Singer-Songwriter Johnny Duncan Dies of Heart Attack

Johnny Duncan, a country hitmaker of the ’70s, died Monday afternoon (Aug. 14) after suffering an apparent heart attack while being flown to a Fort Worth, Texas, hospital. Earlier in the day, the 67-year-old singer-songwriter had sought treatment for abdominal pains he experienced at his home in Dublin, Texas. Duncan was a cousin of Jim Seals (of the pop duo Seals & Crofts) and Dan Seals (who moved to a country career after a pop career in England Dan & John Ford Coley). After attending Texas Christian University, Duncan moved to Clovis, N.M., in 1959 to record with producer Norman Petty, who had worked with Buddy Holly. After working as a radio disc jockey, Duncan moved to Nashville in 1964. A guest appearance on Ralph Emery’s local TV show led to a contract with Columbia Records. He charted his first single, “Hard Luck Joe,” in 1967 and scored his first Top 10 hit in 1973 with “Sweet Country Woman.” However, his greatest success began in 1976 when he enjoyed a Top 10 hit with Kris Kristofferson’s “Stranger.” He followed it up with three No. 1 singles — “Thinkin’ of a Rendezvous,” “It Couldn’t Have Been Any Better” and “She Can Put Her Shoes Under My Bed (Anytime).” Funeral arrangements, which were incomplete late Tuesday (Aug. 15), are under the direction of Harrell Funeral Home in Dublin.