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Record Producer & Songwriter Billy Sherrill Dies

NASHVILLE (CelebrityAccess) — Country record producer and songwriter Billy Sherrill, who helped to create country music's "countrypolitan" sound of the late 1960s and 1970s has died at the age of 78.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Sherrill's son-in-law, George Lale, said he died on Tuesday in Nashville.

Sherrill's production helped to create crossover hits for artists such as Tammy Wynette and George Jones, with production and writing credits on hits such as "Stand By Your Man," which he co-wrote with Wynette, and the George Jones hit "He Stopped Loving Her Today."

In 1966, Sherill won a Grammy for co-writing the number 1 hit "Almost Persuaded" which was recorded by David Houston and then again for "A Very Special Love Song," co-written with Norro Wilson and recorded by Charlie Rich.

"Billy Sherrill was the first producer to give me a push to start my own records, as he and CBS President Bruce Lundvall talked me into signing that first contract," recording artist Janie Fricke said in a statement. "I was a busy backup singer and was not sure about going solo. I will hold dear those precious memories of magical studio productions with Billy, and will miss him greatly." – Staff Writers