NASHVILLE, Tenn (Reuters) - Music producer Shelby Singleton, whose biggest hit was “Harper Valley PTA” in a career that spanned country and rhythm and blues, has died of brain cancer, friend Jerry Kennedy said on Thursday.
Singleton, who died in a Nashville hospital on Wednesday at age 77, put out the crossover hit written by Tom T. Hall and sung by Jeannie C. Riley in 1968 on his own small independent record label, Plantation Records, and it sold millions of copies.
He was legendary for probably being the only producer to record three No. 1 songs in one day by three different artists — Ray Stevens, LeRoy Van Dyke and Joe Dowell.
Earlier with Mercury Records “Smash” imprint, he snapped up Roger Miller, Jerry Lee Lewis, Patti Page and James Brown.
He also bought Memphis’ Sun Records, promoting the label’s extensive catalog of recordings by such stars as Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, and Roy Orbison as well as blues legends Howlin’ Wolf and Little Milton.
Reporting by Pat Harris; Editing by Andrew Stern