Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Longtime Country Songwriter Charlie Craig Passes

Charlie Craig was born and raised in Watts Mill, South Carolina, a cotton mill village two miles from the city square in Laurens, South Carolina. He performed on a Saturday morning live radio show at age 15 in Laurens singing as a duet with a high school friend. Charlie began working clubs, high school auditoriums and theaters after graduating from high school. In 1968 he moved to Nashville, Tennessee and began a 40 year songwriting career that lasted until his passing last Friday, July 1, 2011.  He was 73 years old and still working in the music industry.

Charlie wrote his autobiography in 2009 and titled it Old Memories and Me.  It contains such things as him hiring Charlie Daniels to play guitar while he was still unknown, Charlie's relationship with Alan Jackson and how Charlie was the first songwriter in Nashville to co-write and pay Alan to sing a demo. Charlie and Alan collaborated on 11 songs over the course of Charlie's career.  It also includes the times Charlie spent with Roy Rogers, particularly when he introduced Roy to Johnny Cash. Charlie was directly responsible for the signing of The Wilkinsons to their record deal.

Charlie says in his book, "Looking back on my life in this dazzling world of country music, I sometimes wonder if I am somebody else and not that kid from Watts Mill, South Carolina that used to sit up on an iron rail across from the cotton mill and daydream about the life I have been living in this business of country music for more than forty years. How could I possibly have known that the Sears & Roebuck Silvertone guitar I got when I was about fourteen years old would lay the musical path to Nashville, Tennessee and pair me up with the likes of Alan Jackson, Travis Tritt, Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash and a lot of other great stars. It still amazes me how this all happened. I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth. I didn't know anybody important. I didn't even have a rabbit's foot. So why me? I don't honestly know. I do believe that God gave me a gift and something inspired me to take that gift and make it my craft."

Wanted - Alan Jackson
Bring on the Night - Alan Jackson
Tropical Depression - Alan Jackson
All American Country Boy - Alan Jackson
What a Day Yesterday Was - Alan Jackson
She's Single Again - Janie Fricke, Reba McEntire
Between an Old Memory and Me - Travis Tritt, Keith Whitley
Lay a Little Lovin' on Me - B.J. Thomas, Wayne Newton, Del Reeves & Bill Medley
I Would Like to See You Again - Johnny Cash, Kenny Rogers, Don Williams & Del Reeves
Miss Mis Behavin' - Aaron Tippin
She's Got a Way - Aaron Tippin
Every Time it Rains - George Strait
Let's Get Over Them Together - Mo Bandy & Becky Hobbs
Following the Feeling - Mo Bandy & Judy Bailey
Chicken Every Sunday - Dolly Parton
Rainy Days and Stormy Nights - Billie Jo Spears
Leavin's Been a Long Time Coming - Shenandoah
The Generation Gap - Jeannie C. Riley
I'll Take The Memories- Lorrie Morgan, Tanya Tucker
Waking Up With You - Waylon Jennings
Love Is Alive - Mark Wills
I Think I'm In Love - Keith Stegall, Conway Twitty & Ed Bruce
Your Memory Finds A Way - Moe Bandy
Nickel Bar Candy - Kitty Wells
Every Step Of The Way - Kitty Wells

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