"Polk Salad Annie" and "Rainy Night in Georgia" songwriter Tony Joe White passed away suddenly late Wednesday afternoon in ~ his residence in Leiper"s Fork, follow to his family.

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"He no ill in ~ all," stated his son, Jody White. "He just had actually a heart attack. ... There to be no pain or suffering." 

Tony Joe White was born July 23, 1943, near Oak Grove, Louisiana. He to be the youngest of 7 children and prospered up on a cotton farm.

Both the his parental and all of his siblings play music, White told The sdrta.net last summer, however he wasn"t inspired to choose up an instrument until his teens, once he an initial heard bluesman Lightnin" Hopkins. 

"Up to then, I never ever played nothing. I simply sit and also listened," he said. "But man, I began sneaking mine dad’s guitar up to my room in ~ night and learning the blues." 

He was very first inspired to create his very own songs after hearing Bobbie Gentry"s 1967 chart-topper "Ode to billy Joe." drawing on his very own life experiences, White penned enduring classics like "Willie and Laura Mae Jones," i m sorry Springfield recorded, and also "Rainy Night in Georgia," which has actually been recorded by Benton and an ext than 100 other artists, all prior to he rotate 30. 

He added, "I played him all bluesy stuff. About halfway with the 2nd tune he take it me into his recording studio and we remained there every day just goofing around and playing." 

White"s debut album, "Black and also White," was tape-recorded in Nashville and also released ~ above Monument records in 1969. Its song "Soul Francisco" to be a hit in France first, however American audiences at some point warmed come White"s rumbling baritone. Nine months after ~ its release as a single, "Polk Salad Annie," the first song top top the second side the "Black and White," gone into the charts; the peaked at No. 8. 

Presley taped "Polk Salad Annie" and often performed it live. In ~ the exact same time, Benton"s recording of "Rainy Night in Georgia" to be zooming increase the charts.

"It was simply stunning ... It readjusted my life," White said. 

In the 1970s, White toured through acts such together Sly and the Family rock and Steppenwolf, and in the late "80s, Tina Turner recorded four of his songs for her "Foreign Affair" album, consisting of the title track and also "Steamy Windows"; White produced one track and played on the record as well. 

Last month White released blues album "Bad Mouthin"," i beg your pardon he taped on his Leiper"s Fork home in a no-frills recording studio that provided to be a two-stall equine barn.

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The stripped-down document featured consists of songs videotaped by Hopkins, man Lee Hooker and large Joe Williams, amongst others, and several originals, including a couple he wrote before "Polk Salad Annie." The album came out Sept. 28. That night, that made his cool Ole Opry debut. 

"The songwriting"s to be the totality thing that has sustained me," White told The sdrta.net in 1983. "Through my totality career, that has actually kept me going ... Yet I love to perform even much more than ns love to write." 

Shortly prior to his death, White tape-recorded several new songs that will hopefully be released in the future, said Jody White.

White is endured by his wife, Leann; youngsters Michelle, Jim Bob and also Jody; and also several grandchildren. Funeral arrangements have not been finalized.