DIARY - 3 JULY 2005 - ROBERT BYRNE OBITUARY
BYRNE RIP AT 50
DETROIT MICHIGAN JULY 10, 1954
DIED NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE, JUNE 26, 2005
shrouds the death of acclaimed songwriter and producer Robert Byrne.
CMT reported that the body of Byrne was found at his Nashville home
on June 26 and a memorial service was held in Music City on June 29.
But the PAY TV web page gave no further details of the cause of the
premature death of the prolific writer who died on the eve of his
a brace of chart topping hits for major artists after working at legendary
Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, in the seventies.
He had 293
songs credited to him on the BMI site the time of his death - six of those
won prestige BMI Awards.
Byrne discovered and wrote hits for chart topping band Shenandoah after
seeing them play at a Muscle Shoals club.
Byrne's songs also topped charts for artists diverse as Ronnie Milsap,
Earl Thomas Conley, Lorrie Morgan, Mindy McCready, Phil Vassar and The
Alabama, Johnny Rivers, Helen Reddy, Dr. Hook, Roy Orbison, Mac Davis,
Mickey Gilley, Captain and Tennille, The Osmonds, Englebert Humperdinck,
Dottie West, The Carpenters, Thelma Houston, Anne Murray, Johnny Lee,
and Gary Morris also recorded his songs.
He established his songwriter status by winning by the American Song Festival
Grand Prix in 1977 with Bound To Know The Blues and 1978 with I'll
Love Your Leavin' Away.
The late Wynn Stewart preceded that award by reaching #8 on the charts
with Byrne song After The Storm in 1976.
Byrne made a solo album Blame It on the Night for Mercury in 1979
- it was soon deleted in the U.S. but released in Japan.
was working as a producer and songwriter in Muscle Shoals when members
of Shenandoah invited him to see them play at a local club.
Mike McGuire, Jim Seales and Stan Thorn started the band that played
in clubs in Muscle Shoals.
When the bass player and lead vocalist left, they invited Marty Raybon
and Ralph Ezell to join.
It was then Byrne heard the band at a local club and asked them to
record a few tunes and test the waters with veteran producer Rick
debut single, They Don't Make Love Like We Used To, went to #51
on the country charts.
It was followed by Stop The Rain, Mama Knows and The Church
On Cumberland Road - the third hit from their second CBS album, The
Road Not Taken.
Byrne wrote their hits Two Dozen Roses - #1 - 1989, She Doesn't
Cry Anymore - #9 - 1988, When You Were Mine - #38 - 1991 See
If I Care - #6 - 1990 and I Got You - #7 - 1991.
penned chart toppers How Do I Turn You On and All Is Fair in
Love and War for Ronnie Milsap and I Can't Win for Losin' You,
Once in a Blue Moon, That Was a Close One and What I'd Say
for Earl Thomas Conley.
He also penned hits I Didn't Know My Own Strength for Lorrie Morgan,
Men for the Forester Sisters and A Girl's Gotta Do (What a Girl's
Gotta Do) for Mindy McCready.
Byrne's collaboration with Phil Vassar was also fruitful.
They wrote his big hit Rose Bouquet, Lucky As Me and Like I
Never Loved Before for his self titled 1991 disc and Forgettin's
So Long for his 2002 album American Child.
Other hits - Half Past Forever for T G Sheppard - #2 in 1987, Save
The Last Chance For Me - Johnny Lee - #12 in 1986, I'll Stop Loving
You - Mike Reid - #23 in 1992 and Hold Me Like You Never Had Me
- Randy Parton - #30 in 1981.
Songwriting partners included Teddy Gentry, Randy Scruggs, Troy Seals,
Trey Bruce, Jim Collins, Tim Nicholls and Susan Longacre.
SISTERS AND JENNIFER DAY
and Alan Schulman produced The Forester Sisters album Talkin' 'Bout
Men for Warner Brothers in 1991.
The Foresters, from Lookout Mountain, Georgia, have released 14 albums
in a career dating back to 1984.
Their last big hit was Byrne penned Men that reached #8 in
Queensland born and latter day NSW Central Coast country singer Gina
Jeffreys also recorded Men on her Garth Porter produced 1995
album The Flame.
two albums by North Carolina singer Rick Bowles - Free For The Evening
was released by Polydor in 1982.
He later produced his co-writer Bowles second album No Man's Land for
Applause Records in 1984.
Byrne also played guitar and keyboards, sang background vocals, and co-wrote
six songs on the disc.
later produced albums by Florida singer Jennifer Day, 25, and Tim
Day was just 20 when she released her debut single The Fun Of Your
Love - also title track of her 2000 BMG album.
Byrne co-wrote three tunes on the disc including What If It's Me.
Day, a diminutive 5 ft 1 inch diva with a dynamic voice, moved to
Nashville in 1997 at 18 from McAlpin, Florida.
She played the Grand Ole Opry and her songs graced Kevin Costner movie
For Love of the Game and Ashley Judd film Where the Heart Is.
< Jennifer Day
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