Otha Young, who wrote the 1980s hit "The Sweetest Thing (I've Ever Known)" for Grammy-winning singer Juice Newton during their long musical partnership, died of cancer Aug. 6 at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, said his wife, Brenda. He was 66.
Young played guitar with Newton since the 1970s, appearing on all of her albums. He wrote primarily for Newton and was a singer, producer and for a time also served as Newton's road manager.
"The Sweetest Thing" was a No. 1 hit on adult contemporary and country charts.
"He was selfless in order to make this successful," Newton said this week. "He was a very sensitive writer . . . and the easiest person to work with. Everyone said so, and you don't hear that very often."
They first appeared as Sweet Jubal and later called themselves Dixie Peach, working coffeehouses in Northern California. The band became known as Juice Newton and Silver Spur and started recording in Southern California under Newton's name in the mid-1970s.