‘T-R-O-U-B-L-E’ Songwriter Jerry Chesnut Dies
"Sad to hear of the passing of songwriter Jerry Chesnut," Tritt says. "My deepest condolences to all his family and friends."
Chesnut, who was inducted into the Nashville Songwriter's Hall of Fame in 1996, is also responsible for writing hits like "It's Four in the Morning" by Faron Young, "Good Year for the Roses" by Jones (and later Jones with Alan Jackson) and "They Don't Make 'Em Like My Daddy" for Loretta Lynn.
"Oney," a 1972 hit for Johnny Cash, is a signature song for the era of under-minded, blue-collar workers. The story song describes a retiring factory worker excited to get back at his micro-managing boss, Oney. It'd become a Top 5 hit for Cash that year.
After time in the Air Force, Chesnut moved to Nashville in 1958, according to his Nashville Songwriter's Foundation biography. Nine years and several odd jobs later he'd notch a hit song for Del Reeves, and more success — including a Grammy nomination — followed.
The late '60s and 1970s were his best years as a commercial songwriter. By 1980 he'd retired, having never pursued an artist's career. The Boot points out that he was a regular on the show Hee Haw as well and recorded a few singles for United Artists Records.
Four daughters and a wife survive Chesnut. Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced. Nashville's WSMV-TV confirmed the news of his death, but the cause of death has not been revealed.
See 13 Country Stars Who Died Too Soon