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Songwriter, Industry Executive Don Lanier Dies

Don Lanier
Roulette Records

Don Lanier, a hit songwriter who later found hits for Reba McEntireGeorge Strait and more, died last week at the age of 78.

Lanier died on July 23 after a lengthy and influential career in the music business. The Texas native’s career really began when he joined Jimmy Bowen for the Rhythm Orchids. The band got together to help Buddy Knox in the studio, playing on one of his biggest hits, ‘Party Doll.’ Although he didn’t help pen the song, he did help on other tunes like ‘I’m Stickin’ With You,’ ‘Hula Love,’ and ‘Rock Your Little Baby to Sleep.’

Lanier then moved with Bowen to Los Angeles where he started working on arrangements while becoming a highly sought after in-studio guitar player and arranger. He also wrote hits for some big name artists across various genres, including country. He wrote ‘Here We Go Again’ for Ray Charles in 1967. He also wrote for Dean Martin, the Everly Brothers and Hank Snow, among others. Lanier was with BMI at the time and they credit the musician with 42 recordings.

After moving to Nashville Lanier began to find songs for other artists, including McEntire, Strait, Loretta Lynn, and Patty Loveless. He also wrote for Glen Campbell, Nancy Sinatra and Norah Jones during his lengthy career.

His funeral was on Sunday (July 27) at Woodlawn Roesch-Patton Funeral Home.

Next: See All Country Stars Who've Died in 2014

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