Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music
(b James Fron Sonny Throckmorton, 2 April '41, Carlsbad NM) One of country music's most successful songwriters of the '70s--80s, more than 1,000 of his songs recorded by Emmylou Harris, Jerry Lee Lewis, George Burns, Millie Jackson, George Strait, the Judds, many more. Father was a Pentecostal preacher; Sonny graduated from high school in Wichita Falls and the family moved to San Francisco where Sonny played in a rock'n'roll band. Worked for a small record label '61--2, moved to Nashville '64, played bass for Carl and Pearl Butler '64--6. Concentrated on songwriting with minor country hits, working as a staff writer and song plugger; became discouraged and moved back to Texas '75, but songwriting friends kept pushing his songs. A handful of major covers resulted in him returning to Nashville and the next year saw 150 songs recorded incl. his first no. 1 'Thinking Of A Rendezvous' by Johnny Duncan '76; 'Knee Deep In Loving You' was recorded by more than a dozen major acts. Voted Nashville Songwriters' Association's Songwriter of the Year '78--80. He also began recording for Starcrest '76--7, then Mercury, MCA and WB with minor country hits for each, but the songs he recorded turned into bigger hits by more established performers. He retired from music late '80s to spend more time on his Texas ranch, songs still on the charts into the '90s. Albums incl. The Last Cheater's Waltz '78 on Mercury; Southern Train '86 on Warners; Ten Number Ones '86 on Country Garden.