Curly Putman, one of country music’s most influential and celebrated songwriters, has died at the age of 85.
The Alabama native first found success as a songwriter in 1965 with “Green, Green Grass of Home.” The hit was first recorded by Johnny Darrell and made famous by Porter Wagoner. It was later released by Bobby Bare, Tom Jones, Merle Haggard and many others.
In 1967, Putman penned Dolly Parton’s “Dumb Blonde” and David Houston and Tammy Wynette’s No. 1 hit, “My Elusive Dreams.” The following year, he co-wrote Wynette’s signature track “D-I-V-O-R-C-E.”
Paul and Linda McCartney stayed with Putnam on his Tennessee farm in 1974. The visit inspired McCartney to write Wings’ hit song, “Junior’s Farm.”
After years of continued success, Putnam’s fame hit new heights with the release of “He Stopped Loving Her Today” in 1980. Co-written with Bobby Braddock and recorded in Nashville’s Studio B, the track became known as one of the greatest country songs ever written. It won numerous Song of the Year awards, and cemented Putnam as an all-star songwriter.
Over the years, Putnam was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Alabama Music Hall of Fame. He also earned over 25 songwriting awards from BMI throughout his career.
Putman is survived by his wife Bernice, his son Troy, daughter-in-law Beth, along with his two grandsons and granddaughter.