Sunday, July 27, 2014

R.I.P.: Don Lanier

Don Lanier, musician, songwriter and Nashville A&R man, died on Wednesday July 23, 2014 at the age of 78.

Born and raised in Texas, one of his earliest music associations was with Jimmy Bowen with whom he started the Rhythm Orchids. The band was called in to back up new singer Buddy Knox in the studio where he recorded his biggest hit, Party Doll. While Knox and Bowen wrote the big hit, Lanier contributed to others in Buddy's catalog including I'm Stickin' With You, Hula Love and Rock Your Little Baby to Sleep.

In 1964, Lanier followed Bowen to Los Angeles where he started to do arrangements for his friend, eventually becoming an in-demand studio guitarist and arranger. As a songwriter, his Here We Go Again became a hit for Ray Charles in 1967 and he wrote additional songs for artists such as Dean Martin, the Everly Brothers and Hank Snow. BMI, with which he was affiliated, credits him with 42 recorded compositions.
As an A&R man for MCA, Don found major hits for Reba McEntire, George Strait, Loretta Lynn, Patty Loveless and others.

Lanier was also a recording artist, cutting songs for Roulette, Dot, Gee and Apt record labels; including a killer version of Johnny Guitar Watson's classic Gangster of Love (above) as Donnie La Near. Released in 1962. source

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