Songwriter Paul Craft Dead at 76
Recent Nashville Songwriter Hall of Fame inductee Paul Craft died on Saturday (Oct. 18) following years of failing health. The famous tunesmith is known for hit songs recorded by Mark Chesnutt, Alison Krauss, the Eagles, Ray Stevens and Linda Ronstadt.
The Arkansas-raised University of Virginia graduate came to Nashville in the mid '70s and immediately found success. By then, he’d already had several songs recorded by artists like Skeeter Davis. The Tennessean reports Craft had 35 recordings of his songs during his first year in the Music City, and seven released as singles in 1976. Jack Greene and the Osborne Brothers were among the many country and bluegrass stars who clamored for his work.
Specifically, Craft wrote ‘Hank Williams, You Wrote My Life,’ ‘Dropkick Me, Jesus (Through the Goalposts of Life),’ ‘Brother Jukebox’ for Chesnutt and ‘It’s Me Again, Margaret’ for Stevens. Very few of his songs were co-writes, something he was proud of.
Craft was a member of Mensa, a veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard Reserves, a recording artist and owner of a publishing company during his 40-plus years in the music business. He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in October. The Tennessean says that he was taken to the hospital that night (Oct. 5), and after a 13-day stay, he died at the age of 76.