He was given a guitar at age 11, and by the time he turned 12, Joe South was performing on radio.  He actually "built" radio stations in his youth just so he could play his music over the airwaves.

At the tender age of 17, South had already become a prized studio musician.  With writing in his blood, he mixed up country and pop with the psychedelic 1960's.

His sound was prominent on Aretha Franklin's "Chain of Fools", and thanks to South, Deep Purple's "Hush" was a monster track for that band.

His biggest hit, was his penning of "(I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden", sung by Country sensation Lynn Anderson.  The most recognized South tune though, is record number 828 of my 45 rpm collection, "Games People Play".  In 1969 he received two Grammy Awards for it.

Joe Souter (South) died of heart failure on September 5.