Nashville Songwriter Series: Bobby Fischer

(PHOTO: Bobby Fischer, co-writer of Reba McEntire’s “You Lie” and hundreds of other songs during a successful 40-year Nashville career.) Around 1970, when he was in his mid-30s, Bobby Fischer did something most people would consider insane or suicidal or both. He quit his prized, long-tenured day job with a major farm implement company near his home in the Iowa-Illinois Quad-Cities and moved to Nashville to try the music business. While his supportive wife and kids stayed behind until he could make something happen, Fischer wrote songs, recorded, worked as a record promoter to radio and did whatever else he could to make a buck, playing in honky-tonks along the road between Nashville and Iowa to pay for gas to go home and visit his family. Within a couple years the gamble paid off, with Fischer’s face appearing in Billboard as a successful Nashville record promoter. Wife Helen and the kids (Robbi and Lori, who ended up making a living in the arts themselves) moved to Nashville, and Fischer became a fixture on Music Row. As a writer he began to get cuts, with names like Conway Twitty, George Jones, Eddy Arnold, Faron Young, Charley Pride and others recording his material. He also produced, promoted, and did whatever else necessary to keep food on the table, even working on a project with actor John Wayne. That relative success that most people would kill for lasted for the better part of 20 years until Fischer, with co-writers Charlie Black and Austin Roberts, finally got a “career record” with Reba McEntire’s recording of “You Lie,” which spent five months on the country charts. The song was on albums of McEntire’s that would eventually... Sign In to Keep Reading

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