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Long-time producer, label exe, songwriter, Bob Montgomery, dies

Thursday, December 4, 2014 – Bob Montgomery, a songwriter, record producer, music publisher and Nashville label executive, died Thursday afternoon at 77.

Montgomery, who suffered from Parkinson's Disease, wrote "Misty Blue" and "Love's Made a Fool of You." He also helped the careers of Vern Gosdin, Janie Frickie and Joe Diffie.

The Texas native was the publisher Charlie Rich's "Behind Closed Doors" and "The Wind Beneath My Wings."

Montgomery was born in May 12, 1937 Lampasas, Texas. He wrote songs with and was best friends with Buddy Holly in school. The two performed as Buddy and Bob, starting with bluegrass and later rockabilly. The two had a weekly Sunday radio show on radio station KDAV.

He co-wrote some of Holly's songs, such as "Heartbeat," "Wishing" and "Love's Made a Fool of You" and "Misty Blue. He also wrote "Back in Baby's Arms" for Patsy Cline.

Montgomery later worked as a recording engineer in the Clovis, N.M. studio of Norman Petty. He worked with artists including Holly, Waylon Jennings and Roy Orbison.

Montgomery moved to Nashville in 1959 and became a staff songwriter for Acuff-Rose. The Everly Brothers, Jim Reeves and Bob Luman were among the artists covering his songs.

Montgomery formed Talmont Music, his own publishing company, in 1963. He enjoyed success with his own "Back in Baby's Arms," first sung by Patsy Cline and "Misty Blue," recorded by singers including Wilma Burgess, Eddy Arnold and Billie Joe Spears.

Montgomery sold Talmont in 1957 and soon became the head of the country division of United Artists Records. He worked with Del Reeves and Johnny Darrell, while also producing Bobby Goldsboro's biggest hit, "Honey." Montgomery and Goldsboro later formed their own publishing company, House of Gold. John Conlee's "Rose Colored Glasses" and Alabama's "Love in the First Degree" were among the songs published by House of Gold.

Montgomery produced records by artists including B.J. Thomas, Waylon Jennings, Shelby Lynne and Merle Haggard.

With his wife, he formed yet another publishing company, which had such songs as Tim McGraw's "Down on the Farm." After living in Australia for seven years, Montgomery returned to Nashville last year. Survivors include his wife, a son, Kevin, a songwriter, and two daughters Echo Annett Garrett and Dee Dee Dawn Cooley.

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