The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #35069   Message #477233
Posted By: Nancy King
05-Jun-01 - 10:16 PM
Thread Name: OBIT: John Hartford (1937-2001)
Subject: RE: John Hartford - Epilogue
Just thought Catters would be interested in the obituary by Associated Press, which was forwarded to me by a good friend.

This was on the NanciNet List today.

JUNE 04, 22:17 EST Songwriter Hartford, 63, Dies By JIM PATTERSON Associated Press Writer NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - John Hartford, a versatile and wry performer who wrote the standard ``Gentle on My Mind'' and turned his back on Hollywood to return to bluegrass music, died Monday at a hospital after a long battle with cancer. He was 63. The singer-songwriter, comedian, tap-clog dancer, television performer and riverboat enthusiast had cancer for more than a decade. He died at about 4:45 p.m., said hospital spokesman Russ Gannon. ``Gentle on My Mind'' has been broadcast on radio or television more than 6 million times, according to Broadcast Music Incorporated, which collects song royalties. It has been recorded more than 300 times, most prominently by Glen Campbell in 1967. Hartford's career rambled from Hollywood to Nashville, with stops writing and performing on network television, thousands of shows at bluegrass clubs and festivals, and stints as a licensed steamboat pilot on the Mississippi River. At the height of his fame in the early 1970s, Hartford reconsidered his decision to take an offer to star in a detective series on CBS. Instead, he returned to Nashville and resumed his career as an innovative, relatively low-profile bluegrass singer-songwriter. ``I knew that if I did it, I would never live it down,'' Hartford said of the television series in a 2000 interview. ``Because then when I went backto music, people would start saying, `Oh, he didn't make it in acting so he's gone country.''' Born in New York City and raised in St. Louis, Hartford was enthralled as a youngster by riverboats and bluegrass music, in particular that of Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs. He moved to Nashville in 1965, and his first album ``John Hartford Looks at Life'' was released the following year. Hartford's version of ``Gentle on My Mind'' from second album ``Earthwords & Music'' was a minor hit in 1967. The song is about a hobo whose mind is eased by the thought of a former lover. Hartford moved to California in 1968, landing a job writing and performing on ``The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.'' His went on to the cast of ``The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour.'' Returning to Nashville in 1971, Hartford released the landmark acoustic album ``Aereo-Plain'' and continued to record until his death. He was one of the performers on the hit soundtrack to the film ``O Brother, Where Art Thou?'' --- On the Net: John Hartford site: