Funeral services will be held Friday (April 20) in Nashville for songwriter-producer Glenn Sutton, a key figure in the success of Tammy Wynette, Lynn Anderson and David Houston. Sutton, 69, died Tuesday (April 18) of an apparent heart attack at his Nashville home.
A 1999 inductee into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, he and famed record producer Billy Sherrill won a Grammy for writing “Almost Persuaded,” a No. 1 for David Houston.
A native of Hodge, La., Sutton’s first songs were published in early 1964 by Starday Music. Later that year, he moved to Nashville after signing as a staff writer with Al Gallico Music. Sutton’s songwriting career flourished after he began working with Sherrill, who found success by adding pop overtones to recordings by Houston, Wynette, Charlie Rich and others.
Houston’s 1966 recording of “Almost Persuaded” signaled the beginning of a lengthy string of hits written by Sutton and Sherrill. Other songs they wrote for Houston hit No. 1 in 1967 and 1968, including “Have a Little Faith,” “Already It’s Heaven,” “With One Exception” and “You Mean the World to Me.” Houston’s Top 10 recordings written by Sutton and Sherrill include “A Loser’s Cathedral,” “Where Love Used to Live,” “My Woman’s Good to Me,” “Living in a House Full of Love” and “I’m Down to My Last ’I Love You’.”
In the late ’60s and early ’70s, Wynette also enjoyed a string of hits written by the two songwriters, including the No. 1 singles “I Don’t Wanna Play House,” “Take Me to Your World” and “Bedtime Story.” Wynette worked with them to co-write two other No. 1’s she recorded — “Singing My Song” and “The Ways to Love a Man.”
As a record producer, Sutton’s biggest hit was Lynn Anderson’s “Rose Garden,” a Joe South composition that spent five weeks at the top of the country singles chart in 1970. Sutton’s writing credits include three of her No. 1 hits — “You’re My Man,” “Keep Me in Mind” and “What a Man My Man Is.” He also wrote two of her Top 10 hits — “Sing About Love” and “Stay There ’Til I Get There.” Sutton and Anderson married in 1968 and divorced in 1977.
Sutton and record producer Jerry Kennedy co-wrote Jerry Lee Lewis’ “To Make Love Sweeter for You,” which hit No. 1 in 1968 while Lewis was actively pursuing a country career. Sutton was the sole writer of two other songs Lewis took to No. 2 in 1968 — “She Still Comes Around (To Love What’s Left of Me)” and “What’s Made Milwaukee Famous (Has Made a Loser Out of Me). The latter was later recorded by Rod Stewart.
Sutton attempted a recording career, charting three singles on Mercury Records in the ’70s and ’80s. His most successful single, “The Football Card,” peaked at No 55 in 1979.