Singer-Songwriter Lawton Williams Dies

Singer-songwriter Lawton Williams, whose Top 10 compositions include Bobby Helms' "Fraulein" and Gene Watson's "Farewell Party," died Thursday (July 26) in Fort Worth, Texas, after battling a respiratory illness. Williams, 85, was born in Troy, Tenn., and was a recording artist on several labels, including Mercury and RCA. As an artist during the early '60s, he charted two singles, "Anywhere There's a People" and "Everything's O.K. on the LBJ." Helms' recording of "Fraulein" spent four weeks at No. 1 on Billboard's country singles chart in 1957 and also reached the Top 20 on the pop chart. Townes Van Zandt, who seldom recorded non-original material, featured "Fraulein" on his 1972 album, The Late Great Townes Van Zandt. "Farewell Party," a 1979 hit for Watson, was covered by Joe Nichols on his 2004 CD, Revelation. Williams' other Top 10 credits include Hank Locklin's "Geisha Girl" (1957) and George Jones' "Color of the Blues" (1958). Williams also wrote "Shame on Me," Bobby Bare's first single to hit the country charts.

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