Randy VanWarmer, 48; Singer, Country Songwriter

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From Associated Press

Randy VanWarmer, who recorded the pop hit “Just When I Needed You Most” and then had a successful career as a songwriter, has died. He was 48.

VanWarmer died Monday night in Seattle at the University of Washington Medical Center, where he was being treated for leukemia. He had been ill for about a year.

“Just When I Needed You Most” reached No. 4 on Billboard’s pop chart in 1979. VanWarmer, also a guitarist, had written it when he was 18.


More recently, VanWarmer wrote “I’m in a Hurry (And Don’t Know Why),” a No. 1 hit by the country group Alabama in 1992, and “I Guess It Never Hurts to Hurt Sometimes,” No. 1 by the Oak Ridge Boys in 1984.

“A lot of people think he disappeared after ‘Just When I Needed You Most,’ but he had a good run as a songwriter,” Jeff Pearson, a close friend and fellow songwriter, said Tuesday.

VanWarmer was born March 30, 1955, in Indian Hills, Colo. He moved to England with his mother when he was 12 after his father was killed in an automobile accident. He began singing and making demo tapes as a teenager and wrote “Just When I Needed You Most” before moving back to the United States in 1979. He lived first in upstate New York and later Los Angeles before moving to Nashville in 1985.

VanWarmer had recently recorded a duet with country singer Razzy Bailey, “Sandcastles,” due to be released this spring.

Information on survivors and services was not immediately available.