Ray Pennington — an artist, songwriter, producer and music executives with credits that stretched back to the 1960s — died Wednesday in a house fire at his Hendersonville, TN, home. He was 86. According to “The Tennessean,” a golf cart in Pennington’s garage caused the fire.
Pennington had a string of low-charting singles in the ‘60s and ‘70s, including an early version of “Ramblin’ Man,” which Waylon Jennings turned into a chart-topping hit in 1974 as “I’m a Ramblin’ Man.” He also produced such artists as Hawkshaw Hawkins, Billy Walker and Norma Jean. In the 1980s, he co-founded Step One Records, which released music on Clinton Gregory, Ray Price, Hank Thompson, Faron Young, Gene Watson, the Kendalls and others.