Legendary Country Producer Billy Sherrill Dead at Age 78


Country Music Hall of Fame member Billy Sherrill died Tuesday morning following a short illness.  He was 78 years old.

Sherrill is best known for producing country standards such as Charlie Rich‘s “Behind Closed Doors,” George Jones‘ “He Stopped Loving Her Today” and Tammy Wynette‘s “Stand by Your Man,” which he co-wrote with Tammy. He is credited with bringing a lush, orchestrated sound to country music.

Born in Phil Campbell, Alabama on November 5, 1936, Sherrill got his break in 1962 when Sun Records’ Sam Phillips hired him as a producer and engineer in Nashville. He went on to Epic Records and wrote and produced David Houston‘s 1966 #1 country hit, “Almost Persuaded.” That song went on to win three Grammy Awards.

Sherrill is the man who signed Tammy Wynette to Epic Records. He went on to work with artists ranging from Johnny Paycheck, Tanya Tucker, Barbara Mandrell and Shelby Lynne to Elvis Costello and Ray Charles. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2010.

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