Songwriter MARIJOHN WILKIN, who co-wrote the classic ballad LONG BLACK VEIL and other hits, has died. She was 86. Wilkin died at her home in Nashville, Tennessee on Saturday (28OCT06) after a long battle with heart problems. In addition to penning hit songs over a career that began in the 1950s, Wilkin was a backup singer and founded Buckhorn Music publishers, where Kris Kristofferson got his songwriting start in 1965. Wilkin's songs were performed by stars including Johnny Cash, THE Beatles, PATSY CLINE and Rod Stewart. She was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1975. Long Black Veil was co-written with DANNY DILL in 1959 and honky-tonk singer LEFTY FRIZZELL recorded the song within days of it being written and it became a top-10 single. In addition to being a signature hit for Cash, the song about a false accusation of murder was also recorded by Joan Baez, THE KINGSTON TRIO, The Band, Jerry Garcia and Bruce Springsteen. After a religious conversion in the 1970s, she and Kristofferson wrote the enduring gospel favourite ONE DAY AT A TIME and she devoted her songwriting exclusively to gospel music.