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JD Souther Q&A with Columbus Dispatch

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John David "JD" Souther wrote or co-wrote some of the most definitive country-rock songs of the 1970s and '80s, as performed by defining artists of the genre. The acts include the Eagles ("Heartache Tonight," "Best of My Love"); Don Henley ("The Heart of the Matter"); Linda Ronstadt ("Prisoner in Disguise"); and James Taylor ("Her Town Too"). Souther, who was raised in Texas, moved in the late 1960s to southern California, where he fell in with struggling musicians Jackson Browne and Glenn Frey, with whom he briefly played in the duo Longbranch Pennywhistle. (Souther also thought about, and decided against, joining up with the Eagles.) He released a handful of solo albums and, in 1979, had the hit "You're Only Lonely" - an experience he found disquieting.

A few years later, Souther took a two-decade break from recordings. Then, after a move to Nashville, Tenn., and a marriage and divorce there, he released an unexpectedly jazz-inspired comeback called "If the World Was You" (2008). Thanks to an extensive catalog of copyrights, with more recent tunes on multimillion-selling discs by the Dixie Chicks and Eagles, Souther does as he pleases. He tours occasionally and acts sporadically - most recently as industry insider Watty White on the TV drama "Nashville."c

In a recent Columbus Dispatch interview from his Nashville home, Souther discussed songs, second acts and the time he almost became an Eagle. READ THE INTERVIEW