Fred Rose (songwriter)

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Fred Rose
Birth nameKnowles Fred Rose
Born(1898-08-24)August 24, 1898
Evansville, Indiana, U.S.
DiedDecember 1, 1954(1954-12-01) (aged 56)
Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
GenresCountry, pop
Occupation(s)Musician, producer, songwriter, music publisher

Knowles Fred Rose (August 24, 1898[1][2] – December 1, 1954)[3] was an American musician, Hall of Fame songwriter, and music publishing executive.


Born in Evansville, Indiana, United States,[3] Rose started playing piano and singing as a small boy. In his teens, he moved to Chicago, Illinois where he worked in bars busking for tips, and finally vaudeville. Eventually, he became successful as a songwriter, penning his first hit for entertainer Sophie Tucker.

For a short time Rose lived in Nashville, Tennessee, but his radio show there did not last long and he headed to New York City's Tin Pan Alley in hopes of making a living as a songwriter. It was there that he began writing songs with Ray Whitley, an RKO B-Western film star and author of "Back in the Saddle Again", and this collaboration introduced Rose to the possibilities of country music. He lived for a time with Ray and Kay Whitley in an apartment in Hollywood, co-writing many tunes for Ray's movies.

In 1942, he returned to Nashville, teaming up with Grand Ole Opry star Roy Acuff, to create the first Nashville-based music publishing company.[3] Their Acuff-Rose Music was almost immediately successful, particularly with the enormous hits of client Hank Williams.[3] Acuff-Rose Music remained a foundation of the country music business even after Rose's death; his son, Wesley Rose, took over the presidency and continued with Roy Acuff until 1985, when the company's catalog was sold to Gaylord Entertainment Company, parent company of the Grand Ole Opry.

Rose served as Hank Williams' record producer throughout his career, 1947-1953.[3]

While running the business, Rose continued to write numerous country songs and eventually became one of the industry's most important personalities. He also wrote songs under the name Floyd Jenkins.[4]

Rose died in Nashville from a heart attack in 1954 and was interred there in the Mount Olivet Cemetery.[5]

Along with Hank Williams and the "Father of Country Music", Jimmie Rodgers, Rose was one of the first three inductees of the Country Music Hall of Fame when it opened in 1961. He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970 and into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1985. In 1986, son Wesley would join his father in the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Selected list of Fred Rose songs[edit]


  1. ^ "Fred Rose | American singer and songwriter". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 8 October 2021.
  2. ^ John Rumble. "Fred Rose - Biography at The Country Music Hall of Fame". Archived from the original on 25 August 2013. Retrieved 31 August 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d e Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 2144. ISBN 0-85112-939-0.
  4. ^ Atkins, Chet and Neely, Bill. (1974). "Country Gentleman". Chicago. Harry Regnery Company. ISBN 0-8092-9051-0.
  5. ^ "National Register of Historic Places Registration Form: Mount Olivet Cemetery". National Park Service. United States Department of the Interior. Retrieved September 7, 2017.

Works cited

  • AllMusic
  • Rumble, John. (1998). "Fred Rose." In The Encyclopedia of Country Music. Paul Kingsbury, Editor. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 459.

External links[edit]