Baker Knight

Songwriter

Songwriter Baker Knight, whose hits were recorded by stars ranging from Elvis Presley to Ricky Nelson, Paul McCartney, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, died Oct. 12 in Birmingham, Ala. He was 72.

From the 1950s to the 1970s, Knight wrote almost 1,000 songs. More than 40 singers recorded his tunes, which include the 1970 Presley hit “The Wonder of You” and Martin’s “Somewhere There’s a Someone” and “That Old Time Feelin’.” Nelson and McCartney sang the same Knight hit, “Lonesome Town,” decades apart.

Perry Como, Jerry Lee Lewis, Sammy Davis Jr. and Mickey Gilley also recorded some of Knight’s songs.

Knight went to Los Angeles in 1958 and met Nelson through a mutual friend. Within six months, Nelson’s version of “Lonesome Town,” a ballad about being lonely in Hollywood, was on Billboard’s Top 10, as was its flip side, “I Got a Feeling,” another Knight tune. In all, Nelson recorded 21 Knight originals.

Knight learned to play guitar while in the Air Force. He formed a rock band, Baker Knight and the Knightmares, whose height of fame was opening for country stars Carl Perkins and Conway Twitty in 1956.

After the band split up, Knight moved to Los Angeles for a movie role that never materialized. He returned to Birmingham in 1985 and began to suffer from agoraphobia and a condition similar to chronic fatigue syndrome, which put his songwriting career on hold.

Knight is survived by a daughter and a son.

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Scene News from Variety

Loading