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Biography

  • Born

    20 November 1930

  • Born In

    Jackson County, Alabama, United States

  • Died

    30 October 2016 (aged 85)

Claude "Curly" Putman, Jr. (November 20, 1930 – October 30, 2016) was an American songwriter, based in Nashville. Born in Princeton, Jackson County, Alabama, his biggest success was "Green, Green Grass of Home" (1964, sung by Porter Wagoner), which was covered by Roger Miller, Elvis Presley, Kenny Rogers, Don Williams, Burl Ives, Johnny Darrell, Gram Parsons, Joan Baez, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Grateful Dead, Johnny Cash, Roberto Leal, Dean Martin, Merle Haggard, Bobby Bare, Joe Tex, Nana Mouskouri, and Tom Jones. The Paul McCartney & Wings hit "Junior's Farm" was inspired by their short stay at Putman's farm in rural Wilson County, Tennessee in 1974.

Putman was the son of a sawmill worker, and was raised on Putman Mountain in Alabama. He joined the Navy and spent four years on the aircraft carrier USS Valley Forge. He married Bernice Soon in 1956. Putnam worked several jobs in different places in the late 1950s and early 60s, inspiring his later hit "My Elusive Dreams". He penned his first big hit, "Green, Green Grass of Home," when working in Nashville plugging songs for Tree Records.

Alabama Highway 65 through the Paint Rock Valley in North Alabama is named in his honor, as well as the community park in Princeton.

Putman was ill for some time and he died in the early morning hours of October 30, 2016.

Awards

Inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1976.
Elected to the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in 1993.

Selected list of Putman hit songs

"Green, Green Grass of Home" (Putman)
"My Elusive Dreams" (Putman/Billy Sherrill)
"Dumb Blonde" (Putman)
"D-I-V-O-R-C-E" (Putman/Bobby Braddock)
"He Stopped Loving Her Today" (Putman/Bobby Braddock)
"Let's Keep It That Way" (Putman/Rafe Vanhoy)
"I Wish That I Could Hurt That Way Again" (Putman/Rafe Vanhoy/Don Cook)
"Blood Red and Going Down" (Putman)
"Do You Wanna Go To Heaven" (Putman/Bucky Jones)
"Smooth Sailing" (Putman/Sonny Throckmorton)
"Set Me Free" (Putman/Marvin Walters)
"It's a Cheating Situation" (Putman/Sonny Throckmorton)
"It Don't Feel Like Sinnin' To Me" (Putman/Mike Kosser)
"Couldn't Love Have Picked A Better Place To Die" (Curly Putman/Bucky Jones)

Discography
Albums

1967: Lonesome Country of Curly Putman (ABC)
1969: World of Country Music (ABC)

Singles
Year Single Chart Positions
US Country US Bubbling
1960 "The Prison Song" 23 —
1967 "My Elusive Dreams" 41 34
"Set Me Free" 67 —

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