Legendary Country Music Songwriter Wayland Holyfield Dead at 82

While most people remember their favorite singers and songs, many can often forget that behind each hit song is a songwriter. Able to perfectly blend music and words, there are few songwriters who compare to the legendary Wayland Holyfield. Throughout his time in the music industry, the songwriter proved himself to be a top talent. Moving to Nashville in the 1970s, Holyfield gained stardom thanks to hit songs like “Rednecks, White Socks and Blue Ribbon Beer.” While part of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, on May 6, Holyfield sadly passed away. 

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With the news of his passing, country music has been rocked with yet another death. Just a few months ago, Toby Keith passed away, leaving a massive hole in the genre. For Holyfield, his time in country music allowed him the chance to work with stars like Conway Twitty, Randy Travis, The Judds, Reba McEntire, The Oak Ridge Boys, and even George Strait. If a singer was a big name in country music, they most likely found themselves eventually working with Holyfield. 

Wayland Holyfield Once Performed For Former President

Taking a moment to honor the star, fans shared their memories of Holyfield as one person posted a picture of his song “Arkansas (You Run Deep in Me).” Born and raised in Arkansas, Holyfield not only attended school in the state but also went to the University of Arkansas. He eventually earned a degree in marketing. Posting a picture of Holyfield, the fan wrote, “Did anyone else have to learn this song, or sing it in a school program as a kid, or was that just a weird Greenwood thing? It’s still a banger. RIP Wayland Holyfield.”

Outside the studio, Holyfield also earned a spot on the Nashville Songwriters Foundation as the chairman. Back in 1993, when former President Bill Clinton was being sworn in, the songwriter performed “Arkansas (You Run Deep in Me).” For those who might not know, Clinton is also from Arkansas. 

Leaving behind a wife and three grown children, the music industry continues to mourn one of the best songwriters to step foot in country music. And for many stars, they owe songwriters like Holyfield a great deal of respect for helping shape some of the best songs to ever hit the airwaves. 

(Wayland Holyfield and Friends – on the Front Row – Pressclip (AETN), n.d.)

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