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Claude "Curly" Putman (1930 - 2016)

AP Photo / Dave Martin

Claude "Curly" Putman (1930 - 2016)

Songwriter Claude "Curly" Putman, who penned classic country songs including "The Green, Green Grass of Home" and "He Stopped Loving Her Today," died Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016. He was 85.

Born in Alabama in 1930, Putman served in the U.S. Navy for four years before beginning his career writing songs for Nashville's Tree Publishing in the early 1960s. His most famous song, "The Green, Green Grass of Home," was a No. 4 country hit for Porter Wagoner in 1965 and a No. 1 pop hit for Tom Jones the following year. The song has become a perennial classic, covered by artists as varied as Elvis Presley, Kenny Rogers, Gram Parsons, Joan Baez, the Grateful Dead, Johnny Cash, and many others.

With his Tree Publishing colleague Bobby Braddock, Putman wrote "D-I-V-O-R-C-E," a 1968 hit for Tammy Wynette, and "He Stopped Loving Her Today," a 1980 hit for Wynette’s ex-husband George Jones.


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Putman became a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1976.

He is survived by his wife, Bernice Soon, a son, Troy, and three grandchildren.

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