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Souther performing in 2008
|John David Souther|
November 2, 1945|
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
|Singer, songwriter, musician|
Souther was born in Detroit, Michigan, and raised in Amarillo, Texas. As a musician and songwriter, he was greatly influenced in his formative years by fellow Texan and rock and roll icon Roy Orbison. His first recordings were with local group "The Cinders" who traveled to nearby Norman Petty Studios in Clovis, NM. Their first 45 was released on the tiny RIC label in 1965, then Norman Petty successfully shopped their recordings to Warner Brothers for a 2nd single release as "John David and The Cinders" in 1966. After moving to Los Angeles County, California, in the late 1960s, Souther met musician and songwriter Glenn Frey. The two musicians became roommates and musical collaborators. Souther and Frey formed a folk duo called Longbranch Pennywhistle. Their lone album was released in 1970 on Jimmy Bowen's Amos Records.
After recording an eponymous solo studio album in 1972, Souther next teamed up with Chris Hillman and Richie Furay to form the Souther Hillman Furay Band. The group released two albums, but creative tensions, and lack of record sales led to the band's demise.
Souther is probably best known for his songwriting abilities, especially in the field of country rock. He co-wrote some of the biggest hits for the Eagles, including "Best of My Love", "Victim of Love", "Heartache Tonight", and "New Kid in Town". "How Long", which appears on the Eagles' Long Road Out of Eden, was written by Souther and originally recorded on his first solo album in 1972.
Souther briefly dated Linda Ronstadt, co-produced her Don't Cry Now album, and wrote songs for several of her multi-platinum albums, including "Faithless Love" from Heart Like a Wheel and "White Rhythm and Blues" on Living in the USA. Souther also recorded several duets with Ronstadt, including "Hasten Down the Wind," "Prisoner in Disguise," "Sometimes You Can't Win", and "Hearts Against the Wind" which was featured in the 1980 film Urban Cowboy.
Souther has also contributed as a singer to works written by other artists, including backing vocals with Don Henley on "The Light Is On" for Christopher Cross on his eponymous debut album; on the songs "False Faces" and "Loose Ends" on the late Dan Fogelberg's 1976 LP Nether Lands; and, with Fogelberg, as the Hot Damn Brothers on Fogelberg's 1975 LP Captured Angel.
He scored his biggest hit with the 1979 song "You're Only Lonely", from the album of the same name, which reached number 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 and held the #1 spot on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart for five consecutive weeks.
In 1987, he contributed, performed, and did the vocal arrangements for the Roy Orbison and Friends: A Black and White Night concert and video, sang the Platters' "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" in Steven Spielberg's 1989 film Always, and wrote the theme song to the 1989-1992 sitcom Anything But Love.
He wrote the song "Wishing on Another Lucky Star", featured on the soundtrack of the movie Permanent Record.
On October 14, 2008, Souther released If the World Was You, his first new release in 25 years. In the fall of 2009, he released a follow up live album entitled Rain - Live at the Belcourt Theatre, featuring a blend of old and new material.
The Eagles recording, "Heartache Tonight" was released in 1979 and hit Number One on the charts. It was written by Souther, Bob Seger, Glenn Frey and Don Henley.
The Don Henley hit song "The Heart of The Matter" was released in 1989. It was co-written by Souther.
On May 31, 2011, Souther released Natural History, featuring new versions of his songs recorded by other artists.
On October 9, 2012, he released Midnight in Tokyo, an EP that was recorded live.
Souther played the character of John Dunaway in the (1989–1990) third season of the television drama Thirtysomething and Ted in the film Postcards from the Edge (1990). He appeared in the audiobook of Jimmy Buffett's A Salty Piece of Land. Souther played Jesse James in the television movie Purgatory in 1999 and Jeffrey Pommeroy in My Girl 2. Souther also appeared in the 2012 mystery thriller Deadline. He had a recurring role in the first season of country music drama series Nashville, which premiered in October 2012 and he reprised his role in a 2017 episode of the fifth season.
Souther married Alexandra Sliwin in March 1969, but divorced in 1972. He dated Linda Ronstadt and Stevie Nicks in the 1970s. Judee Sill's song "Jesus Was a Crossmaker" was written for Souther, who she says broke her heart after a short affair. In December 2002, Souther moved from the Hollywood Hills, California, to Nashville, Tennessee. In 2004, he married Sarah Nicholson from Bansha, Ireland but they divorced in 2010.
|1972||John David Souther||206||--||Asylum|
|1979||You're Only Lonely||41||68||Columbia|
|1984||Home by Dawn||203||--||Warner Bros.|
|2008||If the World Was You||--||--||Slow Curve|
|2011||Natural History||--||--||Entertainment One Music|
|2012||Midnight in Tokyo||--||--||Entertainment One Music|
|"--" denotes releases that did not chart|
|Year||Single||Peak chart positions||Album|
|US Country||CAN AC||CAN||CAN Country|
|1979||"You're Only Lonely"||1||7||60||2||18||12||You're Only Lonely|
|1980||"White Rhythm and Blues"||46||105||--||--||--||--|
|1981||"Her Town Too"
(with James Taylor)
|1984||"Go Ahead and Rain"||--||104||--||--||--||--||Home by Dawn|
|"--" denotes releases that did not chart|