Monday, April 6, 2020
– Alex Harvey, who penned "Delta Dawn" and "Reuben James,' died on Saturday at 73.
Harvey was born in rural western Tennessee near Brownsville. In 1964, he graduated from Murray State University in Kentucky with a Master's Degree in Music and Education.
Harvey was a musician himself, releasing his self-titled debut in1971. He released at least 15 albums.
He gained success as a songwriter with his songs recorded by Alan Jackson, Three Dog Night, Billy Ray Cyrus, Jimmy Buffett, Anne Murray, Eydie Gormé, Henry Mancini, Peggy Lee, and Sammy Davis Jr. Kenny Rogers recorded 18 of his songs.
Rogers recorded "Reuben James," while Tanya Tucker scored with "Delta Dawn" as did Helen Reddy. In 1973, "Delta Dawn" was nominated for a Grammy for Best Country Song, but lost to Kenny O'Dell for writing Charlie Rich's "Behind Closed Doors."
Tucker said of Harvey's passing, "I don't guess I'd given a lot of thought to what my life would have been without the great song, "Delta Dawn." But this morning I started thinking about it a lot with the passing of songwriter Alex Harvey. The song started everything off for me and has kept me going ever since. Even though my record was released in March of 1972, the song is still just as great 48 years later! I am so sad today with tears flowing. I thank God for him, his song, my life, my career and my fans - as I find myself grateful and thankful knowing my life would have been so different without the iconic "Delta Dawn" and her creator Alex Harvey. I know Alex was a man of God, and today he got his wings, to that mansion in the sky. Thank you, Alex. I'll meet you there someday, when it's my time to fly."