Wrote “I Can’t Stop Loving You”
Country music Hall of Fame member and songwriter Don Gibson, who penned such hits as “I Can’t Stop Loving You” and “Oh, Lonesome Me,” died at age 75 on Monday, November 17, 2003. Gibson’s death Monday was due to “natural causes,” spokeswoman Jennifer Jackson of Nashville’s Baptist Hospital said. Gibson wrote such monster hits as “Sweet Dreams,” a Patsy Cline hit; “Oh, Lonesome Me,” credited with kicking off the so-called Nashville sound; and “I Can’t Stop Loving You.” The Nashville sound is known as a spare sound with piano, drums and guitar, and without fiddle or steel guitar. Gibson’s songs sold tens of millions of copies in recordings by Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald and Ray Charles as well as country music balladeer Eddy Arnold and others. Legend has it that Gibson wrote “Oh, Lonesome Me” and “I Can’t Stop Loving You” in one afternoon in 1957 while living in a trailer park. Gibson largely abandoned his performing career to concentrate on songwriting, earning him membership in the Grand Ole Opry, where he performed occasionally. His career was derailed for a time by drug problems, but he returned to songwriting and produced several duet hits with Dottie West, in addition to her No. 1 solo hit “Woman, Sensuous Woman” in 1972. A year later he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. His election to the Country Music Hall of Fame came in 2001.