Entertainment & Arts

Buddy Holly songwriter Bob Montgomery dies

Buddy Holly Image copyright AP
Image caption Buddy Holly started his singing career at school with Bob Montgomery

Songwriter Bob Montgomery, who performed with Buddy Holly while at school and later wrote some of his hits, has died at the age of 77.

Montgomery and Holly teamed up at Hutchinson Junior High School in Lubbock, Texas in 1949, performing at school concerts and radio contests.

But it was Holly who was spotted as a potential star, leaving Montgomery to concentrate on songwriting.

Among the hits he wrote for his friend were Heartbeat and Wishing.

Heartbeat was a bigger hit in the UK than in the US, where it only reached number 82 on its initial release. It has been covered by a number of artists including Cilla Black, Hank Marvin and Nick Berry.

He also wrote the country music standard Misty Blue, which was originally performed by Wilma Burgess and later by Eddy Arnold, who made it a crossover hit.

In the late 1960s, Montgomery set up the House of Gold Music publishing company in Nashville, which helped the careers of Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers and The Judds.

His publicist, Greg Matusky, said he died on 4 December in Lee's Summit, Missouri, after suffering from Parkinson's Disease.