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‘Everlasting Love’ Songwriter Was 84

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Buzz Cason, the Nashville singer, songwriter and producer best known for “Everlasting Love,” the buoyant Motown-style pop song covered numerous times and appearing in many films since Robert Knight recorded the original in 1967, died June 16 at his home in Franklin, Tennessee. He was 84.

His death was announced by the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. A cause of death was not specified.

“Everlasting Love,” with its impossibly catchy and immediately recognizable chorus that begins “Open up your eyes/Then you’ll realize/Here I stand with my everlasting love,” has made the charts in various versions, most notably Carl Carlton’s 1974 cover that hinted at the imminent arrival of disco. In the U.K., the song was a #1 hit in 1968 by London-based pop band Love Affair.

Other artists who have covered the song, written by Cason with writing partner Mac Gayden, include Gloria Estefan, Rex Smith and Rachel Sweet , U2, German singer Sandra, Australian pop group Town Criers, UK boy band Worlds Apart and even the cast of the BBC series Casualty, who recorded a Top 5 version for charity in 1998.

According to The New York Times citing music rights organization BMI, the many versions of “Everlasting Love” have received more than 10 million plays to date, making it one of the most successful songs in any genre to come out of Nashville.

The song has also found its way onto various movie and TV shows, including a memorable 1994 episode of daytime soap The Bold and The Beautiful, in which cast members Bobbie Eakes and Jeff Trachta performed a duet as part of a concert storyline. The U2 version was included in the 2003 film Veronica Guerin starring Kate Blanchett, and a cover by Jamie Cullum was included on the 2004 soundtrack of Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason.

Most recently, the song was prominently featured in a key scene of the 2021 Kenneth Branagh film Belfast, in which star Jamie Dornan, as the character Pa, serenades his wife with “Everlasting Love” at a dance. The song was featured prominently in the film’s trailers.

Cason was one of Nashville’s early proponents of rock and roll, naming Gene Vincent, Bo Diddley and the Clovers as chief inspirations. As a teenage he sang with a local Nashville doo-wop group called The Casuals, appearing on bills with Chubby Checker, Jerry Lee Lewis and Brenda Lee.

In 1962, his song “Soldier of Love,” co-written with Tony Moon, was recorded by Beatles favorite Arthur Anderson, with the Fab Four recording a live BBC version in 1963. Other artists who have covered the song include Pearl Jam, Little Steven and Marshall Crenshaw.

By the mid-1960s he had joined the Nashville Beach Boys-esque group Ronny & the Daytonas, writing the band’s 1966 Top 40 hit ballad “Sandy.” Later in the decade, he teamed with songwriter Bobby Russell in a music publishing venture that resulted in Russell’s songs “Honey” (recorded by Bobby Goldsboro) and “Little Green Apples” (O.C. Smith, Roger Miller, and many others) becoming hits.

Cason published his autobiography Living The Rock ‘n’ Roll Dream in 2004.

He is survived by wife Victoria Cason; daughters Tammy, Kristy and Leah; sons Taylor and Parker; and other extended family.



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