As Nashville prepares for the 50th anniversary of the CMA Awards this Wednesday, the music community is in mourning with the passing of prolific songwriter Curly Putman, who died Sunday (Oct. 30) just outside of the city. He was 85 years old.
Born Claude Putman, Jr. on Nov. 20, 1930 in Princeton, Ala., he joined the United States Navy and was stationed aboard the USS Valley Forge. He eventually made his way to Nashville – after moving around the country – and scored his first major hit in 1965 with “Green, Green Grass of Home.” Though originally a hit for Porter Wagoner, the song proved to be one of Putman’s biggest copyrights, with recordings by Tom Jones, Elvis Presley, and Kenny Rogers.
The hits continued to come for Putman, with “My Elusive Dreams” being another of his early hits. Inspired by his gypsy-like lifestyle before moving to Music City, the song topped the charts for David Houston and Tammy Wynette.