“Welcome to My World” Writer Dies

Johnny Hathcock, co-writer of Jim Reeves’ 1964 hit, “Welcome to My World,” died Tuesday (Dec. 26) in Amarillo, Texas, at the age of 81. He was born June 24, 1919, in east Texas. Hathcock also co-authored, with Weldon Allard, “Wake Up, Irene,” a No. 1 single for Hank Thompson in 1954. It was a parody of the folk tune “Good Night, Irene.” “Welcome to My World,” which later became a hit and signature song for Eddy Arnold, was co-written with Ray Winkler. It was also recorded by Floyd Cramer, the Anita Kerr Singers, Webb Pierce, Don Cherry, Elvis Presley and others. Both Hathcock songs were BMI award winners. In addition to writing songs, Hathcock also worked as a radio writer, station manager, bowling alley operator, magazine publisher, printer and poet. He is survived by his wife and two daughters.