Country star Freddie Hart dead

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Los Angeles, Oct 29 (IANS) Country singer Freddie Hart, a World War II veteran who had a run of number one hits in the early 1970s and won a Grammy Award for “Easy Loving”, is dead. He was 91.

He died on October 27 in Burbank, reports variety.com.

Hart’s career encompassed several eras of country music. He started in the early 1950s but didn’t break through until 1971, when he had adopted the slicker “Nashville sound” of “Easy Loving,” which made him a star in his mid-40s.

Hart was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2004, not just for his own hits but for the songs he had recorded by Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Buck Owens, George Jones, Waylon Jennings, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Porter Wagoner, Eddy Arnold, Carl Smith, Charlie Rich, Billy Walker, the Louvin Brothers and dozens of others.

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He remains associated with “Easy Loving”, which was so much Hart’s signature song that his latter-day promotional materials referred to him as “Mr. Easy Lovin'”.

“Easy Loving” was popular enough that it achieved the rare honour of winning the Country Music Association Award for best song two years in a row, in 1971 and 1972.

Those were part of a slew of awards that Hart won or was nominated for during his early 1970s commercial peak, including a total of six CMA nominations over the course of two years and a win at the Grammys for best country male vocal Grammy in 1972.

Hart signed with Capitol Records during his time touring with Frizzell and found little initial success as a recording artist – but had considerably more as a writer in 1954 when Carl Smith heard his single “Loose Talk” and covered it, turning it into a No. 1 hit.

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Hart is survived by his wife of 61 years, Ginger and sons Freddie Jr., Andy, Joe and Victor. Funeral arrangements are pending, according to variety.com.

–IANS

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