Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Leon Payne, songwriter

Leon Roger Payne was born in Alba, Texas on June 15, 1917. He was blind in one eye at birth, and lost the sight of the other eye in early childhood. He attended the Texas school for the blind from 1924 to 1935, where he met his future wife, Myrtie Velma Courmier. Leon wrote hundreds of country songs in a prolific career that lasted from 1941 until his death in 1969. He is perhaps best known for his hits "I Love You Because," "You've Still Got A Place In My Heart," "Lost Highway," and "They'll Never Take Her Love From Me." He began his music career in the mid-1930s, playing a variety of instruments in public, and later performing on KWET radio in Palestine, Texas starting in 1935. He also had a stint playing with Bob Wills' Texas Playboys in 1938. Eventually he formed his own group, the Lone Star Buddies, in 1949 and performed regularly on the Louisiana Hayride show in Shreveport, Louisiana and later on the Grand Ole Opry.

"They'll Never Take Her Love From Me" performed by Hank Williams
Words and Music by Leon Payne

"I Love You Because" performed by Jim Reeves
Words and Music by Leon Payne

"Take Me" performed by Kelly Willis and Dwight Yoakam
Words and Music by Leon Payne and George Jones

"Lost Highway" performed by Mac
Words and Music by Leon Payne


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