DIARY - 12 JUNE 2005 - BEN PETERS OBITUARY
PETERS RIP @ 71
GREENVILLE, MISSISSIPPI - JUNE 20, 1933
DIED NASHVILLE - MAY 25, 2005.
FROM GREENVILLE TO NASHVILLE
Ben Peters arrived in Nashville in 1966 it only took him a year to
land his #1 hit.
Eddy Arnold, now 87, took the Mississippi minstrel's tune Turn The
World Around to chart tops in 1967 and heralded a flood of other hits.
Peters was admitted to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1980
after writing 27 BMI award-winning songs - including 14 #1 hits -
and two CMA Awards.
But the lauded singer-songwriter, who had 271 songs listed on the
BMI site, died of pneumonia at 71 in Nashville on May 25.
His best-known tune Before The Next Teardrop Falls
was the 1972
breakthrough hit for Freddie Fender and was covered by at least 13 other
They included Jim Nabors, Orion, Dolly Parton, Jeannie C Riley and Slim
WITH A SAX
born into poverty in rural Mississippi and neglected as a child.
He worked cotton fields and found his grandfather's saxophone in an attic.
Peters learned to play the instrument and ran away from home to New Orleans
while he was still a teenager.
He took the sax with him and began playing in clubs.
Peters graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi where he
met Jackie Macon - his wife for 48 years.
He became a pilot in the U.S. Navy before returning to the United States
where he took various jobs and wrote songs until the wee hours.
"He was living in Atlanta, and one day he told my mom, 'I'm done.
I can't do this anymore," daughter Angela Lauer revealed.
"He went for a drive and while he was gone my mom received a phone
call from Shelby Singleton's publishing house. They said they liked some
of his songs, and they offered him a job."
The Peters family moved to Nashville in 1966.
Peters recorded for Liberty and Capitol Records as a solo artist but chose
songwriting over a performer's life on the road
WAS CHARLEY'S PRIDE
from real life for his songs.
Pride had #1 hits with Peters' songs Kiss An Angel Good Morning,
More To Me and It's Gonna Take A Little Longer.
The frequent Australian tourist also reached #2 with Peters' tunes
- Burgers and Fries and A Whole Lotta Things to Sing About.
And fellow Texans Kenny Rogers and Johnny Rodriguez topped charts
with Daytime Friends And Night Time Lovers and Love Put
A Song In My Heart.
Kiss An Angel Good Morning, Pride's biggest hit, was written
after Peters' wife Jackie reminded him to pay attention to daughter,
Angela, whose nickname was 'Angel.'
"Hey, you need to go kiss your Angel good morning," Jackie
said, giving birth to an international hit that won a 1972 Grammy
songs were recorded by Jerry Lee Lewis, Brenda Lee, Ray Charles, Eddy
Arnold, Alan Jackson, George Jones, Loretta Lynn and Willie Nelson.
Charlie Rich, Bellamy Brothers, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, Dean Martin,
Engelbert Humperdinck, Barbara Mandrell, Lorrie Morgan, Conway Twitty
and Jerry Wallace also contributed to his publishing royalties.
Peters catalogue also included a don't four play - Don't Give Up On
Me, Don't Hold The Onions, Don't Keep Me Hanging On and Don't Say
But it all ended on May 25 when Peters died of pneumonia in St Thomas
Hospital in Nashville and was buried on May 28.
Wife Jackie, two daughters Angela Lauer and Debbie Thomas, son Justin
Peters and five grandchildren - Josh, Sophia, Olivia, Joseph, and Jackson
- survived Peters.
His memorial service was held at the Living Word Community Church in Nashville
The family has requested that donations be made in Ben Peters' name to
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