchestra, and whose compositions were used as the theme music for such TV shows as  '3-2-1', 'All Creatures Great And Small', 'Captain Pugwash', 'Monday Night Football', 'Mary Mungo & Midge' and ITN's 'News at Ten'.

In London, UK, of heart failure


Roberto Pregadio
(82), pianist and composer, who was a member of Sestetto Swing, while co-writing the theme for the film, 'The Forgotten Pistolero', as well as composing music for many other films including, 'Il Sorriso Della Iena',' Last House On The Beach' and 'Quello Sporco Disertore'.

In Rome, Italy, of cancer


Harley Allen
(55), singer, songwriter and guitarist who worked with The Allen Brothers, and whose songs have been recorded by Alan Jackson ('Everything I Love'), George Jones ('The Man He Was'), Alison Krauss, Linda Ronstadt, Ricky Skaggs, Garth Brooks and Dierks Bentley,

In Brentwood, Tennessee, USA, of cancer


Ronnie Scaife
(63), singer and songwriter who wrote 'Me And The I.R.S.' and 'Patsy Come Home' and whose songs have been recorded by Garth Brooks, Ricky Skaggs, Diamond Rio, Conway Twitty, Mel McDaniel and Johnny Paycheck.

In Perry County, Tennessee, USA, following a brain haemorrhage


Charlie Louvin
(84), singer and songwriter ('Ira' and 'Great Atomic Power'), and one half of The Louvin Brothers ('Little Reasons' and 'Are You Teasing Me').

Alabama Music Hall Of Fame Inductee, Nashville Songwriters Hall Of Fame Inductee and Nashville's Country Music Hall Of Fame Inductee.

In Wartrace, Tennessee, USA, of pancreatic cancer


John Barry
(77), composer and conductor, who led The John Barry Orchestra ('Beat For Beatniks' and 'Never Let Go'). and wrote music for films including eleven James Bond movies, as well as 'Born Free' and 'Dances With Wolves'.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member.

In Glen Cove, New York USA, following a heart attack


John Strauss
(91), composer and pianist who wrote the theme for TV's 'The Phil Silvers Show' and co-wrote the theme for 'Car 54, Where Are You?', as well as producing the soundtrack for the film 'Amadeus'. He was also the music editor for the films 'Bananas' and 'The Blues Brothers'.

In West Los Angeles, California, USA, of Parkinson's disease


Todd Cerney
(58), musician and songwriter who co-wrote Steve Holy's, 'Good Morning Beautiful' and The Restless Heart's 'I'll Still Be Loving You', and who worked with The Nashville Mandolin Ensemble, Thom Shepherd And The Nashville Songwriters Band, The Dixie Chicks, Kenny Rogers and Levon Helm. His songs have been recorded by Etta James, Aretha Franklin, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Four Tops, Ty Herndon and Cheap Trick.

In Nashville, Tennessee, USA, of cancer


Susan Rotolo
(67), who appeared on the album cover of 'The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan' and has been credited as the inspiration for Bob Dylan's songs, 'Don't Think Twice, It's Alright' and 'Boots Of Spanish Leather'. She wrote the book 'A Freewheelin' Time: A Memoir Of Greenwich Village In The Sixties' and was married to film editor, Enzo Bartoccioli.

In Manhattan, New York, USA, of lung cancer

Songwriter Obituaries Prior To 2011

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