Edward Struzick, prolific songwriter who became an integral part of the Muscle Shoals music scene, died Wednesday. He was 57.
Struzick died at his Sheffield home from complications from liver disease, said his wife, Judy.
He co-wrote several hits including “Sharing the Night Together” – co-written with Ava Aldridge and recorded by Dr. Hook – and “Falling,” originally recorded by LeBlanc & Carr in 1977.
Others artists who have recorded his songs include Tanya Tucker, Sheena Easton, Marie Osmond and American Idol contestant, Elliot Yamin.
Lenny LeBlanc, who was a member of LeBlanc & Carr, co-wrote several songs with Struzick including “Falling,” “Warm Spot Hot,” “I Care,” which was recorded by Roy Orbison, and “Sunny Day to Rain” by Dobie Gray.
“I learned a lot about song writing – he had a few years ahead of me,” LeBlanc said. “He had strong convictions about music and song writing, and he was usually right.”
LeBlanc was a section bass player when he met Struzick, who at the time was a sound studio engineer.
LeBlanc recalled trips where Struzick would sing impromptu tunes.
“He just had the songs in him,” LeBlanc said. “Eddie was a naturally gifted writer.”
Although behind the scenes, many recalled Struzick’s musical impact on the area.
“He’s always been a force in the Muscle Shoals area and a tremendous guy on top of that,” said David Johnson, director of the Alabama Music Hall of Fame. “He was a real laid back guy, not a self promoter at all.”
Born in Decatur in 1951, Struzick’s family moved to the area where he attended Bradshaw High School in Florence. While there, he formed a band, the Blue Eyed Pieces of Soul, and performed at sock hops, according to his wife.
In his senior year, his family moved to Sheffield where he graduated from Sheffield High School.
He was an engineer at FAME and Muscle Shoals Sound studios before he started writing music professionally.
“We were always a little disappointed that he didn’t get the recognition for his role in the Muscle Shoals music during its height,” said Judy Struzick. “He was an integral part of the Muscle Shoals sound.”