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Jim Weatherly

🇺🇸 Pontotoc, MS
  • Born
    March 17, 1943
  • Died
    February 3, 2021
James Dexter Weatherly was an American singer-songwriter who wrote mostly pop and country music. He played quarterback at the University of Mississippi while also writing music with his own bands. He subsequently chose songwriting over a football career. His notable songs include "The Need to Be" and "Midnight Train to Georgia".

Weatherly wrote songs for almost 50 years. His best-known song is "Midnight Train to Georgia", recorded by Gladys Knight & the Pips. It peaked at number 1 on the pop and R&B charts, and went on to win a Grammy Award. The song was subsequently inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999, and was chosen by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Recording Industry Association of America as No. 29 of the 365 Songs of the Century. Ray Price has recorded 38 of Weatherly's songs. Both Gladys Knight & the Pips (in 1972) and Bob Luman (in 1973) had top five records with "Neither One of Us". Other artists who have recorded Weatherly's songs include: Glen Campbell, Kenny Rogers, Asha Puthli, Neil Diamond, Kenny Chesney and Garth Brooks.

Gladys Knight and the Pips have recorded twelve other Weatherly compositions, such as "Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye)" and "Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me". That version of "Neither One of Us" became his first number one pop record in Cashbox and Record World magazine charts, and became a number one R&B record. It was followed by "Where Peaceful Waters Flow"," Midnight Train to Georgia" and "Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me", which were all pop and R&B hits. Weatherly's catalog includes songs that have been performed by Ray Price, Lynn Anderson, Brenda Lee, Bob Luman, and Batdorf & Rodney.

Weatherly made his recording debut with "Jim Weatherly & The Vegas" on 20th Century Fox Records in 1965. He then formed The Gordian Knot with one LP released by Verve Records and later reissued on CD by Rev-Ola Records. He was offered a solo recording contract with Buddah Records after the success of "Georgia", and he released a number of albums in the 1970s. As an artist, Weatherly had a pop and adult contemporary hit with "The Need to Be" and a country hit with "I'll Still Love You".

Weatherly's songs have been used in movies and TV shows such as Broadcast News, Modern Family, Chicago Hope, Ally McBeal, and others.

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