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JD Souther Q&A with SongwriterUniverse

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JD Souther has had a legendary career as a songwriter, artist and producer. He is known co-writing three classic, number one hit songs for The Eagles: "Heartache Tonight," "Best of My Love" and "New Kid in Town." He has also co-written hits for Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor, Don Henley, and for his own artist career. And notably, he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2013. Souther was a major figure in the development of the Southern California country-rock scene of the 1970s and ‘80s. Besides the three hits he co-wrote with The Eagles, he also co-wrote or wrote other Eagles songs, including "James Dean," "How Long," "Victim of Love," "Doolin-Dalton," "The Sad Café," "You Never Cry Like A Lover," "Teenage Jail" and "Last Good Time in Town."

In addition, Souther wrote songs for five Linda Ronstadt albums from her classic ‘70s period, including the hit "Faithless Love" from her Heart Like A Wheel album. He also wrote & produced three songs on her Don't Cry Nowalbum and the title cut of her Prisoner in Disguise album. Also, his vocals were featured on several, key Ronstadt songs. As an artist, Souther had a Top 10 hit with his song "You're Only Lonely" in 1979. He also had a duet hit, co-writing and singing "Her Town Too" with James Taylor. On top of this, Souther co-wrote the hit "The Heart of the Matter" with Don Henley, from Henley's solo album in 1989.

Souther was born in Detroit, Michigan, and he mostly grew up in Amarillo, Texas. After he moved to Los Angeles in the late ‘60s, he formed a folk duo with Glenn Frey called Longbranch Pennywhistle, and they released one album. Then in 1972, he released his debut solo album (titled John David Souther). By 1973, Souther had also become known for writing songs for The Eagles and Linda Ronstadt, and he helped form the Souther-Hillman-Furay Band, which featured Chris Hillman (of The Byrds) and Richie Furay (of Buffalo Springfield and Poco). This trio recorded and released two albums before they split up. Over the years, Souther continued to release a number of solo albums, including Black Rose (1976), You're Only Lonely (1979), Home by Dawn (1984), If the World Was You (2008), Natural History (2001), and Tenderness (2015).

Souther also remains a popular live performer, who performs as a solo act and with a band. He is currently playing shows in California, and he will be touring throughout the summer and fall, playing venues in Arizona, Texas, Tennessee, Virginia, Maryland and Minnesota. We are pleased to do this new Q&A interview with JD Souther. He tells how he wrote his classic songs with The Eagles and James Taylor, and discusses his special collaboration with Linda Ronstadt. He also talks about his solo albums.        

READ THE SongwriterUniverse Q&A