Scottsville born wordsmith and producer, Norris D. “Norro” Wilson has passed away. Wilson, who graduated from Scottsville High School in 1956 and attended Western Kentucky University (Then Western Kentucky State Teachers College) was best known for penning songs such as “The Most Beautiful Girl”, “A Picture of Me (Without You)” and “The Grand Tour”. He was inducted into in the WKU Hall of Distinguished Alumni in 2011 for his contributions to the music industry.
Wilson was an advocate for songwriters and worked in nearly every capacity in the music business from singer to producer, collaborating with artists including Reba McEntire, Tammy Wyneette, George Jones, Charley Pride, Charlie Rich and Kenny Chesney.
He began his career in a high school barbershop quartet and traveled with the Southlanders Quartet touring with them until 1960. Next he formed a duo with Don Gant and pursued a career as a performing artist through the 60’s and early 70’s.
Relocating to Nashville, he wrote for Acuff-Rose in 1962. In 1967 he became a song plugger with Al Gallico Music and began co-writing with other songwriters starting with the 1970 hit “Baby, Baby (I Know You’re a Lady) with Alex Harvey. In 1973 Charlie Rich scored a crossover hit with “The Most Beautiful Girl” by Wilson, Billy Sherrill and Rory Bourke. The following year they took Best Country Song at the Grammy’s with “A Very Special Love Song”.
He became head of A&R at Warner Bros. Records in 1975, moving to RCA in 1982 and later CEO of Merit Music in 1987 followed by Norro Productions in 1990 and Bud Ro Productions (with Buddy Cannon) in 1998.
He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1996 and the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame in 2008. He garnered more than 30 BMI Awards including country songwriter of the year 1973-1975, In all, he wrote 11 #1 hits and over 20 Top 10 hits. In 2011 he appeared at the country Music Hall of Fame and Museum as part of the Poets and Prophets series.