Singer Sonny James, known as the Southern Gentleman, died Monday at age 87, according to media reports. James had a long string of pop and country hits, but is best known for his recording of “Young Love,” one of the biggest hits of 1957.
Rolling Stone reports that James, a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, died of natural causes at a hospice facility in Nashville.
From 1967 to 1971, James had an unbroken string of 16 No. 1 singles on the Billboard country charts, including “Need You” and “Here Comes Honey Again.” Over the span of his career, he reportedly had 26 No. 1 singles — with a total of 72 charted releases in country and pop from 1953-1983. Twenty-one of his albums reached the country Top 10 from 1964-1976.
Beginning in 1973 he helped launch the solo career of Marie Osmond, producing and arranging her first three solo albums, including the big hit “Paper Roses.”
Here’s a clip of James performing “Young Love” in 1965 …