NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Country songwriter Bill Owens, who was a mentor and early songwriting partner to his niece Dolly Parton, has died.
Parton’s publicist says Owens died Wednesday. He was 85.
Parton wrote a lengthy eulogy for her uncle, saying “I wouldn't be here if he hadn't been there.”
Owens helped Parton get her first radio performance at the age of 10 and often would drive her to shows and encourage her to practice.
They co-wrote songs together, including “Put It Off Until Tomorrow,” a top 10 hit for Bill Phillips. It was named BMI song of the year in 1966.
His songs were also recorded by Loretta Lynn, Porter Wagoner, Ricky Skaggs and Kris Kristofferson.
I've lost my beloved Uncle Bill Owens. I knew my heart would break when he passed, and it did. I'll start this eulogy by saying I wouldn't be here if he hadn't been there. Read more: https://t.co/BCEaVnrFgQ pic.twitter.com/i3gRjv58nt— Dolly Parton (@DollyParton) April 7, 2021