Songwriter John Hartford Dead At 63
Singer/songwriter and producer John Hartford died Monday in a Nashville hospital after a lengthy battle with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. He was 63. Hartford is best known as the writer of Glen Campbell's 1Singer/songwriter and producer John Hartford died Monday in a Nashville hospital after a lengthy battle with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. He was 63. Hartford is best known as the writer of Glen Campbell's 1967 No. 39 pop hit "Gentle on My Mind," for which he won two Grammys. The song, which was later covered by Frank Sinatra and Aretha Franklin, has been recorded more than 300 times.
During a career that exceeded 40 years, Hartford recorded for RCA, MCA, and Warner Bros,, among others, and contributed to "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" and Campbell's "Goodtime Hour."
Born in New York but raised in St. Louis, Hartford released his first RCA album, "John Hartford Looks at Life," in 1966. A series of releases followed, the most successful of which, a 1969 self-titled set, peaked at No. 137 on the Billboard album chart. Into the early '70s, Hartford appeared on recordings by James Taylor, the Byrds, and Hoyt Axton while releasing such highly regarded solo albums as "Aereo-Plain."
Hartford recorded fairly regularly in the ensuing years, releasing albums on his own Small Dog Barking label and three sets for Rounder. He also played on Mercury's hit soundtrack to the film "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" last year.