Writer, singer, songwriter, and popular Nashville personality Peter Cooper has died following a serious head injury sustained over the weekend. He was 52 years of age.
For years Cooper wrote about music for Nashville’s paper, The Tennessean, and moved to the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum in 2014 to work as a senior director, producer and writer.
A truly beloved figure in Nashville, Peter found his first musical passion when he was a teen, discovering Seldom Scene in his hometown of Washington, DC. Though much of his writing, songwriting, and performing was in the realm of country music, he maintained a lifelong love of bluegrass.
In 2017 he partnered with fellow Music City songwriter Thomm Jutz and bluegrass icon Mac Wiseman on an album for Mountain Fever Records, I Sang The Song. The record was a musical biography of Mac’s life, told in new songs written about his life and lengthy career. It attracted top artists to perform in the studio, including Alison Krauss, Shawn Camp, Jim Lauderdale, Sierra Hull, The Issacs, Junior Sisk, and Ronnie Bowman.
Peter was deeply respected for his extensive knowledge of country music history, and his eye for new talent. In book form he had published Johnny’s Cash and Charley’s Pride: Lasting Legends and Untold Adventures in Country Music in 2017, and he was co-writer with Bill Anderson for his autobiography, Whisperin’ Bill Anderson: An Unprecedented Life in Country Music. His liner notes graced many an album, and among countless other honors, his words are inscribed on George Jones’ tombstone.
His family has announced that they will hold a Celebration of Life at some point next year for his many friends and admirers to remember him together. No details have been shared about funeral arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum.
They have also established an account to set aside funds for Peter’s young son, Baker, and his future educational needs. Those can be made by check to:
c/o Wells Fargo Bank
1712 West End Avenue
Nashville, TN 37203
It is rare in any profession for someone to have nothing but friends in the industry, but that was Peter Cooper. His name would always bring up a good word, about both his work and his kind and sharing nature.
R.I.P., Peter Cooper.