The veteran musician, who passed away on 7 December (15), began his songwriting career in the mid-1970s after moving to Nashville, Tennessee.

He scored his first big break in 1978, when Mickey Gilley recorded his track The Power of Positive Drinking, and he went on to work with the likes of Ronnie Milsap, George Jones, Tim MCGraw and Lonestar.

Notable hits penned by the Montana native, who was nominated for the 2015 Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, include Milsap's My Heart and She Keeps the Home Fires Burning, Barbara Mandrell's Christmas at Our House, Tammy Wynette's Let's Call It a Day Today, and Our Wedding Band by Wayne Newton.