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Kerry Chater



Canadian born Kerry Chater’s childhood was filled with hours spent at the piano playing for fun, and an extensive education in music composition, theory, arranging, and directing.

Kerry began his professional musical career in 1967 when he and his friend, Gary Puckett, formed the pop-rock band Gary Puckett and The Union Gap, and for the next four years Kerry was the group’s bass player and arranger for live performances. He also wrote for the group, and many of his songs can be heard on their albums.

In 1970, Kerry left the band to pursue a career in songwriting and expand his education into musical theater. For five years, Kerry was one of a small group of students accepted for study by Lehman Engel, then considered the dean of the American Musical Theater. Kerry and his co-writer, Ellen Fitzhugh, created the musical comedy “Freud’s Follies,” which was performed in Los Angeles, CA.

In 1978, Kerry teamed up with legendary country songwriters Rory Bourke and Charlie Black to write “I Know A Heartache When I See One” and Jennifer Warnes’ recording of that song climbed well into both the Pop and Country charts on its way to becoming the first of five BMI Million Broadcast Performance songs penned by Kerry.

In 1983, Chater collaborated with singer/songwriter Dickey Lee to write “You’re The First Time I’ve Thought About Leaving,” which became a #1 single for Reba McEntire. Then, in 1984, Kerry teamed up with Austin Roberts to write the song “I.O.U.” for which they received a Grammy Nomination for Song of the Year. The recording of that song won Lee Greenwood the Grammy for Best Performance by a Male Artist. “I.O.U.” has since gone on to be honored with BMI’s Two Million Broadcast Performances Award.

George Strait jumped on the Kerry Chater ‘Song Wagon’ when he recorded “You Look So Good In Love,” and that song became a #1 Country hit and a Three Million BMI Performances Award winner. (Recently, Jamie Foxx sang his own rendition of “You Look So Good In Love” for the nationally televised “All Star Salute To George Strait” to celebrate George being named Artist of the Decade by the ACM.) In 1989 the group Alabama took Kerry’s song “If I Had You” to #1 status, giving Kerry his fourth time at that cherished chart position.

Many of Kerry’s songs have produced significant chart activity, and he has songs on fifteen platinum and multi-platinum CDs, and twenty-five gold CDs. Kerry has received sixteen BMI Performance Awards, CMA’s #1 Song Award, and ACM #1 Song Award, as well as other achievements. He is a graduate of Nashville’s prestigious Leadership Music Program.

In 1987, Kerry moved to Nashville where he resides with his wife and writing partner, Lynn Gillespie Chater. Together, they have written songs for Mindy McCready, Restless Heart, Highway 101, Anne Murray, Paul Brandt, and others, and two musicals which have been performed in Nashville, TN. Currently, their songs can be heard on bluegrass artist Donna Ulisse’s CDs, “Walk This Mountain Down,” “Holy Waters,” “Easy Climb,” and “All The Way To Bethlehem.” Also, the Chaters have produced CDs on three Christian Gospel artists.

Recently, Kerry, along with his wife Lynn, have moved into book authorship and have released the first two in their Jesse Fortune/Thomas Kelly series, Kill Point, and Blood Debt, with plans for the final installment, Collusion, due out late 2018.

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