Bill Rice

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Bill Rice
Birth nameWilbur Steven Rice[1]
Born (1939-04-19) April 19, 1939 (age 79)[1]
Datto, Arkansas
Years active1963–present
LabelsCapitol, Epic, Polydor
Associated actsJerry Foster

Wilbur Steven "Bill" Rice (born April 19, 1939 in Datto, Arkansas) is an American country music singer and songwriter. Rice charted six singles between 1971 and 1978, including the Top 40 hit "Travelin' Minstrel Man", but is better known for his songwriting. Rice has written songs for artists such as Johnny Paycheck, Reba McEntire, Charley Pride and Jerry Lee Lewis, and he has more awards from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers than any other songwriter. Rice has also been nominated for two Grammy Awards.


Wilbur Steven Rice was born April 19, 1939. He learned to play guitar at age fourteen and was signed to his first recording contract at age 18. In 1960, he had his first cut as a songwriter when Elvis Presley recorded "Girl Next Door Went A-Walking".[2]

Rice began collaborating with another songwriter, Jerry Foster, after meeting him while on tour. The two wrote songs together and were signed to a songwriting contract through the assistance of Cowboy Jack Clement. Two of his cuts received Grammy Award nominations: "Back Side of Dallas" by Jeannie C. Riley and "Here Comes the Hurt Again" by Mickey Gilley. He has also received 73 awards from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), the most received by any songwriter.[2] In 1974, Rice had eleven cuts on the country music charts at the same time.[2]

Rice charted six singles of his own in the 1970s: two each on Capitol Records, Epic Records and Polydor Records. His first Capitol release, "Travelin' Minstrel Man", peaked at number 33 on Hot Country Songs.[1] One of his singles was a duet with then-labelmate Lois Johnson titled "All the Love We Threw Away".[1]

Among the songs that Rice has written include "Someone to Give My Love To" by Johnny Paycheck, "Lonely Too Long" by Patty Loveless, "I'll Think of Something" by Hank Williams, Jr. (later covered by Mark Chesnutt), "I'm Not That Lonely Yet" by Reba McEntire, "Would You Take Another Chance on Me" by Jerry Lee Lewis and "Wonder Could I Live There Anymore" by Charley Pride.[2]

In the 1970s, Rice also co-wrote several songs with then-wife Sharon Rice, also known as Sharon Vaughn.[2] He lives in Florida.[2]


Year Single Chart Positions
US Country[1]
1971 "Travelin' Minstrel Man" 33
"Honky-Tonk Stardust Cowboy" 51
1972 "A Girl Like Her Is Hard to Find" 74
"Something to Call Mine" 63
1977 "All the Love We Threw Away" (with Lois Johnson) 97
1978 "Beggars and Choosers" 100
1985 "'Til a Tear Becomes a Rose" 35


  1. ^ a b c d e Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. pp. 211–212. ISBN 0-89820-177-2.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Bill Rice". Nashville Songwriters Foundation. Archived from the original on 7 March 2012. Retrieved 8 October 2010.