b. 22 August 1948, Cuero, Texas, USA, d. 19 July 2006, Corpus Christi, Texas, USA. Neely played guitar from around the age of 10 and five years later, with his family now living in Corpus Christi, Texas, he was playing with local bands and this continued over the next few years. In the late 60s he submitted some of his songs for consideration for films and this led to a recording contract with Capitol Records. During the early 70s he was active in the Hollywood studios for films, including Tilt (1978), and television work, including singing his own composition, ‘The Party’s Over (Farewell To M*A*S*H)’, the song at the end of the final episode of the long-running M*A*S*H. Meanwhile, Neely was still writing songs, among them ‘Long Road To Texas’, ‘Loving You Just Crossed My Mind’, ‘Rosalie’, ‘Blue Time’, ‘You Can Have Her’, ‘You Can Never Go Back’, ‘I Fought The Law’ and ‘Sail Away’, some of which were popular singles. He continued recording through the late 70s, for A&M Records and Elektra Records, before returning to Texas.
Back in Corpus Christi, Neely recorded a little, played concerts, ran a nightclub, Neely’s, and continued writing songs. From the early 80s he was for a while with MCA Records, Nashville. Neely’s later career was blighted by poor health; he was a diabetic and had heart problems. Highly respected by his peers, Neely wrote songs that had broad appeal to recording artists and the public. His son, Jason Neely, has a career in the tradition of his father.