Singer-songwriter Dobie Gray, best known for his pop hit "The In Crowd" in 1965 and the country-influenced "Drift Away" in 1973, died Tuesday (Dec. 6) at his Nashville home following a lengthy illness at age 71. Although "Drift Away" was written by veteran songwriter Mentor Williams, it became Gray's signature song. It reached No. 5 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart. Uncle Kracker's 2003 version, which features Gray singing the final verse, hit the Top 10 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart and spent 28 weeks on the adult contemporary chart. Born Lawrence Brown in Brookshire, Texas, Gray recorded for Capitol Nashville during the mid '80s and charted four singles on Billboard's country songs chart. As a songwriter, his compositions were recorded by several prominent country artists, including George Jones, Tammy Wynette, Conway Twitty, Charley Pride and Don Williams.
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