Lew DeWitt

Lew DeWitt
Lewis Calvin DeWitt.jpg
Background information
Birth name Lewis Calvin DeWitt Jr.
Born (1938-03-12)March 12, 1938
Roanoke, Virginia, U.S.
Died August 15, 1990(1990-08-15) (aged 52)
Waynesboro, Virginia, U.S.
Genres Country
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter
Instruments Guitar, vocals
Years active 1955–1982 (with The Statler Brothers)
1985-1990 (as a solo artist)
Labels Columbia, Mercury, Compleat
Associated acts The Statler Brothers

Lewis “Lew” Calvin DeWitt Jr. (March 12, 1938 – August 15, 1990) was an American country music singer, guitarist, and composer. He was a founding member of The Statler Brothers and the group's original tenor.

Biography

For most of his career, DeWitt sang tenor for The Statler Brothers. Songs he wrote for the group include "Flowers on the Wall"—which was a greatest hit during the late 60s and early 70s that made the group popular—"Things", "Since Then", "Thank You World", "The Strand", "The Movies", and "Chet Atkins' Hand". In 1968, while the group was under contract to Columbia Records, DeWitt recorded a solo single composed of the songs "She Went A Little Bit Farther" and "Brown Eyes" (the latter was penned by DeWitt).

In November 1981, DeWitt took a leave of absence from The Statler Brothers due to surgery and treatment for Crohn's disease,[1]:95 from which he had suffered since adolescence. At his suggestion, Jimmy Fortune was tapped as his temporary replacement. He would rejoin the group in June of the following year (with Fortune having been offered a permanent position in the group's backing band), but this arrangement lasted less than a week. DeWitt officially retired that same month with Fortune becoming his permanent replacement.[1]:96

Three years later, DeWitt, feeling that his health had gradually improved through continuing treatment, mounted a solo career. During this time, he would return to touring and would release two albums, Here to Stay (1984)[2] and On My Own (1985).[3] The latter album gave Dewitt his only solo chart appearance with a cover of "You'll Never Know", which made it to #77. Despite the lack of success he would remain with the Compleat label through 1987.

DeWitt was married three times. From 1961 through 1973, he was married to Glenda Kay Simmers, with whom he had two sons and two daughters. He was later married to Joyce Anne Arehart, and then Judy Fitzgerald Wells.[4]

DeWitt would remain active as a performer until late 1989,[5] when his health rapidly declined, which culminated in his death on August 15, 1990, in Waynesboro, Virginia.[6] The cause of death was heart and kidney disease, stemming from complications of Crohn's. Lew Dewitt Boulevard in Waynesboro was named in his honor in 1992.[7]

In 2011, amateur video of DeWitt performing at the Burley Tobacco Festival in the late 1980s surfaced and was posted onto YouTube.[8] The set is notable for the inclusion of what would become his final single, "Moonset".

As of 2020, none of DeWitt's solo recordings have been released in any digital format.

Discography

Albums

Year Album Label
1984 Here To Stay self-released
1985 On My Own Compleat

Singles

Year A-Side B-Side US Country Label Album
1967 Brown Eyes She Went A Little Bit Farther Columbia single only
1985 You'll Never Know Wanda Glen 77 Compleat On My Own
1986 I Love Virginia She Must Have Lovin' Eyes
Hello Houston Don't Our Love Look Natural single only
1987 Slow Dance Welcome To The Holiday Inn[1]
1990 Moonset Moonset Oak

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