The creator of such hits as “The Whiskey Ain’t Workin,’” and “Hearts Are Gonna Roll,” suffered a brain hemorrhage at his home in Perry Country on October 25 and was life-flighted to St. Thomas Hospital in Nashville. He never regained consciousness.
“He was a gem of a guy,” said Dan Hill of Cal IV Entertainment. “Everybody loved him. He was a great guitarist, a great singer and a great songwriter. He was a good, good man.”
In addition to the two hits above (the former sung by Marty Stuart & Travis Tritt in 1992 and the latter by Hal Ketchum in 1993), Ronny Scaife also won BMI awards for “Men” (Charly McClain, 1980), “Wrinkles” (Diamond Rio, 2003) and “I Couldn’t See You Leavin’” (Conway Twitty, 1991).
Other notable songs in his large catalog include “Me and the I.R.S.” (Johnny Paycheck, 1978), “Old Man River I’ve Come to Talk to You Again” (Mel McDaniel, 1983), “Here’s Your Sign Get the Picture” (Bill Engvall & Travis Tritt, 1997), “Lay Something on My Bed Besides a Blanket” (Charly McClain, 1977), “Salt of the Earth” (Ricky Skaggs & The Whites, 2007), “Redneck Games” (Jeff Foxworthy & Alan Jackson, 1996), “Drinkin’ My Way Back Home” (Gene Watson, 1984) and “Alabama Clay” (Garth Brooks, 1989).
Among the many artists who included his songs on their albums are Randy Travis, Montgomery Gentry, Mark Collie, The Osborne Brothers, Reba McEntire, Don Williams, Dottie West, Alabama, Confederate Railroad, The Beach Boys, Andy Williams and Billy Ray Cyrus.
Ronny Scaife is survived by his wife Brenda and children Coty, Jake and Nathan. Music Row producer Joe Scaife is his cousin.
Visitation will be on Friday from 5 to 9 p.m. and Saturday at 10 a.m. with services to follow at 11 a.m. The location is Young Funeral Home at 25 Buffalo River Heights Road in Linden, TN.
The Ronny Scaife Memorial Fund to assist the family with medical expenses is being set up at Regions Bank.
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