March 23, 2002 1:22 AM Subscribe
Harlan Howard is dead. The greatest American country songwriter outside of Hank Williams and Merle Haggard wrote more than four thousand songs, including Patsy Cline's "I Fall To Pieces" and Buck Owens' "Tiger By The tail", but "God May Forgive You (But I Won't)", performed by Rosie Flores and Iris Dement, is the one that turned me on. Known as the Dean of Nashville songwriters, Harlan had a permanently reserved barstool, and plenty of tips for aspiring songwriters, one of which was "country music is three chords and the truth". Old stool.
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