Country music artist Tommy Overstreet dies at 78

Tommy Overstreet (Source: YouTube)

HILLSBORO, Ore. (AP) – Tommy Overstreet, a country music artist who had several hits in the 1970s, has died at age 78.

Overstreet’s wife, Diane Overstreet, says he died Monday at his home in Hillsboro, Oregon. She says he’d struggled with heart and lung disease.

Overstreet began his career performing with his cousin Gene Austin, who was known for hits from the 1920s and 1930s.

He later sought to make his own way. In 1971, his recording of “Gwen (Congratulations)” rose to No. 5 on Billboard’s U.S. Country charts. The following year he produced his biggest hit, “Ann (Don’t Go Runnin’)” and several other too-10 songs.

Later in life, Overstreet published a children’s book, “The Graham Cracker Kid and the Calico Girl,” and a memoir, “A Road Less Traveled.”

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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