[Updated] Lifenotes: Penny DeHaven Passes

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• February 25, 2014

penny[Update, 3:53 CT, Feb. 25, 2014]

Funeral services for Penny DeHaven will be held Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014 at Christ Church in Nashville. Christ Church is located at 15354 Old Hickory Blvd., Nashville, TN 37211. Visitation will be held at 11 a.m. on Feb. 27, followed by services at 1 p.m.

[Previous story, 2:22, Feb. 24, 14]

Country singer Penny DeHaven died Sunday, Feb. 23, at the age of 65.

Best known for a series of singles recorded for United Artists and Mercury Records in the 1970s, DeHaven had her biggest hit in 1970 as the duet partner of the late Del Reeves (1933-2007) on “Land Mark Tavern.”

She was born Charlotte DeHaven in Winchester, VA in 1948. Following her high school graduation, she began appearing on WWVA’s Wheeling Jamboree in West Virginia. She first made the country popularity charts as “Penny Starr” in 1967. DeHaven moved to Nashville two years later.

Her biggest solo hit was 1969’s “Mama Lou.” DeHaven’s other singles included country remakes of such pop hits as The Beatles’ “I Feel Fine” (1970), The Everly Brothers’ “Crying in the Rain” (with Reeves, 1972), Marvin Gaye’s “I’ll Be Doggone” (1974) and Billy Joe Royal’s “Down in the Boondocks” (1969).

Her albums included 1972’s Penny DeHaven and 2011’s gospel collection A Penny Saved. She also appeared on some of the final albums by Country Music Hall of Fame member Porter Wagoner (1927-2007), as well as on a 1982 CD by Boxcar Willie (Lecil Martin, 1931-1999).

Penny DeHaven was in the films Valley of Blood (1973), Traveling Light (1971) and Country Music Story (1972). In addition, she appeared on the 1982 soundtrack of Clint Eastwood’s film Honkytonk Man, singing “Bayou Lullaby.”

According to publicist Vernell Hackett, Penny DeHaven died of cancer. She had most recently been living in Atlanta. Funeral arrangements have not been announced.

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Robert K. Oermann is a longtime contributor to MusicRow. He is a respected music critic, author and historian.

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