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Knowles Frederick “Fred” Rose

Death: December 01, 1954 (57)
Immediate Family:

Son of Andrew Edwards Rose and Anna Estella "Annie" Rose
Husband of Della H. Rose
Father of Wesley Rose

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Fred Rose


Knowles Fred Rose (August 24, 1897 or 1898 – December 1, 1954) was an American musician, Hall of Fame songwriter, and music publishing executive.


Born in Evansville, Indiana, Rose started playing piano and singing as a small boy. In his teens, he moved to Chicago, Illinois where he worked in bars busking for tips, and finally vaudeville. Eventually, he became successful as a songwriter, penning his first hit for entertainer Sophie Tucker.

For a short time Rose lived in Nashville, Tennessee but his radio show there did not last long and he headed to New York City's Tin Pan Alley in hopes of making a living as a songwriter. It was there that he began writing songs with Ray Whitley, an RKO B-Western film star and author of "Back In the Saddle Again", and this collaboration introduced Rose to the possibilities of country music. He lived for a time with Ray and Kay Whitley in an apartment in Hollywood, co-writing many tunes for Ray's movies.

In 1942 he returned to Nashville, teaming up with Grand Ole Opry star Roy Acuff to create the first Nashville-based music publishing company. Their Acuff-Rose Music was almost immediately successful, particularly with the enormous hits of client Hank Williams. Acuff-Rose Music remained a foundation of the country music business even after Rose's death; his son, Wesley Rose, took over the presidency and continued with Roy Acuff until 1985, when the company's catalog was sold to Gaylord Entertainment Company, parent company of the Grand Ole Opry.

While running the business, Rose continued to write numerous country songs and eventually became one of the industry's most important personalities. He also wrote songs under the name Floyd Jenkins.

Rose died in Nashville from a heart attack in 1954 and was interred there in the Mount Olivet Cemetery.

Along with Hank Williams and the "Father of Country Music", Jimmie Rodgers, Rose was one of the first three inductees of the Country Music Hall of Fame when it opened in 1961. He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970 and into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1985. In 1986, son Wesley would join his father in the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Selected list of Fred Rose songs


Fred Rose was born in Evansville, Indiana on August 24, 1897. Raised by relatives in St. Louis, Rose attended St. Louis public schools and played the piano for tips in various St. Louis saloons as a young boy.

In his teens, Rose moved to Chicago where he became a singer and pianist and songwriter. His first success came with “Red Hot Mama”, written for Sophie Tucker. Rose moved to Nashville where he had a 15-minute radio show called “Freddie Rose’s Song Shop”, however the program was short-lived and Rose moved to New York to try his luck on Tin Pan Alley.

In New York in the 1930’s, he was introduced to Gene Autry, who was then at the height of his career. Rose and Autry began collaborating on songs and some of the hits produced included “Be Honest With Me” and “Tears on My Pillow”.

In 1942, Roy Acuff, a Grand Ole Opry star, decided to set up a music publishing company in Nashville and asked Rose to be his partner. Rose accepted and Acuff-Rose, the first publishing company in Nashville was born with the goal “that no man, or girl, that entered our door would be cheated our of a song, or one penny of anything that they’ve got coming.” Acuff-Rose would publish and promote the songs of country music legends such as Hank Williams.

As a songwriter, Rose collaborated with various composers and lyricists, such as Hy Heath, Edward G. Nelson, Steve Nelson, Walter Hirsch and Gene Autry, the Rose catalog includes such hits as “‘Deed I Do”, “Honest and Truly”, “Don’t Bring Me Posies”, “Roly Poly”, “Take These Chains from My Heart”, “I’ll Never Stand in Your Way”, “Hang Your Head in Shame”, “Crazy Heart”, “No One Will Ever Know”, “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain”, “Just Like Me”, “You Know How Talk Gets Around”, “Texarkana Baby”, “Kaw-Liga”, “Before You Call”, “Setting the Woods on Fire” and “Worried Over You”.

Fred Rose died in Nashville on December 1, 1954. In 1961, he was elected into the Country Music Hall of Fame as a charter member.

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Fred Rose's Timeline

August 24, 1897
February 11, 1918
December 1, 1954
Age 57