Jim Weatherly

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Jim Weatherly
Birth nameJames Dexter Weatherly
Born (1943-03-17) March 17, 1943 (age 77)
OriginPontotoc, Mississippi, US
GenresCountry, pop
Years active1974-present

James Dexter Weatherly (born March 17, 1943) is an American singer-songwriter. Weatherly played quarterback at the University of Mississippi[1] before choosing songwriting over a football career.

Songwriting career[edit]

Weatherly has been writing songs for almost 50 years, and was inducted to the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2014. His best-known song is "Midnight Train to Georgia", recorded by Gladys Knight & the Pips. Ray Price has recorded 38 of Weatherly's songs. Bob Luman had a top five record with "Neither One of Us".[2] Other artists who have recorded Weatherly's songs include: Glen Campbell, Kenny Rogers, Asha Puthli, Neil Diamond, Kenny Chesney and Garth Brooks.[2]

Gladys Knight and the Pips have recorded twelve other Weatherly compositions, such as "Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye)" and "Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me". That version of "Neither One of Us" became his first number one pop record in Cashbox and Record World magazine charts, and became a number one R&B record. It was followed by "Where Peaceful Waters Flow"," Midnight Train to Georgia" and "Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me", which were all pop and R&B hits.[3] Weatherly's catalog includes songs that have been performed by Ray Price, Lynn Anderson, Brenda Lee, Bob Luman, and Batdorf & Rodney.[2]

Recording career[edit]

Weatherly, who had previously appeared on recordings by his band, The Gordian Knot, released by Verve Records and also later by RCA Records, was offered a solo recording contract with Buddah Records after the success of "Georgia", and he released a number of albums in the 1970s.[2] As an artist, Weatherly had a pop and A/C hit with "The Need to Be" and a country hit with "I'll Still Love You".

TV and Movies[edit]

Weatherly's songs have been used in movies and TV shows such as Broadcast News, Modern Family, Chicago Hope, Ally McBeal, and others.[2]

Weatherly vs. Universal Music Publishing Group[edit]

Weatherly filed a lawsuit against Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) in October 2002, which is now considered a landmark case in the entertainment community. He claimed that he was underpaid royalties for "Midnight Train to Georgia" for years. Universal Music argued that Weatherly could not proceed on his action because the one-year contractual limitations frequently found in entertainment contracts, had passed or tolled. This became the issue that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decided, in a published decision which set new legal precedent. Most contracts allow an artist to look back for a maximum of one, two or three years retroactively. However, the court decided Weatherly vs. Universal Music Publishing Group that this one-year time limitation would not apply. "A defendant cannot hinder the plaintiff's discovery through misrepresentation and then fault the plaintiff for failing to investigate", the court wrote, referring to a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision. Because the landmark decision was published by that court, other artists could cite this decision to support independent claims that they had also been underpaid royalties.[4][5]



Year Title Chart Positions[6] Label
US Country US CAN
1972 Weatherly RCA
1973 A Gentler Time
Jim Weatherly
1974 The Songs of Jim Weatherly 94 94 Buddah
1975 Magnolias & Misfits 45
1976 Pictures & Rhymes Brizac
The People Some People Choose to Love
2001 Dancing Moon
2003 Songs I've Written
2004 Christmas Like Christmas Used to Be
2008 Autumn Lights


Year Title Chart Positions[7]
US Country US
1973 "Loving You Is Just an Old Habit" 116
1974 "The Need to Be" 11 6 13 17
1975 "I'll Still Love You" 9 87 23 9
"It Must Have Been the Rain" 58 46
1977 "All That Keeps Me Going" 27
1979 "Smooth Sailin'" 32
1980 "Gift from Missouri" 34
"Safe in the Arms of Love
(Cold in the Streets)"


  1. ^ Thompson, Wright (February 2010). "Ghosts of Mississippi". Outside the Lines. ESPN. Archived from the original on November 7, 2012. Retrieved November 3, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Jim Weatherly". songhall.org. Archived from the original on August 5, 2018. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
  3. ^ Biography, Allmusic.com
  4. ^ "Case Summary: Royalty Audits and Tolling Contractual Limitations Periods". billboard.com. Archived from the original on September 12, 2018. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
  5. ^ Biederman, Donald E.; et al. "Law and Business of the Entertainment Industries". books.google.com. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 664. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
  6. ^ Billboard, Allmusic.com
  7. ^ Billboard Singles. Allmusic.com.
  8. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2011). Top Pop Singles 1955–2010. Record Research, Inc. p. 959. ISBN 0-89820-188-8.