Don Wayne (songwriter)

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Don Wayne
Born (1933-05-30)May 30, 1933
Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Died September 12, 2001(2001-09-12) (aged 68)
United States
Genres Country music
Occupation(s) Songwriter

Donald William Choate (May 30, 1933 – September 12, 2011), who wrote and recorded as Don Wayne, was an American country music songwriter.

Don Choate was born in Nashville, Tennessee,[1] and attended William James High School in White Bluff. He left school early and worked as a tool and diemaker, with aspirations to become a professional musician and songwriter. One of his first successes as a songwriter was "The Lonesome Waltz", co-written with Vic McAlpin and recorded by George Morgan in 1953.[2] In 1958 Wayne recorded "Head Over Heels In Love" for the Swan label, followed the next year by "Poor Little Jimmy" for Look Records, which, though not a hit, was later recorded by both Hank Snow and Burl Ives.[2][3][4]

His biggest successes as a songwriter included "Walk Tall", recorded by Faron Young and a big UK hit for Irish singer Val Doonican in 1964; "Saginaw, Michigan", recorded by Lefty Frizzell; "Belles of Southern Bell", a hit for Del Reeves; "If Teardrops Were Silver", recorded by Jean Shepard; and, his biggest hit, "Country Bumpkin", a #1 hit on the country chart in 1974 for Cal Smith. Smith also had hits with several more Wayne songs including “It's Time to Pay the Fiddler”, “She Talked A Lot About Texas”, and “Woman, Don’t Try To Sing My Song.” Other musicians who recorded his songs included Jim Reeves, Loretta Lynn, Conway Twitty, and Hank Williams, Jr..[4]

Wayne won three BMI Awards and an ASCAP Performance Award, and was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Association International Hall of Fame in 1978.[3][4]

He died in 2011, aged 78, from brain cancer.[3]