He is a songwriter, producer, keyboard player and singer born in Arkansas who saw his solo or co-written songs becoming hits from the 1970s on.
He has seen No. 1 chart successes with “You Needed Me” by Anne Murray, “All Over Again” by Ronan Keating and “A Lesson in Leavin'” by Dottie West and his other songs include “Oh Sherrie” and “Foolish Heart” by Steve Perry, “It’s Sad to Belong” by England Dan & John Ford Coley, “I’ll Be Over You” by Toto, “Whose Holding Donna Now” by DeBarge, “Bluer Than Blue” by Michael Johnson, “20/20” by George Benson and “If She Would Have Been Faithful…” by Chicago.
Artists who have recorded his music and/or been produced by him include Alabama, Patty Austin, Debby Boone, Ray Charles, Natalie Cole, Judy Collins, The Commodores, Rita Coolidge, Floyd Cramer, Christopher Cross, Deodato, Tommy Emmanuel, Agnetha Faltskog, James Galway, Isaac Hayes, The Imperials, Al Jarreau, Jefferson Starship, Kansas, Ronan Keating, Brian Kennedy, Chaka Khan, Gladys Knight, Stacy Lattisaw, Michael McDonald, Ronnie Milsap, Olivia Newton John, Jeffrey Osborne, David Pack , Teddy Pendergrass, Lou Rawls, Helen Reddy, Dusty Springfield and Roger Whitaker and countless others.
Not content with sticking to writing and producing he has played keyboards and sang backing vocals for many musicians and bands including Chet Atkins, George Benson, Jimmy Buffett, Amy Grant, Earl Klugh, Roy Orbison , Steve Perry, Dionne Warwick and many more. The albums he has appeared on are too many to mention them all but include his own Solitary Nights, Fool’s Paradise and Words and Music as well as Gettin’ Away With Murder by Patti Austin , Hearts Horizon by Al Jarreau, 20/20 and Greatest Hits of All by George Benson, Pickin’ by Jerry Reed , Rumour by Olivia Newton John, Street Talk and Greatest Hits + 5 Unreleased by Steve Perry, My Father’s Eyes by Amy Grant, Heroes and Friends by Randy Travis, Buzz and Caught Up in a Dream by Buzz Cason , Read My Licks, Stay Tuned and Chester and Lester/Guitar Monsters by Chet Atkins , Midnight Drive by Tommy Emmanuel , Before the Beach and High Cumberland Jubilee by Jimmy Buffett , They Don’t Make Them Like They Used To and We’ve Got Tonight by Kenny Rogers , Departure by Michael Johnson and USA For Africa; We Are the World.
In recognition of his contribution to music he won six ASCAP awards in 1981 alone, received a Grammy Award nomination and won “Song of the Year” from the Academy of Country Music for “You Needed Me”, was named Arkansan of the Year and inducted into the Arkansas Entertainment Hall of Fame in 1996 and 2000 saw him being inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.
He and Jay Graydon released their first album Scene 29 as JaR in 2008.
Here he is performing “Broken Hearted Me”…