BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) – Prolific songwriter Baker Knight, whose hits were recorded by stars ranging from Elvis Presley to Ricky Nelson, Paul McCartney, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, has died at age 72.

From the 1950s to the 1970s, Knight wrote almost 1,000 songs. More than 40 singers recorded his tunes, which include the 1970 Presley hit “The Wonder of You” and Martin’s “Somewhere There’s a Someone” and “That Old Time Feelin’.” Nelson and McCartney sang the same Knight hit, “Lonesome Town,” decades apart.

Perry Como, Jerry Lee Lewis, Sammy Davis Jr. and Mickey Gilley also recorded some of Knight’s songs.

Born Thomas Baker Knight Jr., he died Wednesday of natural causes at his home in Birmingham, according to his daughter, Tuesday Knight.

Knight went to Los Angeles in 1958 and met Nelson through a mutual friend. Within six months, Nelson’s version of “Lonesome Town,” a ballad about being lonely in Hollywood, was on Billboard’s Top 10, as was its flip side, “I Got a Feeling,” another Knight tune. In all, Nelson recorded 21 Knight originals.

Knight is survived by his daughter and a son, Thomas Baker Knight.


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