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Billy Sherrill

Billy Sherrill

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Also Known As: Billy Norris Sherrill Died:
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Billy Sherrill was most famous for his work behind the scenes in country music but started as a jazz, blues, rock and R&B musician. He even signed a solo record contract but none of his releases made much of an impact. It was a move to Nashville in 1962 where Sherrill first made his mark, working as the manager at Sam Phillips' world-famous Sun Records before moving to Epic Records. Inspired by Phil Spector's Wall of Sound techniques, Sherrill was instrumental in bringing pop production to country music, a trend somewhat dismissively dubbed "countrypolitan." His first success came with co-writing David Houston's hits "Livin' in a House Full of Love" (1965) and "Almost Persuaded" (1966); the latter also won a Grammy for Best Country & Western Song. In 1966, Sherrill started working with longtime collaborator Tammy Wynette; among the duo's many successes, Sherrill co-wrote and produced her biggest hit "Stand By Your Man" (1968). Sherrill expanded the collaboration to include Wynette's then-husband George Jones in 1971; Sherrill's production of Jones' signature hit, 1980's "He Stopped Loving Her Today," is widely thought of as one of the greatest country songs ever made. During this era, Sherrill also...

Billy Sherrill was most famous for his work behind the scenes in country music but started as a jazz, blues, rock and R&B musician. He even signed a solo record contract but none of his releases made much of an impact. It was a move to Nashville in 1962 where Sherrill first made his mark, working as the manager at Sam Phillips' world-famous Sun Records before moving to Epic Records. Inspired by Phil Spector's Wall of Sound techniques, Sherrill was instrumental in bringing pop production to country music, a trend somewhat dismissively dubbed "countrypolitan." His first success came with co-writing David Houston's hits "Livin' in a House Full of Love" (1965) and "Almost Persuaded" (1966); the latter also won a Grammy for Best Country & Western Song. In 1966, Sherrill started working with longtime collaborator Tammy Wynette; among the duo's many successes, Sherrill co-wrote and produced her biggest hit "Stand By Your Man" (1968). Sherrill expanded the collaboration to include Wynette's then-husband George Jones in 1971; Sherrill's production of Jones' signature hit, 1980's "He Stopped Loving Her Today," is widely thought of as one of the greatest country songs ever made. During this era, Sherrill also worked closely with Charlie Rich, producing the piano player's 1973 pop crossover hits "The Most Beautiful Girl" (which Sherrill also co-wrote) and "Behind Closed Doors." Appointed Vice President of the Nashville office of CBS in 1980, Sherrill continued working closely with artists, writing and producing singles for the likes of Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, Andy Williams and Shelby Lynne. In 1981, Sherrill brokered an early meeting between mainstream country and punk rock, producing Elvis Costello and the Attractions' album of Nashville covers, Almost Blue. Billy Sherrill was inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in 2008 and the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2010. Billy Sherrill died August 4, 2015 in Nashville. He was 78.

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1966:
Co-wrote David Houston's "Livin' in a House Full of Love"
1968:
Co-wrote and produced Tammy Wynette's classic county ballad "Stand By Your Man"
1980:
Co-produced George Jones' "He Stopped Loving Her Today"
1981:
Produced Elvis Costello's <i>Almost Blue</i>, one of the first punk/country crossover records
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