DIARY - 26 FEBRUARY 2005 - LARRY KINGSTON RIP
MORNING LIGHT FADES FOR LARRY KINGSTON
BMI AWARD WINNER RIP AT 63
BORN LARRY RANDAL KINGSTON - AUGUST 10, 1941
DIED FEBRUARY 20, 2005 - NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE.
Larry Kingston won BMI songwriting awards for his big hits Pittsburgh
Stealers, Thank God And Greyhound (She's Gone), Biloxi and Lovin'
But when the singer-songwriter died in a Nashville hospital on Sunday
February 20 after a heart attack he was also renowned for stone honky
tonkers penned with peers such as Frank Dycus and Glenn Sutton.
Kingston moved to Nashville in 1965 to write but also recorded under his
He even charted twice with the same song - Good Morning Lovin'.
It dented the charts for JMI Records in 1974 and Warner Bros in 1975.
Kingston had 318 songs published on the BMI site at the time of death
- companies he wrote for included Window Music, Lawrence Welk Music, Velvet
Apple and Empher that he sold to Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton.
song in Australia was Pittsburgh Stealers - the U.S. hit also scored
airplay here for The Kendalls when some commercial radio stations played
Kingston's song, It's Not Over If I'm Not Over You, also won sporadic
airplay here for Reba McEntire.
Kenny Price's version of Biloxi, Roy Clark's cut of Thank God
And Greyhound and Johnny Paycheck's rendition of Lovin' Machine
had less exposure here.
Porter Wagoner, Dolly Parton, George Jones, Vern Gosdin, David Allan Coe,
Don Williams, Mark Chesnutt, Jerry Lee Lewis and Ringo Starr also earned
royalties for Kingston by cutting his songs.
George Jones and Tammy Wynette scored community radio exposure here for
their revamp of the Kingston-Sutton song Pair Of Old Sneakers from
one of their duets discs.
And Jones also won airplay on Nu Country and PBS and RRR show, High In
The Saddle for his gospel cut of Mama's Family Bible from his 1979
disc Hallelujah Weekend.
was a waitress in a West Texas dance hall/ I was a cowboy with a throat
full of sand." - Bright Morning Light.
Allan Coe & Willie Nelson
convict and singing actor David Allan Coe has probably earned Kingston
his most exposure on Melbourne radio.
Coe cut Kingston's classic tune Bossier City but not
his tune Now I Lay Me Down To Cheat
- it was a Walt Aldridge-Billy Henderson song of the same name.
But both may have been dwarfed by Coe's cut of Bright Morning Light
- originally released only as a single.
65, gave me a copy of the single - his latest - when I met him in Louisville,
Kentucky, in 1978.
"It's one of the best cowboy songs I've ever recorded," Coe
told me, "and I didn't write it.
It was a good old boy named Larry Kingston. You should try to interview
him and Frank Dycus."
Sadly the single withered on the vine of American radio and wasn't available
on an album until the nineties when it surfaced on Bear Family double
disc Invictus Means Unconquered/Tennessee Whiskey.
The narrative tells of a cowboy who meets a waitress in a bar and plans
a one night stand.
"I said to myself 'she's cheap and she's easy/ but she don't look
half bad, I'll stay for the night/ but I'll leave when it's early cause
l've got this feeling/ she won't look so good in the bright morning light."
And the punch line - the waitress is still with the cowboy five years
down the lost highway.
wrote a brace of songs with Frank Dycus - best known for his covers by
George Strait and collaborations with Dean Dillon.
Larry met Frank at Window publishing in 1970 and they set up Empher Music
with Roger Fox.
They sent out Emphermation Sheets to the deejays about their cuts and
hits, one of which was Wynn Stewart's first RCA hit, Paint Me a Rainbow,
That year, they sold the company to Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner.
Kingston and Dycus wrote the Porter-Dolly duet Forty Miles From Poplar
Bluff and Voice of An Angel for Dolly.
Kingston-Dycus co-writes included Fastest Growing Broken Heart, Dolly
Pardon Me, I'm Not Your Hero Anymore, Nobody's Married on Friday Night,
Toy Telephone, World Of Betty Jo, Mama's Hands, Lilacs And Fire, I Wish
That I Had Been Born Rich, He Can't Fill My Shoes, Green Mountain, Daddy
Lived in Houston, Blanket Of Love and Back In The Booth In The
"Well Billy Wayne was found this morning passed out in his car/ In
the back seat was a woman that he'd picked up in a bar/ When his mother
heard her only words were this must be a dream/ Billy wasn't Billy couldn't
he's just seventeen/ push the panic button call the doctor call the preacher/
blame this generation blame the high school teacher." - Push The
Panic Button - Larry Kingston-Frank Dycus.
Panic Button was a highlight of Stonewall Jackson's 1971 album Me
And You And A Dog Named Boo.
Larry wrote the wry title track of Kenny Price's 1971 album Charlotte
Fever while at Window.
Kingston-Sutton co-writes included Pair Of Old Sneakers, Gone To Gilleys
and Beer Drinkin Music.
Larry also joined with Harlan Sanders for Some Times The Blues Are
Blonde and Honky Tonk Honeymoon.
But it was Ed Nix who was co-writer of Thank God And Greyhound (She's
Gone) and Texan Johnny Bush on Tennessee To Texas.
Co-writer on Late Night Red Light Fantasy and It's Not Over
If I'm Not Over You was Mark Wright.
Wright is now an MCA-Nashville executive and producer whose first big
co-producing Clint Black's Killin' Time - the 1989 record that
spawned five #1 hits.
Wright has 26 million units in sales and over 40 #1 singles that he's
written, published or produced for artists diverse as Mark Chesnutt, George
Strait, Vern Gosdin, Gary Allan, Rhett Akins, Lee Ann Womack, Brooks &
Dunn, Reba McEntire and Trisha Yearwood.
Kingston also earned songs on Ringo Starr's 1970 Nashville album Beaucoups
Of Blues, produced by another Kingston co-writer Pete Drake.
is survived by his wife, Carolyn and two sons, Todd and Clay and four
grandchildren, Tabitha, Ashley, Collin and Curtis.
A memorial service for family and friends was held on February 26 at 11
a. m. at the Hampton Inn in Springfield.
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