Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member Wayne Kemp, who wrote hits for such superstars as George Strait, Johnny Cash, Conway Twitty and George Jones, died Monday March 9, in Lafayette, Tenn. Kemp, who was 74, had multiple ailments and was on kidney dialysis at the time of his passing. He was a native of Greenwood, Ark.
He first rose to prominence in Music City as the writer of the 1965 George Jones hit “Love Bug.” Conway Twitty took Kemp’s “Next in Line” to No. 1 on the country charts in 1968, scored with the songwriter’s “The Image of Me” that same year and also hit with “Darling You Know I Wouldn’t Lie” (1969). Johnny Cash took Kemp’s “One Piece at at Time” to the top of the charts in 1976. Johnny Paycheck’s 1977 “outlaw” tune “I’m the Only Hell (Mama Ever Raised)” was also a Wayne Kemp creation.
Kemp continued to write big hits in the 1980s and 1990s, including “I’ll Leave This World Loving You” (Ricky Van Shelton, 1988), “The Fireman” (George Strait, 1985), and “Tell Ole I Ain’t Here He Better Get on Home” (Moe Bandy & Joe Stampley, 1980)
Kemp was also a recording artist. Between 1969 and 1986, he placed 24 singles on the country charts. His biggest hit as a singer was 1973’s “Honky Tonk Wine.”
Kemp is survived by wife Patsy, son Robert, daughters Paula Hosale and Natalie Hudgins, 10 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, a brother and six sisters. His medical bills are substantial. The family would welcome contributions c/o Anderson & Sons Funeral Home, 997 Highway 52, Bypass East, Lafayette, TN 37083
Thanks to our friends at Music Row for this information. Great publication