3 Weeks After Brain Cancer Diagnosis, Singer-Songwriter Ramsey Kearney Dies At 86

3 Weeks After Brain Cancer Diagnosis, Singer-Songwriter Ramsey Kearney Dies At 86 | Classic Country Music | Legendary Stories and Songs Videos

Facebook / David W Gordon, Facebook / Dominique Anglares

Longtime country singer and songwriter Ramsey Kearney has passed away at the age of 86.

Best-known for his collaboration with Mel Tillis on Brenda Lee’s 1961 hit song “Emotions,” Kearney also is known for penning “Nine Little Teardrops” by Sue Thompson, Eddie Arnold’s “Lonely People,” and “Big Flicking Baby” by Moe Bandy.


According to information from Kearney’s son-in-law, Paul Willies, through a statement shared with Dominique Agnlares, Ramsey Kearney passed away in Nashville at a hospice center on March 14th, 2020.


Among his credits for songwriting, Kearney was also known as a singer and his original composition of Brenda Lee’s hit “Emotions” was cut as a demo with his voice.

Willies writes, “The original version of ‘Emotions’ was a solo composition by Ramsey. In 1957 Kearney recorded a demo of the song with which he approached the Nashville music publishers where Mel Tillis was a staff writer. Tillis would recall: ‘I really liked the song and I told him…’You know, I think that I can get the song recorded by Carl Smith’.’ Carl Smith did indeed record the song with the track serving as B-side to his #2 C&W hit ‘Why, Why’.”

Kearney’s career as a singer was filled with more than 20 singles and charting songs like “King of Oak Street” and “One Time Thing” – both late 80s hits. He would go on to record more than 25 albums including an Eddie Arnold tribute and a holiday album.

Music Row reports that due to the global pandemic of COVID-19, services for him will not be public.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time. 

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