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Donnie Fritts (born November 8, 1942, Florence, Alabama) is an American session musician and songwriter. A recording artist in his own right, he has been Kris Kristofferson's keyboardist for over forty years as of 2013. In 2008, he was inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame. He began playing drums in local bands such as the Satellites and Hollis Dixon at age 15, and later developed into a session keyboard player.
Working closely with Rick Hall, Billy Sherrill, Dan Penn, Arthur Alexander, David Briggs, Jerry Carrigan and Norbert Putnam, Fritts was involved in many of the early songs and recordings created in the Muscle Shoals music industry.
In 1965, Fritts signed with a Nashville publishing company. Songs which he wrote were recorded by Charlie Rich and Jerry Lee Lewis. He later met Kris Kristofferson who was just beginning a career in songwriting. When forming his band, Kristofferson called on Fritts, who continued as his keyboard player for over two decades, performing live, on recordings and in numerous movies.
Through his association with Kristofferson, Fritts appeared in three of Sam Peckinpah's movies: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid, Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia, and Convoy as well as other movies including A Star Is Born and Songwriter.
In 1974 Kristofferson and producer Jerry Wexler co-produced Prone To Lean at Muscle Shoals Sound. Everybody's Got A Song was released in 1998. The album included guest appearances by Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Dan Penn, Spooner Oldham, Waylon Jennings, Delbert McClinton, Tony Joe White, Leroy Parnell & John Prine. It would be another ten years before Fritts released his third album One Foot in the Groove in 2008 produced by Dan Penn with Ron Laury, recorded at Dandy Studio in Nashville.
- Prone To Lean (1974)
- Everybody's Got A Song (1997)
- One Foot in the Groove (2008)
Chart songs as a songwriter
|Song Title||Recording Artist||US Chart||Year|
|"Easy To Love"||Joe Simon||
|"You're Gonna Love Yourself in The Morning"||Bonnie Koloc||
|"You're Gonna Love Yourself in The Morning"||Charlie Rich||
|"Choo Choo Train"||Boxtops||
|"We Had It All"||Waylon Jennings||
|"We Had It All"||Dolly Parton||
|"You're Gonna Love Yourself in The Morning"||Roy Clark||
|"Breakfast in Bed"||Dusty Springfield b side of Son Of A Preacher Man||
|"Breakfast in Bed"||UB40 featuring Chrissie Hynde||