I received the news this afternoon that Betty Thatcher Newsinger died of cancer on August 15.
I remember the first time I spoke with Betty, I was looking for a writing partner and Jim McCarty suggested I call her as he wanted to write lyrics as well as the music. They had been working together for a while. After speaking we decided that I would put down a couple of songs I’d recently completed on cassette tape and send down to her.
To my amazement in the mail three days later were the lyrics that were fantastic, she just knew what lyric would work with the music. That was the beginning of a wonderful partnership that lasted over fifteen years with songs that have become classics: Ashes are Burning, Carpet of the Sun, Mother Russia, and the hit single we had in the UK Northern Lights. These and more helped in the success of Renaissance.
Although we haven’t worked together for a while we are still touring and performing these classic songs. Both Annie and I remember those early days of working together and in the studio recording our best known work.
Her talent will be missed.