Hit Songwriter Ronnie Samoset Dead at 71

Songwriter Behind Patty Loveless, Sawyer Brown and Doug Stone Hits Passes in Florida

Songwriter Ronnie Samoset — whose country hits included Patty Loveless’ “I’m That Kind of Girl,” Sawyer Brown’s “That Thing Called Wantin’ and Havin’ It All” and Doug Stone’s “Jukebox With a Country Song” — died on July 29 at the age of 71.

His death was reported belatedly on Aug. 19 in the Bradenton (Fla.) Herald and more recently announced on Facebook. A celebration of his life was held at his residence in Bradenton on Aug. 25.

Samoset, whose real name was Ronald A. Santaniello, was one of Music City’s most prominent composers during the 1980s and ‘90s, scoring cuts with such major label acts as Kenny Rogers, Randy Travis, Trisha Yearwood, Tanya Tucker, Highway 101, the Forester Sisters, Ricky Van Shelton and Ricochet.

His frequent co-writer was Matraca Berg, during whose tenure as a recording artist for RCA they shared credits on such Berg chart singles as “Baby, Walk On,” “The Things You Left Undone” and “I Must Have Been Crazy.”

He is survived by three children, five brothers and three sisters.

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