Ben Peters

Induction Year: 1980

Birth Name: Benjamin James Peters Jr.

Birth Date: 06-20-1933

Place of Birth: Greenville, Mississippi

Death Date: 05-25-2005

Place of Death: Nashville, Tennessee

Mississippi native Ben Peters wrote enduring hits, including three of the most-performed country music songs of the 1970s: "Before the Next Teardrop Falls," "Daytime Friends" and the Grammy-winning "Kiss an Angel Good Morning."

Born in Greenville and raised in Hollandale, Peters picked cotton as a child, singing gospel songs with tenant farmers to pass the time. In high school, he played saxophone with a local swing band, and he continued playing music throughout his college years at the University of Southern Mississippi. After college, he served in the U.S. Navy while continuing to write, and he came to Nashville in 1966, just after Dolly Parton recorded one of his songs. In Nashville, he became general manager of Shelby Singleton's Fingerlake Music, and he shopped his songs around town. His first hit came when Roy Drusky's version of "If the World Stopped Lovin'" made it into the country Top 20 in 1966. A year later, Eddy Arnold took Peters' "Turn the World Around" to #1 on the country charts and into the adult contemporary Top 5.

In 1971, Charley Pride's version of Peters' "Kiss an Angel Good Morning" went to the top of the country charts, earning Peters a Best Country Song Grammy and cementing a successful writer-artist partnership that would find Pride recording several other Peters songs, including "It's Gonna Take a Little Bit Longer" (#1 country, 1972), "More to Me" (#1, 1977), "Burgers and Fries" (#2, 1978) and "You're So Good When You're Bad" (#1, 1982).

In 1975, Freddy Fender recorded "Before the Next Teardrop Falls," a song first recorded in 1968 that was cut by a handful of artists including Pride, Dottie West and Jerry Lee Lewis prior to Fender. Delivered in both English and Spanish, Fender's version became a crossover smash, a #1 pop and country hit, a CMA Song of the Year and the vehicle that Fender needed to reach country stardom.

Peters wrote another crossover hit for Kenny Rogers. Inspired by a weatherman who had mentioned daytime highs and nighttime lows, Peters crafted a hook line about "Daytime friends and nighttime lovers," and Rogers' version of "Daytime Friends" topped the country charts and made it into the pop Top 40.

Peters' songs were also recorded by Waylon Jennings, Kitty Wells, George Jones, Dean Martin and many others. He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1980.
 

"A Whole Lotta Things to Sing About"

Charley Pride1976 #2 country
 

"All Over Me"

Charlie Rich1975 #4 country
 

"Before My Time"

John Conlee1979 #2 country

"Before the Next Teardrop Falls"

(written with Vivian Keith)

CMA Song of the Year

Duane Dee1968 #44 country
Charley Pride1968 
Dottie West1968 
Jerry Lee Lewis1968 
Linda Martell1969 #33 country
Freddy Fender1975 #1 pop, #1 country, #19 adult contemporary
Dolly Parton1996 
Jon Secada2010 
 

"Burgers and Fries"

Charley Pride1978 #2 country

"Daytime Friends"

Kenny Rogers1977 #1 country, #28 pop
 

"Don't Give Up on Me"

Jerry Wallace1973 #3 country
 

"I Can't Believe That It's All Over"

Skeeter Davis1973 #12 country
 

"If You Want Me"

Billie Joe Spears1977 #8 country
 

"If the Whole World Stopped Lovin'"

Roy Drusky1966 #12 country
Eddy Arnold1973 #56 country

"It's Gonna Take a Little Bit Longer"

Charley Pride1972 #1 country

"Kiss an Angel Good Morning"

Grammy for Best Country Song

Charley Pride1971 #1 country, #21 pop, #7 adult contemporary
George Jones1972 
Tom Jones1972 
 

"Livin' It Down"

Freddy Fender1976 #2 country
 

"Lost My Baby Blues"

David Frizzell1982 #5 country
 

"Love Put a Song in My Heart"

Johnny Rodriguez1975 #1 country
 

"More to Me"

Charley Pride1977 #1 country
 

"Puttin' in Overtime at Home"

Del Reeves1975 #74 country
Kenny Rogers1977 
Charlie Rich1978 #8 country
 

"Turn the World Around"

Eddy Arnold1967 #1 country, #3 adult contemporary, #66 pop

"You're So Good When You're Bad"

Charley Pride1982 #1 country

Ben Peters

Induction Year: 1980