LifeNotes: Songwriter, Publisher Nelson Larkin Dies

Nelson Larkin

Nelson Larkin

Producer, songwriter and music publisher Nelson Larkin, 70, died Monday (Nov. 18) in Brentwood, Tenn.

Larkin produced many of Earl Thomas Conley‘s 1980s albums, among them 1981’s Fire & Smoke, 1982’s Somewhere Between Right and Wrong, and 1984’s Treadin’ Water. Larkin also produced projects for Toby Keith, Billy Joe Royal, George Jones, Lynn Anderson, and Tracy Lawrence.

He also co-wrote Royal’s Top 5 hit, “I’ll Pin a Note on Your Pillow,” as well as “Searchin’ For Some Kind of Clue” and “Love Has No Right.” He also co-wrote Lawrence’s Top 10 song “Somebody Paints The Wall,” and Keith’s “Life’s A Play (The World A Stage)” from Keith’s Boomtown project.

Larkin’s career also included founding Sunbird Records, serving as president of GRT Records, and helping build Atlantic Records’ Nashville operations. He later directed Famous Music Publishing’s Nashville division.

A celebration of life will take place Thursday, Nov. 21 at 3 p.m. at Brentwood United Methodist Church. Visitation will begin at 1 p.m.


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Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]

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