Red Lane, country singer and songwriter, Died at 76

  Music, Writers

Red Lane was born Hollis Rudolph DeLaughter with surname pronounced Dee-LAW-ter on February 9, 1939, and died on July 1, 2015.

He was an American singer/songwriter.

Red was an American singer/songwriter, a gifted self-taught musician, and a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame (1993).

His songs were recorded by many prominent country artists, including Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Tammy Wynette, Eddy Arnold, Dottie West, B.J. Thomas, George Strait, Roger Miller and Alan Jackson.

The most successful songs written or co-written by Lane included, “‘Til I Get It Right” (recorded by Tammy Wynette, 1973), “Country Girl” (Dottie West), “Miss Emily’s Picture” (John Conlee), “The Eagle” (Waylon Jennings, George Strait), ”My Own Kind of Hat” (Merle Haggard, Alan Jackson), ”Blackjack County Chain” (Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings), “Tell Me Something Bad About Tulsa” (George Strait), and “New Looks From An Old Lover” (B.J. Thomas).

Red has credits as composer or instrumentalist on at least 386 albums.

Over his career, Red has written or co-written 60 songs that reached the U.S. top 100 country charts.

In 2010, Red was recognized by the Country Music Hall of Fame in a program series called “Poets and Prophets”, which included a 2 hour interview session with Lane, and live performance by him enhanced with photos, videos and recordings from the Museum’s Frist Library and Archive.

The program was streamed live by the Hall of Fame.

Red was born in Zona, Louisiana which was later incorporated into the town of Bogalusa, along the Pearl River, which forms the lower part of the boundary between Louisiana and Mississippi.

His father was a sharecropper and heavy equipment operator.

The family moved often to go wherever there was work.

Red began playing guitar about age 9, taught by his father.

The family moved to northern Indiana, where he completed high school.

Red then joined the Air Force and was stationed in Hawaii as an aircraft mechanic.

His guitar playing served him well in the Air Force, where he won a talent contest and performed on a popular live radio show called Hawaii Calls out of Waikiki Beach.

In 1958, Red was transferred to another base in Omaha, Nebraska where he played guitar in night clubs 6 nights a week.

His nickname was “Red”. He began using the name “Red Lane” at this time to avoid problems with his superiors at the Air Force base, and the name stuck.

After military discharge, Red played guitar across the U.S. in several states but had to do farm labor to make ends meet.

At one time, he lived under a bridge in Phoenix, Arizona when he couldn’t afford rent.

In the early 60’s, Red took up songwriting, being inspired by the writing of Willie Nelson.

He became acquainted with Justin Tubb, who hired Lane to play in his band and arranged getting some of Lane’s songs to Nashville’s Buddy Killen, of Tree Publishing Company. Killen facilitated Lane’s move to Nashville and signed him as a staff writer in April, 1964.

Just over a week after moving to Nashville, Lane appeared on the Grand Ole Opry with Tubb.

Red said, “What do you do after you’ve reached all your dreams in 8 days?” A year later, Lane won a BMI songwriting award with the hit song “My Friend on the Right” recorded by Faron Young.

Today, at the Sony/ATV building writers’ quarters where young songwriters sketch out songs, Red Lane’s portrait now hangs.

Red Lane passed away due to cancer in Nashville on July 1, 2015. He was 76.