Don Wayne, “Country Bumpkin” Songwriter, Dies at 78

Don Wayne, the songwriter whose credits include “Country Bumpkin” and “Saginaw, Michigan,” died Monday (Sept. 12) after a battle with cancer. He was 78. Released in late 1963, Lefty Frizzell‘s version of “Saginaw, Michigan” spent four weeks at No. 1 on the country chart, becoming his first chart-topper in 13 years. Wayne co-wrote the song with Bill Anderson. In 1974, Cal Smith‘s recording of “Country Bumpkin” hit No. 1 on the country chart and won two ACM awards and a CMA award. Smith scored another No. 1 hit with “It’s Time to Pay the Fiddler,” which Wayne wrote with Walter Haynes. Wayne’s songs were also recorded by Eddy Arnold, David Houston, Burl Ives, George Morgan, Del Reeves, Tex Ritter, Jean Shepard, Hank Snow, Ernest Tubb and Hank Williams Jr. Wayne was elected to the Nashville Songwriters International Association’s (NSAI) Hall of Fame in 1978.