Singer Randy VanWarmer dies at age 48

Wednesday, January 14th 2004, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ 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.

``I've seen audiences mesmerized by him when he performed,'' Pearson said. ``His voice, in one word, was angelic.''

VanWarmer was born March 30, 1955, in Indian Hills, Colo., and spent much of his childhood in Cornwall, England, after his father died. As a young man he lived in New York City and then 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.