Hit Songwriter Johnny MacRae Dies

Songwriter Johnny MacRae died Wednesday (July 3) at his home in Ashland City, Tenn., of heart disease. He was 84. After 15 years of service, MacRae left the Navy with the aim of becoming a songwriter. In the decades that followed, he wrote or co-wrote such country hits as Conway Twitty’s “I’d Love to Lay You Down,” Reba McEntire’s “You Lift Me Up to Heaven,” Highway 101’s “Whiskey, if You Were a Woman” and Doug Stone’s “I’d Be Better Off in a Pine Box.” MacRae’s wife Mary told CMT.com there will be no funeral, at MacRae’s request, but that she is planning a celebration of his life that is tentatively set for Oct. 19. She explained that the “full moon” celebration, complete with a bonfire and hayrides, will duplicate the ones he held annually at his farm for friends in the music business.