Jan. 5, 2009 Walter Haynes, a producer and steel guitarist who wrote the Road Hammers 2008 single "Girl On The Billboard," died Jan. 1 in Tyler, Texas, at the age of 80.
"Billboard" was inspired, according to The Tennessean, when Walter spied a Coca-Cola roadside ad featuring a female model in a bikini during the 1960s. He wrote ideas for the song in the dust on the dashboard of his car, earning a No. 1 single with the song in 1965 after it was recorded by Del Reeves. Like Walter, Del also died on New Years Day, passing away two years ago.
"[Walter] and I were roommates in the early 1950s," bass player Bob Moore told The Tennessean. "He had a lot of fun, and he was just a plain old nice guy."
As a steel player, Walter contributed to Patsy Clines "Crazy" and "Shes Got You," as well as recordings by Little Jimmy Dickens, Connie Smith and Billy Walker. As a producer, he oversaw Cal Smiths recording of "Country Bumpkin" and Jeanne Pruetts "Satin Sheets."
"Girl On The Billboard" became a key piece for the Road Hammers last year when the band was featured in a reality series on GAC.
Walters funeral was held Sunday in Tyler.