Kentucky native and distinguished member of Music Row, Norro Wilson, passes away

Norro Wilson at the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Photo by Jessica Blankenship.
Legendary songwriter, producer, and singer, Norro Wilson, passed away Thursday at the age of 79. Photo by Jessica Bray, Kentucky Country Music.

Kentucky native, Norro Wilson, made a major impact on Music Row and in the Nashville community.  Sadly, he passed away at the age of 79 years old on Thursday, June 8, 2017.  His accomplishments and versatile abilities led him to be a distinguished member of the music community.

Coming from Scottsville, Kentucky, Norris “Norro” Wilson, would attend Wester Kentucky State College (now Western Kentucky University).  He earned a vocal scholarship and later moved just outside of Nashville when he joined the Southlanders gospel quartet.  In the late 1950s, he sang harmony for Ferlin Husky and Faron Young From songwriting to song plugging, he always had a pulse on the sound created in Music City.

Some of the songwriting co-writes of Norro Wilson include hit songs for George Jones, Tammy Wynette, Tanya Tucker, Charlie Rich, Lorrie Morgan, and many more.  Some of those hits include the following:

Delta Dawn
Baby, Baby (I Know You’re a Lady)
A Very Special Love Song
The Grand Tour
The Most Beautiful Girl
A Picture of Me (Without You)
The Door
The Battle
He Loves Me All the Way
Another Lonely Song

For a few years near 1970, Norro Wilson pursued a solo recording artist career.  He was chosen for the Country Radio Seminar’s inaugural “New Faces of Country Music.” In 1970, his recording of “Do It to Someone You Love” peaked at No. 20.  It was written by fellow Kentuckian, Tom T. Hall.  Wilson won a best country song Grammy for “A Very Special Love Song,” and in three consecutive years he won BMI’s Country Songwriter of the Year award.
Norro Wilson co-produced many albums along the way with Buddy Cannon, paving the path for relatively newcomers into the universe of stardom and fame.  Among those include Shania Twain’s debut album, Keith Whitley, John Anderson, John Michael Montgomery, Kenny Chesney, Chely Wright, Charley Pride, Sammy Kershaw, George Jones, Tammy Wynette, Sara Evans, Reba McEntire, and many more.
In 1984, while working at RCA Records, he signed fellow Kentucky native, Keith Whitley, and produced his ep “A Hard Act to Follow.”
In 1996, Norro Wilson was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.  Wilson has won 39 awards from BMI, including five One Million Performance awards.  He also became a member of Western Kentucky University’s Hall of Distinguished Alumni.  In 2008, he was inducted into the prestigious Kentucky Music Hall of Fame.  Inside their museum, there is a large exhibit featuring the works of Norro Wilson inside.

Jessica Blankenship

Jessica Blankenship is the owner and founder of Kentucky Country Music website. The Berea College graduate has been a music journalist and historian for over 20 years. She enjoys providing concert photography, reviews, historical articles, red carpet event coverage, and exclusive interviews of your favorite musicians.  Jessica is proud to be a Kentucky Colonel and alumni of the FFA and 4-H Clubs. In 2018, she was named one of Laurel County's Ten Under 40 Award Recipients.  In 2019, she was a member of the Inaugural class of BRIGHT Kentucky as part of Leadership Kentucky.  She has been featured on the Kentucky Music Preview podcast, Hollercast podcast, Overtones radio show, WFKY Nashville News Roundup, KET, and more.  Beyond music, she enjoys traveling, helping her community, collecting gnomes, and Volkswagens.

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