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Ed Bruce (1939–2021), country music songwriter

by Kirk Fox

Ed Bruce was a country music singer-songwriter who wrote the classic song “Mammas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys.”

  • Died: January 8, 2021 (Who else died on January 8?)
  • Details of death: Died at the age of 81 in Clarksville, Tennessee.
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Country Music Singer-Songwriter

Ed Bruce was a country music singer-songwriter and actor who wrote the classic song “Mammas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys.” He started out as a musician in the 1950s and began to hit the country charts in 1966. His song “Mammas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys,” was a top 20 hit in 1976. Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings (1937–2002) released their version in 1978 and it was a number one smash that won a Grammy. Bruce finally had his own country number one song in 1982 with “You’re the Best Break This Old Heart Ever Had.” He also acted, co-starring with James Garner in the Maverick revival TV series “Bret Maverick,” which ran for one season in 1981.

Bruce on his iconic country song

“It was a top 15 record for me. And actually when I finished writing it, there was a question of whether I was gonna record it or whether I wanted pitch it to Waylon. There was no doubt in my mind it was a No. 1 song. It wound up I had the best of both worlds, really. Because it established me as an artist, and of course later Waylon cut it and drug Willie in off the street and overdubbed him, and gosh, it was No. 1 for two or three more weeks. It was a good song.” – 2012 interview with the Live from Nashville TV show

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Tributes to Ed Bruce

Full Obituary: Variety

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