Singer-songwriter Alex Harvey dies at 73

Singer/Songwriter Alex Harvey dies at 73

Alex Harvey, a songwriter known of such hits as ‘Delta Dawn’ and ‘Reuben James,’ died April 4. The Highland Lakes resident’s songs were recorded by the likes of Kenny Rogers, Tanya Tucker, and Jimmy Buffett. He was still writing and performing when others had retired. He was 73.

Alex Harvey certainly had talent, but the Highland Lakes singer-songwriter who died recently attributed his success to something else entirely. The writer of classics such as “Delta Dawn” and “Reuben James” said hard work was the secret to any success, even his.

“People say you have to be born with it,” Harvey said about talent in a 2018 interview with The Picayune. “That’s bullcrap. You have to have drive and work at it.”

Harvey did just that. Singers such as Kenny Rogers, Willie Nelson, Tanya Tucker, and Jimmy Buffett recorded his songs.

Harvey died April 4 at the age of 73.

The musician grew up outside of Memphis, Tennessee. His first performance was at 6 years old. He and his dad entered a contest singing “Little Brown Jug.” They placed third and Harvey just kept singing.

He developed his songwriting skills under the tutelage, and sometimes blunt, guidance of Billy Edd Wheeler, an award-winning songwriter who wrote “Jackson” (made famous by Johnny Cash and June Carter) and “Coward of the County,” which became a movie.

Along with his singing and songwriting, Harvey acted in several movies and TV shows over the years.

His work ethic helped him write songs for a number of artists. More than 300 million recordings of his songs have been sold.

Even though Harvey worked hard at his music and the songs he penned, he never wrote a song he didn’t first feel in his heart.

“Anything that doesn’t come from the heart I don’t deal with it,” he said in 2018. “I have to talk to the Holy Spirit, and feel it, before I write anything.”

daniel@thepicayune.com

3 thoughts on “Singer-songwriter Alex Harvey dies at 73

  1. Sad to learn Alex Harvey left us. What an accomplished, and gifted, song-writer he was. I met him one Saturday at Johnson Park. There were tents with a few Marble Falls vendors. One tent was a couple of folks from the Smokin’ For Jesus Church. Bought their book. Wonderful story. We areso blessed they came here.
    And there was an older gentleman playing a guitar and singing. He looked a bit shabby in his canvas trousers and down-at-the-toe-and-heel boots. But, with a crackling voice, he sang some really great songs, like Delta Dawn. But the one I fell in love with was “Five Dollar Fine”. As with many of his songs, it was made famous by a professional entertainer, in this case Chris LeDoux. Because Mr. Harvey was such a significant song writer, I’d like to post the Whole $5 Fine here: Won’t you sing it with me?

    Were a fun lovin’ crowd, kinda rowdy and loud,
    Our jukebox wont play no sad songs,
    So don’t come in here and cry in your beer,
    Cause we don’t care about who done who wrong.

    CHORUS
    We got a five dollar fine for whinin’
    Well tell you before you come in.
    And if it ain’t on your mind to have a good time,
    Y’all come back and see us again.

    Well, we don’t really care about your clothes or your hair,
    This party is open to all.
    Yah we like a good joke and its alright to smoke,
    we got just one rule on the wall.

    CHORUS

    Now there’s too many fools makin’ too many rules,
    that’s one thing you can’t say about us.
    Cause we all get along when we sing the same song
    there’s just one thing that causes a fuss.

    CHORUS x 2

    Wee got a five-dollar fine for whining

  2. Alex was true to himself , a man’s man,who loved his Jesus and his wife , Gineille, with all his heart. I am offended by your statement in regards to the way he was dressed and his boots. Alex could care less about how you were dressed. It did not matter if you had a $1000.00 pair of boots on or a pair of boots bought at Goodwill. He never judged a person by what he wore but how you treated others. He would give his coat off to a person if they were cold. buy a homeless person a meal, stop and chat with them. Not just once but many times. You would never hear him make a remark as you did about the way in your opinion he was dressed. What did that have to do with Alex Harvey the icon songwriter.l
    Alex gave so much to this world of his music and his talent and he will be remembered far longer than you will ever be.as writer. You missed the point to honor him as did Tanya Tucker and Billy Ray Cyrus.
    You owe an apology to my daughter. She is going through an awful time having just lost the love of her life and to see and read this crap you people are writing about her husband. Why can’t you write about the joy that Alex brought to thousands of people , his gift to write not only the words to a song as well as the music . I am appalled at some of the stuff hat is being written , One writer even posted a picture of the scottish singer Alex Harvey with his story about Alex.. Get real.

    1. We were so sorry to hear of Alex’s battle with cancer. I was one of his backup singers and recorded one of his best albums Preshus child. We spent many an hour, day on the road with him and our great band. He will be missed. Condolences to all

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