Songwriter Don Chapel Dies
According to a Facebook post by Chapel's son, Robbie Amburgey, the songwriter passed away on Dec. 6 due to "a long battle with heart failure and pneumonia."
"He was surrounded by those who loved him," Amburgey writes. "His impact left on this world will not be forgotten."
Born Don Lloyd Amburgey in 1931 in Kentucky, Chapel was one of six children. His three sisters, Irene, Bertha and Opal performed as Martha, Minnie and Mattie, the Sunshine Girls; Irene later became country gospel singer Martha Carson, while Bertha sang with Bill Carlisle, and Opal was later a rockabilly star under the stage name Jean Chapel and recorded her brother's "I've Got a Mem'ry (You Can't Touch)."
Throughout the 1960s, Don Chapel worked at various record companies. In the late '60s, he and his daughter, Donna Chapel, recorded a few duets. Chapel, his daughter and his son, Mike -- who played drums and went on to be a record producer -- also performed together as the Chapperones.
In 1967, Chapel and Wynette married. She would go on to record several of his songs, including "All Night Long," "My Heart Is Soakin' Wet," "Together We Stand, Divided We Fall" and "Joey." The couple divorced in 1968, due to personal and professional matters.
In addition to Jones, Anderson and Wynette, Chapel's songs were also recorded by Conway Twitty and Ernest Tubb, among others. Other notable titles include "When the Grass Grows Over Me," "Feed It to the Fish" and "Misty Morning Rain." He has also appeared as a performer himself, including at the Grand Ole Opry.
"... He was so kind, and I was so excited to meet the man who wrote such legendary songs. As we talked, he told me how he was once married to Tammy Wynette, and how he had heard the magic of the voices of Tammy and George Jones when they first sang together," Rhonda Vincent recalls of their first meeting in a Facebook post. "That's a classy man, who though heartbroken over his marriage, still shows tremendous respect for the legacy of music left in the duets of Tammy & George. He loved to tell about his witness to what we know as historical moments in country music history. How fun to have actually experienced those moments firsthand."
Chapel's funeral is set to take place on Friday (Dec. 11) at 7PM at the Madison Funeral Home in Madison, Tenn. A public visitation will precede the service. According to Vincent's Facebook post, she will be honoring a request from Chapel and performing at the funeral.
Country Stars Who Have Died in 2015