Nashville Songwriters Hall of Famer Charlie Black Dead at 71
Charlie Black, a prolific country songwriter and member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, died on Friday, April 23, Music Row reports. He was 71 years old.
In addition to penning tracks for artists including Kenny Rogers, Tanya Tucker, Brenda Lee, Alan Jackson, Phil Vassar, Collin Raye and more, Black is perhaps best known as the co-writer behind a string of Anne Murray songs in the late '70s and early '80s. Among those is "A Little Good News," which became Murray's seventh chart-topping hit after she released it in 1983. The song also earned a Grammy Award as well as a CMA trophy.
Born on November 23, 1949, Black grew up in Cheverly, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, D.C. He graduated from the University of Maryland at age 21 and moved to Nashville with dreams of country music stardom, but quickly discovered success as a songwriter instead when '70s hitmaker Tommy Overstreet started cutting his songs, beginning in 1971 with "I Don't Know You (Anymore)."
That song charted at No. 5 on the country charts, and it wouldn't be the last time Black and Overstreet teamed up to find radio success: Overstreet later cut Black's "Heaven is My Woman's Love," "Jeannie Marie (You Were a Lady)" and "If I Miss You Again Tonight," all Top 10 hits.
Black continued to find success as a songwriter through the '80s and '90s, co-writing No. 1 hits for Reba McEntire, T.G. Shepherd, Earl Thomas Conley and K.T. Oslin. He won the title of SESAC Country Songwriter of the Year in 1979, and was named ASCAP Country Songwriter of the Year in 1983 and 1984. He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1991.
Per the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame's website, Black died in Port St. Joe, Fla. His website indicates that prior to his death, he resided there with his wife, Dana Hunt Black, who is also a hit country songwriter known for co-writing George Strait's chart-topping single from 1995, "Check Yes or No."