Monday, April 26, 2021
– Songwriter Charlie Black, who had hits recorded by Reba McEntire, Phil Vassar and Anne Murray, died on Friday at 71 in Port St. Joe., Fla.
Black was raised in the Washington, D.C. suburb of Cheverly, Md. and attended the University of Maryland. Early jobs included janitorial work, produce delivery and construction labor.
At 21, he decided to head to Nashville intent on making it as a singer. "Turns out songwriting is the best job around," he said. "You just can't beat hearing your words and music on the radio, or going number one or staying number one."
Within a year of moving to Nashville, country vocalist Tommy Overstreet began recording a series of Black's co-written songs. Among them was "I Don't Know You (Anymore)," which Overstreet released in 1971.
In 1979, he began collaborating regularly with songwriter Rory Bourke. Black scored his first chart topper with Murray's recording of "Shadows in the Moonlight," co-written with Bourke. Black and White also saw Murray's recording of "A Little Good News" named the Country Music Association's Single of the Year in 1984, and Murray won a Female Country Grammy Award that same year. "A Little Good News" was also nominated as Best Country Song at that year's Grammy ceremony.
He helped write Jennifer Warnes' hit "I Know a Heartache When I See One" in 1979.
Among other songs he helped write were Alan Jackson's "Right on the Money," a co-write with Phil Vassar, BlackHawk's hit first single "Goodbye Says It All" ," the late K.T. Oslin's "Come Next Monday," Reba McEntire's number one hit "You Lie" and Collin Raye ("Little Red Rodeo"). Black also co-wrote notable Vassar singles "Carlene" and "Six Pack Summer."
Black was named SESAC's Country Songwriter of the Year in 1979. He received ASCAP's Country Songwriter of the Year award in both 1983 and 1984. Among the many artists who have recorded his works are Paul Anka, Roy Orbison, Kenny Rogers, Lynn Anderson, John Conlee, Crystal Gayle, Lee Greenwood, Andy Williams, Juice Newton, Charlie Rich, Jerry Reed, the Osmond Brothers, Bobby Bare, Don Williams and Joe Nichols.
He was married to Dana Hunt, who co-wrote George Strait's singles "Check Yes or No" and "Write This Down."