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Country singer and songwriter, Jim Weatherly, has passed away at the age of 77. According to his friend and music publisher, Charlie Monk, the family said he died due to natural causes on Feb. 3, 2021.
Weatherly was born on March 17, 1943, in Pontotoc, Mississippi. When he was roughly 12-years-old he began to write music. During his years in high school, he was in his own band and football team.
After he graduated high school, he attended the University of Mississippi on a football scholarship. In 1964, he was an All-Southern Conference Quarterback and received honorable mentions at the All American for the Ole Miss Rebels football team. He also continued to play with his band during this time.
According to his website, Weatherly was part of the only unbeaten and untied National Championship Rebel football team in Mississippi’s history in 1962. They were also the SEC champions in 1962 and 1963.
He and his rock band moved to Los Angeles, California in 1966. During his years there he wrote many songs that not only became R&B and pop classics — they also became huge Jazz, Gospel, and Country hits.
Weatherly’s song “Neither One Of Us Wants To Be The First To Say Goodbye” became a number one hit for Gladys Knight & The Pips in 1973. They won a Grammy for that hit song. In 1973, the song became a huge hit for Bob Luman.
Some of Weatherly’s other big hits are “The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me,” “Where Peaceful Waters Flow,” “Midnight Train To Georgia,” and “Between Her Goodbye and My Hello.”
A few other high ranking names that recorded Weatherly hits are Kenny Chesney, Kenny Rogers, Neil Diamond, and Garth Brooks.
The singer was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2006. In 2014, Weatherly was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Jackson Clarion-Ledger published a statement from Gladys Knight. “I’m missing him already.” The singer further stated, “I love him and always will. He was about life and love and he wrote it so simply, he grew my love for country music.”
Many other friends and co-workers paid tribute to the late singer and songwriter. He is survived by his family and close friends. May he rest in peace.
Written by Sheena Roberston
BBC: Jim Weatherly: Midnight Train to Georgia songwriter dies aged 77
Jim Weatherly: Biography
Featured Image Courtesy of Jim Mullhaupt’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License