b. 26 May 1951, Washington, DC, USA. Raised in Virginia, in 1974, immediately following his graduation, the songwriter Richard Leigh went to Nashville. Within a year he had written Crystal Gayle’s first country number 1, ‘I’ll Get Over You’, and shortly after that he also wrote her third, ‘Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue’. He had initially believed that ‘Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue’ would suit Shirley Bassey, but Gayle took the song, for which Leigh won a Grammy, and made it a worldwide hit (it reached number 5 in the UK). Leigh also co-wrote the following country number 1 singles: ‘That’s The Thing About Love’ by Don Williams (co-written with Gary Nicholson), ‘Put Your Dreams Away’ by Mickey Gilley (co-written with Wayland Holyfield) and ‘Life’s Highway’ by Steve Wariner (co-written with Roger Murrah). Other songs he has written include ‘The Greatest Man I Never Knew’ (Reba McEntire), ‘I Wouldn’t Have It Any Other Way’ (Aaron Tippin), ‘It’s All I Can Do’ (Anne Murray) and ‘It Ain’t Gonna Worry My Mind’ (Ray Charles and Mickey Gilley). He has said of his songwriting talent: ‘I work from my own experiences because that makes it possible to put details in and make it believable. Without details, people are tipped off that it’s just fiction.’ Leigh was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1994.
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