Acclaimed Country Songwriter Ted Harris Dies at 78

Acclaimed country songwriter Ted Harris has passed away.

Harris, who was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1990, passed away on Nov. 22 at his home in Lewisburg, Tenn. Theodore Clifford Harris was born in 1937 in Lakeland, Fla. At an early age, Harris was inspired by his favorite Grand Ole Opry star Hank Snow’s music. In 1958, he headed to Nashville with dreams of becoming a successful songwriter.

In 1965, Harris earned his first big hit on the country charts with “Crystal Chandelier,” recorded by Carl Belew. Over the next few years, the track was rerecorded by many artists, including Charley Pride, Floyd Cramer and Louis Armstrong.

He earned another hit in 1967 with Dottie West’s recording of “Paper Mansions.” Soon after, it was recorded by many female country stars, including Kitty Wells, Lynn Anderson and Jean Shepard. Other stand-out tracks penned by Harris include Charley Pride’s “The Happiness of Havin’ You” and the Glen Campbell and Steve Wariner 1987 hit duet “The Hand That Rocks the Cradle.”

Over the years, Harris collected 87 SESAC awards for tracks recorded by artists including Conway TwittyWaylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, and Porter Wagoner.

Ted Harris is survived by wife Jackie, his two sons Bradley and Joshua and his three grandchildren.

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Acclaimed Country Songwriter Ted Harris Dies at 78