The legendary songwriter John D. Loudermilk passed away last Wednesday at the age of 82. The writer of such diverse classics as "Tobacco Road," "Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye," "Break My Mind," and "Abilene," to mention only a few of his hits, John D. was one of a kind in every way.
The legendary songwriter John D. Loudermilk passed away last Wednesday at the age of 82. The writer of such diverse classics as "Tobacco Road," "Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye," "Break My Mind," and "Abilene," to mention only a few of his hits, John D. was one of a kind in every way. To listen to John D. perform was to experience a consummate storyteller and quitar player weaving the magic of his craft. To talk to John D. was almost as entertaining. He had a knack for a telling a great story that carried over from his songwriting to all his communication skills. I don't know if I ever laughed as hard as I did hearing one of John D.'s tall tales, I mean who else ever had a 'hurricane collection'?
John D. was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of fame in 1976, the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame, won a Grammy for liner notes, and was part of the Country Music Hall of Fame's Poets and Prophets series.
As the founding member of the Nashville office of the Songwriters Guild of America, John D. worked tirelessly to organize and advocate for songwriters' rights. It might be said that he gave back to songwriting even more than he gave to it were if not for the enormity of his talent as a writer.
John D. was Vice President Emeritus of the SGA until the day he died and we continue to cherish the memories of his time at the helm at the birth of the Southeastern regional office. His wife Susan contributed her invaluable organizational skills as well. We remain indebted to them both.
It is difficult to lose any great songwriter but John D. Loudermilk was more than the sum of his great songs he was a great Gentleman, and great friend of songwriters, and a great mentor to all who ever asked his advice (as we ALL did from time to time).
You don't meet but a few great men in a lifetime even if you are lucky... but I know was one of the lucky ones for knowing John D. Loudermilk.
Note: For young songwriters, it's imperative that you know the history of your craft and John D. Loudermilk helped make music what it is today. Check out more about him at his tribute page developed by YouTube.