Buzz Cason, Father of Nashville Rock, Dead at 84

James E. “Buzz” Cason spent decades shaping the sound of Nashville and adding to the grand tapestry of American music. A singer, songwriter, record producer, and studio owner, Cason had his hands in several aspects of the music industry. He penned timeless classics, produced legendary sessions, and co-founded Music City’s first rock band, The Casuals. He passed away yesterday (June 16) at the age of 84.

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Cason co-penned his biggest hit as a songwriter, “Everlasting Love” with Mac Gayden. The two continued to work together throughout the years. Gayden announced his passing on social media yesterday. “Buzz Cason left this plane this morning. He will be singing, I’m sure, and making his new surroundings smile,” he wrote. “I’m so glad we got to do these last two shows together. Brother in love and music,” Gayden concluded.

[RELATED: Rock And Roll Lifer: A Q&A With Buzz Cason]

Kyle Young, CEO of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum posted about Cason’s legacy. “Buzz Cason never concerned himself too much with musical boundaries. He just lived and breathed music. As a singer, songwriter, producer, and publisher, he helped shape and expand the sound of Nashville in countless ways across seven decades,” he wrote.

Selected Highlights from Buzz Cason’s Career

“Everlasting Love,” co-written with Gayden was Buzz Cason’s biggest hit as a songwriter. It is one of only two songs to have entered the top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100 in the ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s, ‘90s, and ‘00s. Robert Knight, Gloria Estefan, U2, and many others recorded the song over the years.

Cason’s website notes that he also wrote songs for the Oak Ridge Boys, Mel Tillis, T.G. Shepherd, Dolly Parton, Jerry Lee Lewis, and more. He was behind hits like “Soldier of Love.” “Ann, Don’t Go Runnin’,” “Emmylou,” and “Cry Baby Cry.”

According to WSMV, Cason founded and owned the Creative Workshop studio in Berry Hill. Built in the ‘70s, Creative Workshop originally served as a place for Cason to develop and produce new talent. Jimmy Buffett, who was a songwriter for Cason’s publishing company was one of the first to record there. Creative Workshop also housed sessions for Merle Haggard, the Doobie Brothers, Roy Orbison, Elvis Presley, Leon Russell, and countless others.

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