This story has been updated.
Musician, songwriter, and member of The Memphis Boys Bobby Emmons passed away on Monday, February 23rd at a Nashville hospital of an undisclosed illness. Known for writing such iconic songs as the #1 hits by Waylon Jennings “Luckenbach, Texas” and “Wurlitzer Prize (I Don’t Want To Get Over You),” Tanya Tucker’s hit “Love Me Like You Used Too,” “So Much Like My Dad” by George Strait, and many more, he was also a well-respected musician in some of American music’s most important studio and touring bands.
Born Bobby Gene Emmons on February 19, 1943 in Corinth, Mississippi to Elmer and Minnie Emmons, Bobby was a self-taught player who became a professional songwriter and musician in 1959. As a member of Bill Black’s Combo, he toured all around the country playing keys until he joined The Memphis Boys—the iconic studio band for the American Sound Studio in Memphis, TN. Considered one of the top two hit factory studios of the time, The Memphis Boys played on more hit records in a six month period than any other group of studio musicians in history according to Billboard, including scoring hits in four different genres: country, jazz, R&B, and pop. They had 122 hits in all, including many with Elvis.
Emmons also lent his talents to other studios, including Fernwood, Hi Studios, Sun Studios, Phillips International, Sounds of Memphis, Stax, Ardent and Elvis Presley’s “The Jungle Room.” Bobby played on the Willie Nelson albums Always on My Mind, City of New Orleans, Take It to the Limit, WWII (with Waylon Jennings), Pancho and Lefty (with Merle Haggard), the first two records for the supergroup The Highwaymen, and played Hammond B3 in The Highwaymen backing band.
Bobby Emmons received three “Millionaire Awards” and six “Citations of Achievement” from BMI over his career, three Grammy nominations, and was inducted into the Musician’s Hall of Fame through his work with The Memphis Boys.
Bobby Emmons had just turned 72-years-old.
RIP Bobby Emmons.