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Buzz Cason, Songwriter Best Known for ‘Everlasting Love,’ Dies at 84

EntertainmentBuzz Cason, Songwriter Best Known for ‘Everlasting Love,’ Dies at 84


James Elmore Cason was born on Nov. 27, 1939, in Nashville, the younger of two children of James and Rosa (Jordan) Cason. His father, who was known as Roy, was a carpenter. His mother, who sang in church, taught young Buzz to sing harmonies. (He earned his nickname early on, he said in the 2014 interview, “I think because I made so much noise.”) By the time he was in high school he and his classmates were listening to R&B on the Nashville radio station WLAC.

Mr. Cason’s introduction to performing came when he and his friends were invited to lip-sync over popular recordings on a local television show. That experience gave birth to the Casuals, which many claim was the first rock ’n’ roll band from Nashville.

He left the group in 1962 to work for Liberty Records in Los Angeles, where he and Leon Russell produced recordings for the Crickets, Buddy Holly’s former band, including a version of “La Bamba” that became a hit in England. In 1964, Mr. Cason filled in for the band’s lead singer, Jerry Naylor, on a tour of Britain that included an appearance on the music television show “Ready Steady Go!”

Back in Nashville in 1965, Mr. Cason joined Ronny & the Daytonas, a band that specialized in hot-rod songs like “G.T.O.,” a Top 10 pop hit in 1964. While he was with the group, Mr. Cason wrote the ballad “Sandy,” a Top 40 single for the band in 1966. He also recorded with the Daytonas’ frontman, Bucky Wilkin, under the name Buzz and Bucky, while writing novelties like “Popsicle,” a Top 40 hit for Jan & Dean in 1966.

In the late 1960s Mr. Cason ventured into music publishing with the songwriter Bobby Russell. The two men hit it big in 1968 with two of Mr. Russell’s originals: “Honey,” recorded by Bobby Goldsboro, which reached No. 1 on the pop chart, and “Little Green Apples,” recorded by O.C. Smith, which reached No. 2. Mr. Cason would go on to publish the early songs of Jimmy Buffett, while also having his songs recorded by the disparate likes of Plácido Domingo and Bobby Vee.

In 1970 he established Creative Workshop, a recording studio in the Berry Hill neighborhood of Nashville, where, over the ensuing decades, dozens of recording venues emerged to rival those along Nashville’s Music Row. Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton and the Faces, featuring Rod Stewart, recorded at Creative Workshop.



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