Glenn Sutton, the Grammy-winning songwriter who also produced
Lynn Anderson's classic "(I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden,"
died Tuesday of an apparent heart attack. He was 69.
Born in Hodge, La., Mr. Sutton is responsible for writing or co-writing a slew of country hits,
and he and frequent collaborator Billy Sherrill helped bring the smooth,
piano-heavy "countrypolitan" sound into favor in the 1970s. He was inducted into
the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1999.
Mr. Sutton's "Almost Persuaded," co-written with Sherrill, was a massive hit for
David Houston in 1966. "Almost Persuaded" was Mr. Sutton's
first No. 1 country single. It won a best country song Grammy and a country song
of the year prize from performing rights organization BMI, and also was recorded
by luminaries including George Jones, Don Gibson, Freddy Fender, Merle Haggard
and Tammy Wynette.
Mr. Sutton wrote or co-wrote other key country hits, such as
Wynette's yearning "I Don't Want To Play House," Jerry
Lee Lewis' "What's Made Milwaukee Famous (Has Made A Loser Out Of Me)"
and the stomping kiss-off "Your Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad," a hit for Wynette.
When he wasn't writing songs for others, Mr. Sutton spent a lot of time finding material and
producing artists for Epic Records, where he served as an associate producer. In addition to
his work with Anderson, his wife of nine years, he produced Tommy Cash,
Jim & Jesse, Bob Luman and others.
Along Music Row, Mr. Sutton was known for a sense of humor that helped him to write songs,
to entertain his friends and to keep recording sessions loose and friendly.
Shelby Singleton, CEO of the iconic music company Sun Entertainment, had known Mr. Sutton
since the early 1970s. "He was a great songwriter," Singleton said. "He'd come into
the office, and he was just always onstage."
Note: Funeral arrangements had not been announced at the time the article was written.