Indie Publisher Bill Lowery Dead At 79

Atlanta company had numerous varied hits.

Legendary indie music publisher Bill Lowery died Tuesday (June 8) of cancer at Atlanta's Haven House Hospice. He was 79.

The former owner of the Lowery Music Co. in Atlanta and the first-ever inductee into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame, Lowery was the publisher of 5,000 titles, including the 1956 rock'n'roll classic "Be-Bop-A-Lula," the disco smash "I Love the Nightlife" and Joe South's 1969 Grammy-winning "Games People Play."

Other heavily played hits emanating from Lowery's house were "Young Love," "Traces," "I Never Promised You a Rose Garden," "Spooky," "Stormy," "So Into You," "Key Largo," "Imaginary Lover," "Down in the Boondocks," "Walk on By" and "Common Man."

In addition to South, Lowery's writers included Ray Stevens, Mac Davis, Freddy Weller, J.R. Cobb, Tommy Roe, Robert Nix, Sammy Johns, Razzy Bailey, Alicia Bridges and Bertie Higgins. Among the artists who covered Lowery-published compositions are the Beatles, Deep Purple, Gene Vincent, the Classics IV, Alicia Bridges and Lynn Anderson.

Lowery was reportedly the youngest radio station manager in the United States when he launched his pubbery in 1952. He also operated the Southern Tracks recording studio and record company in Atlanta. The Lowery Music Co. was cited as the top U.S. music publisher by BMI in 1969; in January 2000, Lowery sold his company to Sony/ATV Music Publishing.

Lowery is survived by his wife, Billie Lowery; son William "Butch" Lowery III; daughters Terri Drake and Cheryl Goodridge; eight grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.