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]


Putman died of congestive heart failure and kidney failure at his home in Lebanon, Tennessee at age 85.[3]


Alabama State Route 65 through the Paint Rock Valley in North Alabama is named in his honor,[4] as well as the community park in Princeton.[5]


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.[6]

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.[7]
  • Inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in 1993.[8]
  • Won - 1980 - CMA Song of the Year - He Stopped Loving Her Today (Bobby Braddock, Curly Putman).[9]
  • Won - 1980 ACM - Song of the Year - He Stopped Loving Her Today (Bobby Braddock, Curly Putman).[10]
  • Won - 1981 CMA - Song of the Year - He Stopped Loving Her Today (Bobby Braddock, Curly Putman).[11]
  • Nominated - 1967 CMA - Song of the Year - My Elusive Dreams (Billy Sherrill, Curly Putman).[12]
  • Nominated - 1968 CMA - Song of the Year - D-I-V-O-R-C-E (Bobby Braddock, Curly Putman).[13]
  • Nominated - 1968 Grammy Awards - Best Country Song - D-I-V-O-R-C-E (Bobby Braddock, Curly Putman).[14]
  • Nominated - 1980 Grammy Awards - Best Country Song - He Stopped Loving Her Today (Bobby Braddock, Curly Putman).[15]

Selected list of Curly Putman recorded songs[edit]

  • "Ballad Of Two Brothers" (Curly Putman, Buddy Killer, Bobby Braddock) // Released by Autry Inman (1968)
  • "Blood Red and Going Down" (Curly Putman)
  • "Change My Mind" (Curly Putman) // Released by Waylon Jennings (1969)
  • "Couldn't Love Have Picked A Better Place To Die" (Curly Putman, Bucky Jones)
  • "D-I-V-O-R-C-E" (Putman, Bobby Braddock) // Released by Conway Twitty (1968), Tammy Wynette (1968), Kitty Wells (1968), Dolly Parton (1969), Dottie West (1969)
  • "Dad Blame Anything A Man Can't Quit" (C.Putman, Roger Miller) // Released by Roger Miller (1966)
  • "Deep Dark Hollow Road" (Curly Putman, Glen Duncan, Adam Engelhardt) // Released by The Del McCoury Band (2018)
  • "Do You Wanna Go to Heaven" (Putman, Bucky Jones)
  • "Dumb Blonde" (Curly Putman) // Released by Dolly Parton (1967), Liz Anderson (1968)
  • "Dying To Live Again" (Curly Putman, Dan Lomax) // Released by Junior Sisk (2017)
  • "Every Step Of The Way" (Curly Putman) // Released by Ferlin Husky (1970)
  • "Green, Green Grass of Home" (Putman) // Released by Del Reeves (1965), Jerry Lee Lewis (1965, 1967), Conway Twitty (1965), Porter Wagoner (1966), Stu Phillips (1966), The Statler Brothers (1966), Ferlin Husky (1966), Roy Drusky (1966), Charley Pride (1966), Ben Colder (1967), Dean Martin (1967), Roger Miller (1967), George Jones (1967), Dallas Frazier (1967), Tom Jones (1967), Johnny Paycheck (1967), Trini Lopez (1968), Frankie Lane (1968), Joe Tex (1968), Henson Cargill (1968), Merle Haggard (1968), Hank Snow (1968), Johnny Cash (1968), Floyd Cramer (1968), Jack Palance (1969), Joan Baez (1969), George Melachrino & His Orchestra (1970)
  • "He Stopped Loving Her Today" (Putman, Bobby Braddock)
  • "I Think I Know" (C.Putman) // Released by Marion Worth (1963)
  • "I Wish That I Could Hurt That Way Again" (Putman, Rafe Van Hoy, Don Cook)
  • "It Don't Feel Like Sinnin' To Me" (Putman, Michael Kosser)
  • "It's a Cheating Situation" (Putman, Sonny Throckmorton)
  • "I'm Not The Boy I Used To Be" (Curly Putman) // Released by Tommy Cash (1966)
  • "Jailbirds Can't Fly" (Curly Putman) // Released by Tommy Cash (1966)
  • "Last Laugh" (Curly Putman, Bobby Braddock) // Released by Jim Ed Brown (1967)
  • "Let's Keep It That Way" (Putman, Rafe Van Hoy)
  • "Let's Wait A Little Longer" (Curly Putman/ Billy Sherrill) // Released by Loretta Lynn & Ernest Tubb (1969), Dottie West & Don Gibson (1969)
  • "Little Boy Soldier" (Curly Putman) // Released by Wanda Jackson (1968)
  • "My Arms Stay Open Late" (Curly Putman, Dan Lomax) // Released by Billie Jo Spears (1969)
  • "My Elusive Dreams" (Curly Putman, Billy Sherrill) // Released by David Houston & Tammy Wynette (1967), Margie Singleton (1967), Jack Greene (1968), Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood (1968), Lloyd Green (1968), Bobbie Gentry (1968), Roger Miller (1968), James Burton & Ralph Mooney (1969), Ernest Ranglin (1969), Bobby Bare (1970), Don Gibson (1970), Bobby Vinton (1970), Bill Anderson (1970), Tex Ritter (1970)
  • "One Dime For The Wine" (Curly Putman) // Released by Porter Wagoner (1967)
  • "Sally Trash" (Curly Putman, Chet Atkins) // Released by Tammy Wynette (1970)
  • "Set Me Free" (Curly Putman, Marvin Walters) // Released by David Houston (1967), Clarence Carter (1968), Ray Price (1968), Charlie Rich (1968), Dottie West & Don Gibson (1969), Brook Benton (1969), Ferlin Husky (1970)
  • "She's Got My Love and Goes Again" (Curly Putman, Red Lane) // Released by Tommy Cash (1966)
  • "Smooth Sailing" (Putman, Sonny Throckmorton)
  • "What I'd Give To Be The Wind" (Curly Putman, Red Lane) // Released by Roger Miller (1968)
  • "Whole Lotta Laying Around" (Curly Putman, Glen Duncan, Adam Engelhardt) // Released by Chris Roberts (2018)
  • "You Can't Have Your Kate And Edith, Too" (Curly Putman, Bobby Braddock) // Released by The Statler Brothers (1966)



  • 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. ^ Grimes, William (October 31, 2016). "Curly Putman, Writer of 'The Green, Green Grass of Home', Dies at 85". The New York Times. p. B15.
  4. ^ "Jackson County road named for songwriter Curley Putman". 2008-02-22. Retrieved November 3, 2017.
  5. ^ "Famed Wilson County songwriter Curly Putman dies". Lebanon Democrat. Retrieved November 3, 2017.
  6. ^ "Poets and Prophets: Salute to Legendary Country Songwriter Curly Putman". Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. March 28, 2009.
  7. ^ "Inductees: Curly Putman". Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. Retrieved October 30, 2016.
  8. ^ "Curly Putman Inductee". Alabama Music Hall of Fame. Retrieved October 30, 2016.
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