Songwriting Great Hospitalized

Songwriter Tommy Collins, 69, is in stable condition and improving in a Nashville area hospital. The composer of hits for Merle Haggard and Faron Young is fighting emphysema and a bout of pneumonia. Collins was inducted last year into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. His classics include “The Roots of My Raising” for Haggard and “If You Ain’t Lovin'” for Young. Collins, whose real name is Leonard Sipes, was on a ventilator from New Year’s Day until a few days ago, says producer and songwriter Buddy Cannon, a family friend.