Outlaw Country Pioneer Steve Young Dies

Screengrab via YouTube

Steve Young, the accomplished country songwriter who penned "Seven Bridges Road" and "Lonesome On'ry and Mean" died in Nashville on Thursday night.

Young was a key figure in the Outlaw Country movement of the 1970's and was featured in the 1975 Outlaw documentary Heartworn Highways. His music is also credited with helping pave the way for the country-rock sound that emerged in the mid to late 70's.

Young was born in Newnan, Ga. and moved around the South throughout his childhood as his family bounced from job to job. When he graduated high school, he had already written a number of songs influenced by Southern styles of music, including country, folk, blues and gospel. He later joined Van Dyke Parks' psychedelic band Stone Country. He is the subject of Parks' song "The All Golden."

Young wrote a number of hit songs throughout his career, including "Montgomery in the Rain", which Hank Williams, Jr. recorded.  Perhaps his most recognizable song is "Seven Bridges Road," which the Eagles recorded for their live album in 1980, and later became a staple of their live performances.

"I didn't like the Eagles' version at first," Young once said. "I thought it was too bluegrassy, too gospel. But the more I hear it, the better it sounds."

Young's son, Jubal Lee Young, shared the news of his passing on Facebook: "My father, Steve Young, passed peacefully tonight in Nashville. While it is a sad occasion, he was also the last person who could be content to be trapped in a broken mind and body. He was far too independent and adventurous. I celebrate his freedom, as well, and I am grateful for the time we had. A true original."

[H/T Saving Country Music]

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Outlaw Country Pioneer Steve Young Dies