Red Lane, who was a songwriter for country stars like Tammy Wynette, Willy Nelson, and Waylon Jennings, died this week after losing his battle with cancer. He was 76.
Lane was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1993 for his contributions to country music, and in 2010, he was featured in the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s Poets and Prophets series. He found success with his own music which was released by RCA in the early 1970s. His hit “The World Needs a Melody,” reached the Top 40, according to Rolling Stone magazine.
Although his music was widely appreciated by the country music scene, he found more success writing songs for other artists, reports Canada Journal.
Red co-wrote the Tammy Wynette number one hit “‘Til I Get It Right,” and his portfolio includes “Blackjack County Chain” for Willy Nelson and the Del McCoury Band, “The Eagle” for Waylon Jennings, “My Own Kind of Hat” for Merle Haggard, “Tell Me Something Bad About Tulsa” for George Strait, and “He’ll Be Back” for Lee Ann Womack. Lane also played guitar on recorded music for “Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, Bobby Bare, Nelson and Jennings, and played in Haggard and Dottie West’s bands” reports Canada Journal.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Red Lane was born Hollis Rudolph DeLaughter in Zona, Louisiana. The son of sharecroppers, Lane’s father, a musician, taught Red to play guitar at the tender age of 10. According to family legend, Red’s father sold his favorite.22 rifle to buy a guitar – and Red Lane’s career as a hit song writer was born.
The Lane family moved frequently, and after graduating from high school in Indiana, Red joined the Air Force where he served as an aircraft engine mechanic. He had wanted to become a pilot, but since he was color blind, he was disqualified from that mission reports the Tennessean.
In addition to his passion for music, Lane was also fascinated with planes and aviation, and eventually was able to get his pilots license. In the 70s, he started parachuting out of air crafts, and in a 1975 interview with the Tennessean, he said that it was “the nearest mettle tester [he’d] ever experienced.” For more than 30 years just outside of Nashville, Lane lived in a DC-8 passenger jet, which he had converted into a house, reports Rolling Stone.
According to the Tennessean, Red Lane’s extensive experience was a skydiver was the inspiration behind the song “The Day I Jumped From Uncle Harvey’s Plane,” recorded by Roger Miller.
Funeral arrangements for Red Lane have not been made available.
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