NASHVILLE, Sept. 28 (UPI) -- Nashville songwriter Jim Hurt, who co-wrote Alabama's "Love in the First Degree," has died of liver cancer in Nashville at the age of 65.
Born to Cherokee parents, Hurt was left at an orphanage as a baby and adopted by African-American parents and raised in Nashville, the Nashville Tennessean reported Tuesday.
In the 1960s, he worked as a bass player for Tracy Nelson and Mother Earth. In the 1970s he was writing songs in Nashville and earning a reputation as a demo singer.
In 1981 Alabama released Hurt's "Love in the First Degree," an unusually durable concert favorite, giving Hurt his biggest hit.
Survivors include his wife, Susan; sons, Mark and Chris; and daughter Nicole.
A memorial service was scheduled for Sunday at Mt. Olivet Funeral Home in Nashville. The family asked that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the American Cancer Society.