Buddy Buie, who wrote many songs for the Atlanta Rhythm Section and also served as their manager and producer, died on Saturday (July 18) at the Southeast Alabama Medical Center after suffering a heart attack. He was 74.

The group broke the news on their Facebook page with the following message. "Buddy Buie passed away today...for those of you that don’t know, Buddy was the force that produced, wrote for, managed, and led the way for us to become The Atlanta Rhythm Section. No Buddy...no ARS. Just last week Buddy shared his enthusiasm, and support, for the band, saying he wanted to come hear the new songs we added to the show. We will miss Buddy’s contributions, musically, professionally, and most of all personally. The guys….."

Born in Dothan, Ala., in 1941, Buie first tasted songwriting succcess in 1964 by penning Tommy Roe's hit, "Party Girl." A year later, a group that he was managing, the Webs, was hired to be Roy Orbison's backup band and was rechristened as the Candymen. The Dothan Eagle says that Buie then served Orbison's road manager. From there, he went on to manage and write for Classics IV, who scored three Top Five hits between 1967 and 1969 with Buie compositions, "Spooky," "Stormy" and "Traces."

In 1971, he formed the Atlanta Rhythm Section with former members of the Candymen and Classics IV. The new group became one of the most reliable Southern rock bands of the '70s, with Buie co-writing the bulk of their material, including their biggest hits, "So In to You," "I'm Not Gonna Let It Bother Me Tonight" and "Imaginary Lover." Their success culminated in a 1978 command performance at the White House for the birthday of President Jimmy Carter's son.

Buie continued as a songwriter and producer after the heyday of Southern rock, with a handful of country hits. He was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 1984 and the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in 1997.

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