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Country songwriter Ray Pennington killed in house fire

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Posted at 4:54 PM, Oct 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-08 12:02:40-04

SHACKLE ISLAND, Tenn. (WTVF) — Fire officials say country songwriter Ray Pennington was killed in a fire at his home in Sumner County.

Shackle Island Fire Chief Martin Bowers said Pennington died in the fire on New Hope Road Wednesday.

The fire is believed to have started by a golf cart in a garage which then grew out of control and caught the house on fire.

"What they're saying is it was some kind of malfunction in the garage and with his golf cart, and I guess it caught fire," Shackle Island Fire Chief Martin Bowers said.

Chief Bowers told NewsChannel 5 that it was the largest fire he's seen while serving as chief and is the second deadly fire the department's responded to.

Pennington is known for writing the Waylon Jennings song "I'm a Ramblin' Man", and for founding the Step One Records label.

Pennington's granddaughters said they'll remember him as a kind, fun-loving man who always had a smile on his face.

"He liked to sing in the morning to wake you up, he made everything a song," Katie McCormack said. ""he was the kindest man you ever met. The world needs more people like him"

ray pennington
Ray Pennington