Ray Pennington, best known as a songwriter for Waylon Jennings, died Wednesday in a house fire, WRKN in Nashville is reporting. He was 86.
Reporter Josh Breslow tweeted as the news was breaking on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
“#BREAKING: Country music songwriter, Ray Pennington has been killed in a house fire on New Hope Road, north of Hendersonville, according to the chief of Shackle Island Volunteer Fire Department. The chief adds the fire appears to be accidental. @WKRN,” he posted.
WRKN reported that firefighters Sumner County, Tenn., confirmed the death.
WTVF reported that investigators believe the fire began in the garage after a golf cart caught fire and spread quickly. However, Fire Chief Marty Bowers of the Shackle Island Volunteer said it was one of the largest fires he’d ever seen, news stations reported.
His wife was also in the house, but she was able to make it out safety, WSMV said. Officials did not release her name.
Ray Pennington: singer-songwriter, record-label owner
Ray Pennington was best known for working with Waylon Jennings. He wrote the Jennings, Montgomery Gentry song “I’m a Ramblin’ Man.” Moreover, SecondhandSongs.com, a website that tracks who wrote and produced pieces of music, said Pennington wrote 24 original songs, 57 covers, and 14 albums.
Pennington, occasionally performing under the name Ray Starr, preferred western swing music, according to his bio on Oldies.com. Several record labels signed him during his career. But he founded Step One Records in 1984 with Mel Holt. Though, the easy-listening country music label ended in 2001.
Some fans offered their condolences for Pennington on Twitter.