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Nashville Songwriter Dies After Battle With Cancer

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John michael montgomery Songs | Nashville Songwriter Dies After Battle With Cancer | Country Music Videos
Photo credit: Bev Moser/Moments By Moser
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One of Nashville's most prolific and successful songwriters has died of complications from liver cancer. 

Richard Fagan died Friday night, less than 24-hours after entering Hospice care. 

Fagan wrote or co-wrote some of the biggest songs in country music over the course of his 40-year career. One of his biggest hits was John Michael Montgomery's 1995 chart-topping single "Sold (The Grundy County Auction Incident)." Others include Montgomery's "I Miss You A Little" and "Be My Baby Tonight", as well as Clay Walker's "Only On Day's That End In 'Y'" and songs recorded by George Straight, Shania Twain, Moe Bandy, Hank Williams Jr. , George Jones and many more.

Fagan was born on April 24, 1947 in Philadelphia where he sang in an amateur doo-wop group in junior high. After serving a term in the U.S. Army in Vietnam, he returned to Philadelphia to work in the music industry. 

In was there that he was discovered by legendary music publisher Tom Oteri. With Oteri's help, Fagan had his first songwriting success when Neil Diamond recording "The Good Lord Loves You" for his September Morn album.

Fagan relocated to Los Angeles after landing a recording contract with Mercury Records. He spend nearly a decade on the West Coast before moving to Nashville in 1986. It didn't take long for the songwriter to achieve country success. In 1986 he charted his first country single with "Blue Suede Blues", a song co-written with Patti Ryan and Mickey James that went to No. 49 for singer Con Hunley. 

In 2008, while rooming with old friend Tom Oteri, both men were "chemically impaired" and got into a physical altercation. Oteri died of his injuries. 

Fagan was charged with homicide and was ordered to enter an alcohol and drug treatment facility. Tom Oteri’s death was later ruled an accident.

Funeral plans have not been announced. 

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