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Billy Sherrill, Producer of Wynette's 'Stand By Your Man,' Dies at 78

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By    |   Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 12:07 PM

Billy Sherrill, the music producer and songwriter who worked with Tammy Wynette and George Jones to create the smooth "countrypolitan" sound of the 1960s and '70s, has died at the age of 78.

Sherrill's daughter, Catherine Lale, confirmed his death to The New York Times this week as Aug 4.

"Smoothing out the rough edges of the honky-tonk sound," wrote The Times, Sherrill had a hand in creating Wynette's 1968 megahit "Stand By Your Man."

His big break came a year earlier, however, as he would go on to win a Grammy Award for writing David Houston’s "Almost Persuaded" with fellow producer Glenn Sutton.

Wynette married country star George Jones in 1969, and Sherrill would come to work with him too. Their producer-musician relationship would outlast Wynette and Jones' marriage, which ended in divorce in 1975.

The Associated Press reported that Sherrill also worked with Charlie Rich, Ronnie Milsap, Johnny Paycheck, Elvis Costello, and Ray Charles. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2010.

After years as a successful producer, Sherrill eventually became the head of CBS Records' country division.

Sherrill was born in Phil Campbell, Alabama. He was the son of an evangelical preacher, and played piano and sang beginning in his childhood.

Sherrill is survived by his wife, Charlene, a daughter, and two grandchildren.



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Billy Sherrill, the music producer and songwriter who worked with Tammy Wynette and George Jones to create the smooth "countrypolitan" sound of the 1960s and '70s, has died at the age of 78.
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