'Three Wooden Crosses' Songwriter Kim Williams Dead at 68 - Rolling Stone
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‘Three Wooden Crosses’ Songwriter Kim Williams Dead at 68

Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member also wrote the Garth Brooks smash “Ain’t Goin’ Down ‘Til the Sun Comes Up”

Kim WilliamsKim Williams

Hit songwriter Kim Williams ("Three Wooden Crosses") has died at the age of 68.

Jason Kempin/Getty Images

Songwriter Kim Williams, whose credits include “Ain’t Goin’ Down ‘Til the Sun Comes Up,” for Garth Brooks and “Three Wooden Crosses” for Randy Travis, died Thursday, February 11th, according to MusicRow. He was 68.

Williams, who was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2012, penned more hits for Brooks, including “Papa Loved Mama,” “It’s Midnight Cinderella,” and “She’s Gonna Make It.” He also co-wrote “Fall in Love” with Kenny Chesney and Buddy Brock, which became Chesney’s first Top Ten hit in 1995.

Born in Kingsport, Tennessee, in 1947, Williams played in bands throughout his youth and was writing songs by age 11. In 1974, he was severly burned in an electrical fire at a glass plant, undergoing more than 200 reconstructive procedures, many of which took place in Nashville, where he would ultimately pursue his passion for songwriting. Signing on as a staff writer at Tree International in 1989, by 1991 Williams had scored his first chart-topper with Joe Diffie’s recording of “If The Devil Danced (In Empty Pockets).” In 1994, he was named ASCAP’s Country Songwriter of the Year.

Williams also had his songs cut by Keith Anderson (“Pickin’ Wildflowers”), Brooks & Dunn (“Honky Tonk Truth”), George Jones (“Beer Run,” with Brooks), David Kersh (“Goodnight Sweetheart”), Reba McEntire (“The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter”), George Strait (“Overnight Male”) and more. 

“Three Wooden Crosses,” which became a Number One comeback hit for Travis and the 2003 CMA Song of the Year, was also honored by the ACM, and won the Gospel Music Association’s Dove Award for Country Song of the Year.

Funeral details have yet to be announced.


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