Austin American-Statesman Spotlights Sonny Curtis and the Texas Heritage Songwriters’ Association

As a Lubbock sandstorm howled outside his window in the summer of 1958, he wrote “I Fought the Law,” one of the first rock rebellion songs, which was first recorded by the Crickets three months after Buddy Holly died, made famous by the Bobby Fuller Four in 1965, then flagged as a nascent punk song by the Clash.

The other landmark composition was the theme song on a TV show that debuted in 1970 and ran seven groundbreaking seasons. Curtis received a four-page synopsis of a show about a 30-year-old woman out on her own in Minneapolis after an engagement breakup, and two hours later came up with “Love Is All Around,” aka the theme to “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”

The garage rock holy grail and a beloved TV song that came to represent feminism with a thrown hat in the air. Two songs that had nothing in common except they came from the creative mind of Sonny Curtis, born in a dugout his daddy built on a farm outside Lubbock during the Great Depression.

Curtis, who will be inducted Sunday into the Texas Heritage Songwriters Hall of Fame, along with Ronnie Dunn of Brooks & Dunn and the late Roger Miller, also had hits with “Walk Right Back” for the Everly Brothers (which he wrote in Army basic training in 1960), “The Straight Life” for Bobby Goldsboro and “I’m No Stranger to the Rain” for Keith Whitley.

But even if he had not written a single song, Curtis would be a notable figure in rock ’n’ roll history for his close association with Buddy Holly, less than a year older, with whom Curtis played guitar and fiddle before Buddy formed the Crickets. Curtis was in the band — along with Jerry Allison on drums and Don Guess on bass — when Buddy Holly opened for Elvis Presley at Lubbock’s Fair Park Coliseum in 1956.

Read the full article from the Austin American-Statesman here.