Producer-Songwriter Ed Penney Dead at 89

Biggest Hit Was Terri Gibbs’ “Somebody’s Knockin’”

Ed Penney, producer and co-writer of Terri Gibbs’ 1980 Top 10 hit, “Somebody’s Knockin’,” died Dec. 29 in Nashville at the age of 89.

Born Aug. 21, 1925, in Cambridge, Massassachusetts, Edward Joseph Penney established himself as an influential disc jockey in Boston during the 1950s. He ventured into entertainment publicity and then moved to Nashville in 1971 to work as a songwriter.

Prior to his successes with Gibbs, who recorded for MCA and Warner Bros throughout the early 1980s, Penney scored Top 20 and Top 10 hits with Barbara Mandrell (“That’s What Friends Are For”) and Moe Bandy (“Two Lonely People”).

Among other prominent artists who cut Penney’s songs are Burl Ives, Jim Ed Brown, Jerry Lee Lewis, Anne Murray and Glen Campbell.

Following his retirement from producing and songwriting in 1984, Penney founded and operated Dad’s Old Bookstore in Nashville, dealing in rare books.

Edward Morris is a veteran of country music journalism. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and is a frequent contributor to