Sonny Throckmorton

Induction Year: 1987

Birth Name: James Fron Throckmorton

Birth Date: 04-02-1941

Place of Birth: Carlsbad, New Mexico

Sonny Throckmorton had a remarkable 150 songs recorded in a nine-month period in the late 1970s, and he was the Nashville Songwriters Association International's Songwriter of the Year for 1978, 1979 and 1980, as well as BMI's Songwriter of the Year for 1980. That run of success came immediately after Throckmorton gave up on Nashville, exited his position as a staff songwriter at Tree Publishing and moved to Texas, thinking that he had failed as a commercial songwriter.

"I was gone from Tree for six months, and it was during that period that I got hot," Throckmorton told interviewer Philip Self. "So [Tree president] Buddy [Killen] called me and said, 'Sonny, you need to get back up here. We can't keep your songs on the shelf. Everybody wants a Throckmorton song.'"

Killen was telling the truth, as Johnny Duncan, Dave & Sugar, Jerry Lee Lewis, Merle Haggard, Moe Bandy, T. G. Sheppard and many others recorded Throckmorton songs and took them up the charts.

Throckmorton originally came to Nashville in 1964, and he scored his first Top 10 song in 1966, when Bobby Lewis took "How Long Has It Been" to #6 on the Billboard country chart. For the next 10 years, he placed songs with little-known artists. More than a dozen performers recorded the Throckmorton song "Knee Deep in Loving You" before Dave & Sugar's version became a major hit in 1977, the same year that Jerry Lee Lewis scored with "Middle Age Crazy" and Merle Haggard hit with "If We're Not Back in Love by Monday." "All of a sudden, I couldn't write them fast enough," he told Self. "It just got crazy there for a while."

Throckmorton's run stretched into the next decade, as he dominated the charts with #1 songs including "The Last Cheater's Waltz" (T. G. Sheppard), "Trying to Love Two Women" (Oak Ridge Boys), "I Feel Like Loving You Again" (Sheppard) and Academy of Country Music's Song of the Year for 1984 "Why Not Me" (the Judds). Even his album cuts were prime money-earners: Kenny Rogers' version of "A Little More Like Me" was featured on the five-million-selling album, The Gambler. Throckmorton was hot enough to write a Top 20 country hit with "I Wish I Was Eighteen Again" for the decidedly non-traditional country artist George Burns. Throckmorton has also recorded for the Starcrest, Mercury and MCA labels. He returned to Texas in the late 1980s and has remained there since then.

"A Little More Like Me"

Kenny Rogers1978 

"Fadin' In, Fadin' Out"

(written with Bobby Braddock)

Tommy Overstreet1978 #11 country

"Friday Night Blues"

(written with Rafe Van Hoy)

John Conlee1980 #2 country

"How Long Has It Been"

(written with David Snyder)

Bobby Lewis1966 #6 country

"I Feel Like Loving You Again"

(written with Bobby Braddock)

T. G. Sheppard1980 #1 country

"I Wish I Was Eighteen Again"

Jerry Lee Lewis1979 
George Burns1980 #15 country, #49 pop

"I Wish You Could Have Turned My Head (and Left My Heart Alone)"

Sonny Throckmorton1978 #54 country
Peggy Forman1981 #54 country
The Oak Ridge Boys1982 #2 country

"I'm Knee Deep in Loving You"

Jim Mundy1976 #86 country
Dave & Sugar1977 #2 country

"If We're Not Back in Love by Monday"

(written with Glenn W. Martin)

Merle Haggard1977 #2 country

"It's a Cheating Situation"

(written with Curly Putman)

Moe Bandy1979 #2 country

"Last Cheater's Waltz"

T. G. Sheppard1979 #1 country
Emmylou Harris1981 

"Middle Age Crazy"

Jerry Lee Lewis1977 #4 country

"She Can't Say That Anymore"

John Conlee1980 #2 country

"Smooth Sailin'"

(written with Curly Putman)

T. G. Sheppard1980 #6 country

"Temporarily Yours"

Jeanne Pruett1980 #5 country

"The Cowboy Rides Away"

(written with Casey Kelly)

George Strait1984 #5 country

"The Way I Am"

Merle Haggard1980 #2 country

"Thinkin of a Rendezvous"

(written with Bobby Braddock)

Johnny Duncan1976 #1 country

"Trying to Love Two Women"

The Oak Ridge Boys1980 #1 country

"Why Not Me"

(written with Harlan Howard, Brent Maher)

The Judds1984 #1 country

Sonny Throckmorton

Induction Year: 1987