Hit Songwriter Don Pfrimmer Dead at 78

Songs Recorded by Ronnie Milsap, Lonestar, Tim McGraw, Diamond Rio

Songwriter Don Pfrimmer, whose hits ranged from Mickey Gilley’s” raucous “The Power of Positive Drinkin’” to Lonestar’s homey “My Front Porch Looking In,” died Monday (Dec. 7) of leukemia at the age of 78.

A native of Montana, Donald Ross Pfrimmer moved to Nashville in 1973. Over the ensuing years — and in league with a legion of gifted co-writers — he turned out a steady stream of skyscraping chart singles.

Pfrimmer’s versatility was evident in the range of acts that succeeded with his songs. Among these were George Jones (“You and Me and Time”), Ronnie Milsap (“She Keeps the Home Fires Burning,” “My Heart”), Diamond Rio (“Meet in the Middle”) and Tim McGraw (“All I Want Is a Life”).

Also Tammy Wynette (“Let’s Call It a Day Today”), Steve Wariner (“By Now”), Jim & Jesse (“North Wind”), Chris Cagle (“My Love Goes On and On”), Sylvia (“The Matador,” “Drifter”), Doug Stone (“Come In Out of the Pain”), Wayne Newton (“Our Wedding Band”), Jo Dee Messina (“Always Have, Always Will”) and Darin & Brooke Aldridge (“Lonely Ends Where Love Begins”).

In addition to the above, Pfrimmer co-wrote Lonestar’s No. 1 single, “Mr. Mom,” which held that position for two weeks in 2004.

In 1975, Pfrimmer collaborated with Gene Autry and Dave Burgess in writing the novelty tune “Nestor, The Long-Eared Christmas Donkey.”

Unlike the equally mythic “Rudolph,” “Frosty” and “Little Drummer Boy,” Nestor never gained seasonal traction. It was, however, recorded by Hank Snow and Marty Robbins and turned into animated TV special in 1977, with voices by Roger Miller and Brenda Vaccaro.

Funeral details are pending.

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