September 7

In Memory: The Embedded Songs of Don Wayne and Why He’s Iconic


Thank God for folks who write good country songs! Today’s feature is Don Wayne.

For a little tease, listen to a rare video below of Don singing “She talked a lot about Texas”


He sings yet he has devoted more of his time in song writing. We might already be aware of his two classics; “Saginaw, Michigan” recorded by Lefty Frizzell and “Country Bumpkin” by Cal Smith which became a hit in 1974. In fact, he has written songs for many of our celebrated country singers including Jim Reeves, Loretta Lynn, Conway Twitty, and Hank Williams, Jr.

Other songs that made it big are Walk Tall (1964) for Irish singer Val Doonican which charted well in the UK, If Teardrops Were Silver (1966) for music artist Jean Sheppard, and It’s Time to Pay the Fiddler (1974) for Cal Smith which peaked at #1 on both U.S and Canada Charts.

His dream of contributing something to the country world could be traced back when he was 11. A neighboring lady showed him his favorite singer’s songs (Ernest Tubb), and he had a wonderful time playing all the hits. So, in 1963, he signed an exclusive writer agreement with Tree Publishing Co.

Among all the song he’s written, his favorite so far is the “Country Bumpkin.” He said, “it will always be special cause “it” came along and picked me up at a very low point in my songwriting career”

As for his writing peers, they only have good words to say about him.

“Don was a perfectionist. Nothing was good enough unless he thought it was great.”
(co-writer Glenn Warren to Don )

“For several weeks, Don Flower and I had worked on the song ‘If I Was In Your Shoes.’ However, our lyrics were not coming together. So Don suggested we call his good friend for help. In a short time, Don Wayne arrived at Fowler’s door with guitar in hand. He looked over our lyrics, played the melody for a little while, said he liked the idea and requested some time to work on it further. The next day he called and said that while cutting his grass the additional lyrics and melody came to him and he was eager to play it for us. The song on this slideshow is the final result.”
(Harrison Tyner)


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