Bill Rice

Beloved singer-songwriter Bill Rice passed away on October 28, 2023 at the age of 84. Inducted into the Nashville Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in 1994, he penned a long list of hits for Charley Pride, Jerry Lee Lewis, Reba McEntire, Patty Loveless, Conway Twitty, and several others across his four-decades-long career. 

An Arkansas native, Rice first picked up a guitar at 14 and inked his first recording contract by 18. His first taste of success came in 1960 as icon Elvis Presley recorded Rice’s “Girl Next Door Went A’walking.” After making the move to Nashville and finding a songwriting partner in longtime collaborator Jerry Foster, Rice’s prevalence in the Country space was apparent as he charted hit after hit, including Mel Tillis' “Heaven Everyday,” Lewis’ “Think About It Darlin’,” Pride's “Wonder Could I Live There Anymore,” Johnny Paycheck’s “Someone to Give My Love To,” Hank Williams Jr.'s “I’ll Think Of Something,” and more. 

Though he did pursue his own career as an artist and landed a Top 40 hit with 1971’s “Travelin’ Minstrel Man,” most of his success was cemented in his songwriting. He notched 73 ASCAP Awards throughout his career, as well as two Grammy nominations for Jeannie C. Riley's "Back Side of Dallas" and Mickey Gilley's "Here Comes the Hurt Again."