JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Jim Weatherly, the former Ole Miss quarterback and Hall of Fame songwriter, died Wednesday at his home in Tennessee. He was 77.
According to the Daily Journal, Weatherly’s brother announced his death in a Facebook post. His cause of death hasn’t been released at this time.
Before his music career, Weatherly was an all-star quarterback for Pontotoc High School. He later played at Ole Miss, where he won All-Southeastern Conference and honorable mention All American honors in 1964.
Weatherly was a backup on the Ole Miss team which won a share of the 1962 national championship. The 1962 and ‘63 Rebel teams also won SEC championships. Weatherly was inducted into the Ole Miss Alumni Hall of Fame in 2011.
After his football career, Weatherly composed songs including “Midnight Train to Georgia” for Gladys Knight and the Pips. He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2014.
Knight said on Weatherly’s passing, “I’m missing Jim Weatherly already. He was about life and love. Neither One of Us and Midnight Train – I remember him getting his Grammys for those. We were just made for each other. We grew our lives together. I’m gonna miss him terribly and love him always.”
U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss) released a statement on Weatherly’s passing.
“Gayle and I are saddened to learn of the passing of our friend Jim Weatherly. From his days as a quarterback at Pontotoc High School and Ole Miss, to his decades of writing chart topping hits across several different genres, he has always been a standout talent – a favorite son – of whom we could all be proud. My prayers are with his family and loved ones,” said Wicker.
Weatherly is survived by his wife and two children.