January 27, 2004 by

Max Barnes


Categories: Musicians

Max Duane Barnes, a Grammy-nominated songwriter who penned classic country ballads, died on Jan. 11 of complications from pneumonia. He was 67.
Born in Iowa and raised in Nebraska, Barnes formed his first country music band as a teenager. He worked as a carpenter, construction worker, bartender and truck driver until 1973 when he moved to Nashville to try his hand at songwriting. His first hits, “Don’t Take It Away” and “Redneckin’ Love Makin’ Night,” were recorded by Conway Twitty. He followed them up by writing songs for Randy Travis, George Jones, Merle Haggard and Vince Gill.
When his teenaged son Butch died in a car accident in 1975, Barnes wrote “Chiseled in Stone.” Recorded by Vern Gosdin, the song included the heart-breaking lyric, “I didn’t know how bad I could hurt until I saw my son’s name on his tombstone.” It won a Song of the Year Award from the Country Music Association, and received a Grammy nomination for Best Country & Western Song.
In 1992, Barnes was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Association International Hall of Fame.

8 Responses to Max Barnes

  1. David Kicrease

    I remember the Guitar Bar, Mom and Max. I would think Skeet was waiting for them both. What a rare talent and a great loss.

  2. david carpenter

    Max & Patsy were good friends of my family (Vandervorts) I still hear stories about them and some of the crazy stuff they did. Max is definitely missed…….

  3. Kandi Tobin

    I just read that Max had passed away 2 years ago. I am deeply saddened by this news. He and Patsy were dear friends of my parents (Ben and Mary Martinez in Nebraska)years ago. I have lost contact with Patsy over the past few years….and I pray she is doing well. Blessings!! Kandi Martinez Tobin

  4. Robin

    Max D. Barnes was my grandfather. He was a wonderful man and always had a joke to tell. Behind every great man is a great woman, and his was my grandmother, Patsy. If you knew him you knew her. They had such a great love for each other. She passed away just two months after him in March. So this is for both of them. You are both very missed and still very loved.

  5. Mark

    I never had the privledge of meeting him but he was my mom’s cousin (beverly barnes zoll) and I am amazed at his contributions to country music. Rest in peace Max,
    Mark (omaha, Neb.)

  6. Darren Barnes

    Max D is my uncle and a great man. He was a rare talent indeed. I miss him and regret that my wife and kids never had the privledge of meeting him. Patsy is my aunt and is so warm and funny! I miss them both.

  7. Joni Fanciullo

    Max and Patsy were friends of my mom, Patricia Fanciullo. She loved them both. She,to this day, has an autographed picture of Max, Patsy and the old band when they played in Omaha. Mom said Max & Patsy were some of the nicest people she had ever met and she rooted for Max at every award show. They will be missed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *