Passings: Country Songwriter Don Chapel (1931 - 2015)

Don Chapel, who wrote music for some of the greatest singers in country, died Sunday from pneumonia and complications of heart and lung disease at the age of 84.

Chapel, born Don Lloyd Amburgey, was part of a musical family including his sisters who sang as the gospel group the Sunshine Girls. He served in the Air Force during the Korean War before striking out to become a songwriter.

Adopting his sisters stage names of Chapel, Don worked at various record companies throughout the 60's and, late in the decade, started singing with his daughter Donna Chapel. In 1967, he married Tammy Wynette after he and Donna worked as her backup singers. The marriage only lasted one year; however, Wynette recorded a number of Chapel's songs including Together We Stand, Divided We Fall, My Heart is Soakin' Wet and All Night Long.

Chapel's songs became a hot commodity in Nashville with over fifty members of the Grand Ole Opry recording his work including Charlie Louvin, Webb Pierce, Ray Price, Lynn Anderson, Conway Twitty and George Jones who made his When the Green Grass Grows Over Me one of Don's biggest hits.

Chapel is survived by his wife, Virginia, six children, four step-children and twelve grandchildren.


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