Singer-songwriter Joe South has died at the age of 72 on Wednesday after having a heart attack. South, whose real name is Joseph Souter, died at his home in Buford, GA according to Marion Merck of the Hall County Coroner’s office.
Joe South is known as being one of the greatest singer-songwriters of all time. In the late 1960s and early 1970s he performed hits such as Games People Play, Walk A Mile In My Shoes and Down in the Boondocks.
South’s song Games People Play reached No. 12 on the Billboard charts in 1969 and won him two Grammys for Best Contemporary Song and Song of the Year. The song was released on his debut album Introspect and spoke against hate, hypocrisy and inhumanity. The lyrics speak to this theme: “Oh the games people play now, every night and every day now, never meaning what they say now, never saying what they mean.”
Butch Lowery, president of the Lowery Group, which published South’s music, said “His songs have touched so many lives. He’s such a wonderful guy and loved by many.”
South also worked as a session guitar player on recordings of some of the biggest names of the 1960s including Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin and Simon & Garfunkel.
South was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Georgia Music Hall of Fame.