Singer, songwriter and bassist Bobby Austin died Sunday (Jan. 6) in Camas, Wash., at the age of 68.
Born Robert Allen
Austin on May 4, 1933, in Wenatchee, Wash., Austin was perhaps best known for "Apartment No. 9," the song he co-wrote with
Johnny Paycheck. It was Austin's first chart single, topping out at No. 21 in 1966.
The following year, it also became Tammy Wynette's first hit, although she took it
only to the No. 44 slot. It was named the Academy of Country Music's song of the year for 1966 and was the first to receive
that honor from the Academy.
According to information compiled by Barry McCloud for his Definitive Country: The
Ultimate Encylcopedia of Country Music and Its Performers, Austin began entertaining publicly when he was 5 years old,
influenced chiefly by the songs of Ernest Tubb and Hank
After working in local bands, Austin moved to Los Angeles in 1955 and soon was involved in the city's
vibrant country music scene. In 1960, he released his first single, "Polynesian Baby," on Challenge Records. He subsequently
worked in Wynn Stewart's band and played bass on recording sessions for Buck Owens.
In 1962, Capitol Records signed him.
Austin's other chart singles were "Cupid's Last Arrow" and "This Song Is Just
for You" (1967), "For Your Love" (1969) and "Knoxville Station" (1972). His albums include Apartment No. 9 and Old
Love Never Dies, both on Capitol, and ones simply titled Bobby Austin on the Hurrah, Syndicate and Design labels.
is survived by his wife, Fern, and his children, Linda, Robert Jr., William and Steve.