Nashville Songwriter Hall of Famer Wayne Kemp has died.
Kemp passed away today (3/9) in Lafayette, Tennessee, northeast of Nashville. He had been suffering from various ailments, including kidney disease.
Wayne Kemp had a modest career as a singer. His biggest charted hit was 1973's "Honky Tonk Wine," which peaked at #17 on the Billboard country charts.
As a songwriter, however, Kemp made numerous trips to the top of the country charts. His song "The Love Bug" was a 1965 hit for George Jones (and later it was covered by George Strait). From there the Kemp-penned hits were all over country radio: "One Piece At a Time" (Johnny Cash), "Feelin' Single, Seein' Double" (Emmylou Harris), "Next In Line," "The Image of Me," and "Darling, You Know I Wouldn't Lie" (Conway Twitty), "I'm the Only Hell (Mama Ever Raised)" (Johnny Paycheck), and another song for George Strait, "The Fireman."
Kemp was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1979 based on the substantial body of hits he had amassed until that time. People continue to record his songs, however, and not just country acts: Elvis Costello covered "Darling, You Know I Wouldn't Lie" on his Almost Blue album.
Wayne Kemp was 74.