Doodle Owens

Induction Year: 1999

Birth Name: Arthur Leo Owens

Birth Date: 11-28-1930

Place of Birth: Waco, Texas

Death Date: 10-04-1999

Place of Death: Nashville, Tennessee

Born and raised in Waco, Texas, A. L. "Doodle" Owens wrote sturdy, tradition-drenched country classics, working with friends Dallas Frazier and Dennis Knutson to craft hits for Charley Pride, George Jones, Connie Smith, Jerry Lee Lewis and others.

As an infant, Owens crawled backwards in a way that reminded his uncle of a doodlebug. He remained "Doodle" throughout his life. Inspired as a child by movies about Frederic Chopin and George Gershwin, Owens decided to learn to compose music. In his teen years, he frequented Texas radio stations, seeking information and entry into the music business. In his twenties, he began recording music and appearing on television. In 1965, at country superstar Ray Price's suggestion, he moved to Nashville. In Nashville, Owens and Dallas Frazier began a prolific writing partnership, penning songs of hard-won wisdom.

"He was just full of words, full of poetry and full of life, and he couldn't help but describe it," Frazier told the Houston Chronicle.

One of the duo's earliest compositions, "Johnny One Time," was recorded by Willie Nelson and then Brenda Lee. Another, "True Love Travels on a Gravel Road," was never a chart hit but it was recorded by numerous artists, including Elvis Presley and Percy Sledge. In 1969, Charley Pride took Owens and Frazier's "All I Have to Offer You (Is Me)" to the top of the country chart. The song was Owens' first #1 and Pride's first chart-topper as an artist. Its ascent marked the first time an African-American entertainer had been atop the Billboard country chart in 25 years of existence. Frazier and Owens also wrote other Pride hits, including "(I'm So) Afraid of Losing You Again," "I Can't Believe That You've Stopped Loving Me" and "Then Who Am I."

Later, Owens teamed with Whitey Shafer and wrote Moe Bandy's first three charting singles, and he and Dennis Knutson wrote Top 10 hits for George Jones in the 1980s, including "Wine Colored Roses," "Somebody Wants Me out of the Way" and "The Right Left Hand." Doug Stone scored his second Top 10 hit in 1990 with "Fourteen Minutes Old," a song penned by Owens and Knutson.

Heart and kidney problems slowed Owens' productivity for a time in the 1990s, but he defied doctors' dire predictions and continued writing. He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1999, the year he passed away.

"(I’m So) Afraid of Losing You Again"

(written with Dallas Frazier)

Charley Pride1969 #1 country, #74 pop
Dallas Frazier1970 
Connie Smith1970 
Dottie West1970 
Ernest Tubb1970 
Bobby Bare & Skeeter Davis1970 
The Wilburn Brothers1970 
David Houston1970 
Roy Drusky1970 
Hank Williams Jr.1971 
Norma Jean1971 
Mickey Gilley1978 
Tammy Wynette1989 
Ashley Evans1990 #76 country
J. D. Crowe & the New South1999 

"All I Have to Offer You (Is Me)"

(written with Dallas Frazier)

Charley Pride1969 #1 country, #91 pop
Red Sovine1969 
Jack Greene1969 
George Jones1970 
Dallas Frazier1970 
Don Gibson1970 
Jimmy Dean1970 
Billy Walker1970 
The Statler Brothers1970 
Conway Twitty1971 
Bill Anderson1971 
Commander Cody1973 
McBride & the Ride1992 
Ted Hawkins1995 
Barry & Holly Tashian1997 
Ricky Van Shelton2000 

"Because You Believed in Me"

(written with Shorty Hall, Gene Vowell)

Gene Watson1976 #20 country

"Fourteen Minutes Old"

(written with Dennis Knutson)

Doug Stone1990 #6 country

"I Can’t Believe That You’ve Stopped Loving Me"

(written with Dallas Frazier)

Charley Pride1970 #1 country, #71 pop
Conway Twitty1970 
Connie Smith1971 
Norma Jean1971 

"I Just Started Hatin’ Cheatin’ Songs Today"

(written with Whitey Shafer)

Moe Bandy1974 #17 country

"It Was Always So Easy (To Find an Unhappy Woman)"

(written with Whitey Shafer)

Moe Bandy1974 #7 country

"Johnny One Time"

(written with Dallas Frazier)

Willie Nelson1968 #36 country
Brenda Lee1969 #3 adult contemporary, #41 pop, #50
Loretta Lynn1969 
Johnny Duncan1969 
Jody Miller1973 
Jesseca James1976 #87 country

"Just for What I Am"

(written with Dallas Frazier)

Connie Smith1972 #5 country
Glen Campbell1972 
Kitty Wells1972 
Johnny Duncan1972 

"She Just Loved the Cheatin’ Out of Me"

(written with Whitey Shafer)

Moe Bandy1977 #11 country

"She Wakes Me with a Kiss Every Morning (And She Loves Me to Sleep Every Night)"

(written with Dallas Frazier)

Nat Stuckey1970 #11 country

"Somebody Wants Me Out of the Way"

(written with Dennis Knutson)

George Jones1986 #9 country

"The Right Left Hand"

(written with Dennis Knutson)

George Jones1987 #8 country

"Then Who Am I"

(written with Dallas Frazier)

Charley Pride1974 #1 country

"Touching Home"

(written with Dallas Frazier)

Jerry Lee Lewis1971 #3 country
Ernest Tubb1971 
Dallas Frazier1971 
Johnny Russell1972 

"True Love Travels on a Gravel Road"

(written with Dallas Frazier)

Elvis Presley1969 
Duane Dee1969 #58 country
Percy Sledge1969 
The Afghan Whigs1992 
Nick Lowe1994 
The Highwaymen1995 
Ronnie McDowell2002 
Wylie & the Wild West2007 

"What Are Those Things (With Big Black Wings)"

(written with Dallas Frazier)

Charlie Louvin1969 #19 country

"When He Walks on You (Like You Have Walked on Me)"

(written with Dallas Frazier)

Jerry Lee Lewis1971 #11 country

"Wine Colored Roses"

(written with Dennis Knutson)

George Jones1986 #10 country

"You Still Get to Me in My Dreams"

(written with Bill Shore)

Tammy Wynette1982 #16 country

Doodle Owens

Induction Year: 1999