Richard Leigh (songwriter)

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Richard Leigh
Leigh performing with Tim Kaine in 2013
Leigh performing with Tim Kaine in 2013
Background information
Born (1951-05-26) May 26, 1951 (age 72)
Washington, D.C., United States
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter

Richard Leigh (born May 26, 1951 in Washington, D.C.) is an American country music songwriter and singer. He is best known for penning "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue" (sung by Crystal Gayle). In 1978, he received a Grammy Award for "Best Country Song" for the popular song. It was nominated in both pop and country categories and reached number one on both charts.

His first number one song was "I'll Get Over You" (1976), also sung by Crystal Gayle. Other prominent singers who have brought his songs number one status over the years include Billy Dean, Mickey Gilley, Reba McEntire, Barbara Mandrell, Steve Wariner, and Don Williams. Kathy Mattea had another number one hit with "Come From the Heart" in 1990. In 1999, the Dixie Chicks recorded Leigh's "Cold Day in July" for their album Fly, reaching Number 10 on the country music charts in 2000.

Leigh was raised in Virginia, and lives in Tennessee. He is a graduate of Virginia Highlands Community College and Virginia Commonwealth University.[1] It was while he was attending VCU that he penned and first sang "I'll Get Over You," while performing at the Crossroads Coffeehouse in Richmond, Virginia's Fan District. He has been nominated for songwriter of the year seven times and in 1994 he was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Foundation Hall of Fame. On April 11, 2011, Leigh was one of only four chosen nationally from the American Community College System to be awarded 2011 AACC Outstanding Alumni Award for excellence in ones chosen field.[2] Since 2013 he has arranged with VHCC to host the Richard Leigh Songwriter's Festival,[3] an annual competition for new songwriting talent. Proceeds from the event go to VHCC's Great Expectations program benefiting foster care students.

List of number one songs[edit]

Number Ones on Billboard's US Country Music Chart unless otherwise noted.

Year Title Co-writer Performer
1976 "I'll Get Over You" None Crystal Gayle
1978 "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue" None Crystal Gayle
1985 "Life's Highway" R. Leigh/ R. Murrah Steve Wariner
1982 "Put Your Dreams Away" R. Leigh/W. Holyfield Mickey Gilley
1990 "Come From the Heart" R. Leigh/S. Clark Kathy Mattea
1991 "Somewhere in My Broken Heart"A R. Leigh/B. Dean Billy Dean
1991 "Only Here for a Little While"A R. Leigh/W. Holyfield Billy Dean
1984 "That's the Thing About Love" R. Leigh/G. Nicholson Don Williams
1992 "The Greatest Man I Never Knew"A R. Leigh/L. Martine, Jr. Reba McEntire

Awards and nominations[edit]

Grammy Awards[edit]

Year Nominee / work Award Result
1978 "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue" Best Country Song Won
Song of the Year Nominated
1993 "The Greatest Man I Never Knew"[A] Best Country Song Nominated

Academy of Country Music Awards[edit]

Year Nominee / work Award Result
1978 "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue" Song of the Year Nominated
1992 "Somewhere in My Broken Heart"[B] Won

Country Music Association Awards[edit]

Year Nominee / work Award Result
1976 "I'll Get Over You" Song of the Year Nominated
1978 "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue" Won

^[A] Nominated alongside co-writer Layng Martine Jr.
^[B] Nominated alongside co-writer Billy Dean


External links[edit]