Curly Putman

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Curly Putman
Birth nameClaude Putman Jr.
Born(1930-11-20)November 20, 1930
Princeton, Alabama, U.S.
DiedOctober 30, 2016(2016-10-30) (aged 85)
Lebanon, Tennessee, U.S.
GenresCountry music

Claude Putman Jr. (November 20, 1930 – October 30, 2016) professionally known as Curly Putman was an American songwriter.

Born in Princeton, Alabama, his greatest success was "Green, Green Grass of Home" (1964, sung by Porter Wagoner), which was covered by Roger Miller, Elvis Presley, Kenny Rogers, Don Williams, Johnny Paycheck, Burl Ives, Johnny Darrell, Gram Parsons, Joan Baez, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Grateful Dead, Johnny Cash, Roberto Leal, Dean Martin, George Jones, Merle Haggard, Bobby Bare, Joe Tex, Nana Mouskouri, Charley Pride and Tom Jones.


Putman was the son of a sawmill worker. He joined the Navy and spent four years on the aircraft carrier USS Valley Forge.[1]

He married Bernice Soon in 1956.[2] Putman worked several jobs in different places in the late 1950s and early 60s, inspiring his later hit My Elusive Dreams. He penned his first big hit, Green, Green Grass of Home, when working in Nashville plugging songs for Tree Records.[citation needed] [3]


Putman died of congestive heart failure and kidney failure at his home in Lebanon, Tennessee at age 85.[4]


Alabama State Route 65 through the Paint Rock Valley in North Alabama is named in his honor,[5] as well as the community park in Princeton.[6]


The Paul McCartney & Wings hit "Junior's Farm" was inspired by their short stay at Putman's farm in rural Wilson County, Tennessee in 1974.[7]

Putman's name tends to be misspelled as "Putnam" in composer credits on commercially released LP and CD packages.


  • Inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1976.[8]
  • Inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in 1993.[9]
  • Won - 1980 - CMA Song of the Year - He Stopped Loving Her Today (Bobby Braddock, Curly Putman).[10]
  • Won - 1980 ACM - Song of the Year - He Stopped Loving Her Today (Bobby Braddock, Curly Putman).[11]
  • Won - 1981 CMA - Song of the Year - He Stopped Loving Her Today (Bobby Braddock, Curly Putman).[12]
  • Nominated - 1967 CMA - Song of the Year - My Elusive Dreams (Billy Sherrill, Curly Putman).[13]
  • Nominated - 1968 CMA - Song of the Year - D-I-V-O-R-C-E (Bobby Braddock, Curly Putman).[14]
  • Nominated - 1968 Grammy Awards - Best Country Song - D-I-V-O-R-C-E (Bobby Braddock, Curly Putman).[15]
  • Nominated - 1980 Grammy Awards - Best Country Song - He Stopped Loving Her Today (Bobby Braddock, Curly Putman).[16]

Selected list of Curly Putman recorded songs[edit]



  • 1967: Lonesome Country of Curly Putman (ABC)
  • 1969: World of Country Music (ABC)
  • 2010: Write 'em Sad - Sing 'em Lonesome (Curly Putman / Engelhardt Music Group)


Year Single Chart Positions
US Country US Bubbling
1960 "The Prison Song" 23
1967 "My Elusive Dreams" 41 34
"Set Me Free" 67


  1. ^ Dauphin, Chuck (October 30, 2016). "Curly Putman, Prolific Country Songwriter, Dies at 85". Billboard. ISSN 0006-2510.
  2. ^ Betts, Stephen L. (October 30, 2016). "George Jones, Tammy Wynette Songwriter Curly Putman Dead at 85". Rolling Stone. ISSN 0035-791X.
  3. ^ Curly Putman | Biography & History | AllMusic
  4. ^ Grimes, William (October 31, 2016). "Curly Putman, Writer of 'The Green, Green Grass of Home', Dies at 85". The New York Times. p. B15.
  5. ^ "Jackson County road named for songwriter Curley Putman". 2008-02-22. Retrieved November 3, 2017.
  6. ^ "Famed Wilson County songwriter Curly Putman dies". Lebanon Democrat. Archived from the original on November 7, 2017. Retrieved November 3, 2017.
  7. ^ "Poets and Prophets: Salute to Legendary Country Songwriter Curly Putman". Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. March 28, 2009.
  8. ^ "Inductees: Curly Putman". Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. Retrieved October 30, 2016.
  9. ^ "Curly Putman Inductee". Alabama Music Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on October 31, 2016. Retrieved October 30, 2016.
  10. ^ {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ "Academy of Country Music | Search Winners".
  12. ^ {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)[permanent dead link]
  15. ^ "Curly Putman". 23 November 2020.
  16. ^ "Curly Putman". 23 November 2020.

External links[edit]