The life and career of the late Pontotoc native Jimmy Weatherly, who earned Hall of Fame honors for both his athletic abilities and songwriting talents, will be celebrated at a special Pontotoc County Historical Society event on Thursday night, October 28.
The Historical Society’s salute to Weatherly will feature film footage of his quarterbacking highlights at Ole Miss and a segment from ASCAP’s 2013 film “We Write the Songs,” which featured Weatherly and other award winning songwriters.
The special guest at the event will be Weatherly’s first-cousin Jeff Roberson, who co-authored Weatherly’s autobiography “Midnight Train,” which details Weatherly’s exploits on the football field and his musical accomplishments.
Weatherly’s songwriting career spanned more than 55 years and included at least seven number one songs.
Bobby McGee, vice president of the Pontotoc County Historical Society, said the October 28 program will begin at 6 p.m. at the Pontotoc Community House.
“We’re very excited and honored to be a part of this program honoring Jimmy Weatherly,” McGee said. “We’re honored to have Jeff Roberson come to Pontotoc and share his insights into writing this book about Jimmy.”
“The format of the program with Jeff is going to be a question and answer dialogue between Jeff and myself as he talks about Jimmy and writing ‘Midnight Train’. Jeff has lots of stories to share and we’re hoping that Jeff’s dad, Pontotoc native Billy Roberson, will be able to attend the program. Jeff still has lots of kin folks over here in Pontotoc.”
“We have lots of great pictures we’re going to share. And before the program concludes we’re going to allow time for several members of the audience to share their favorite Jimmy Weatherly stories with everyone.”
McGee said that classmates and teammates of Weatherly will be recognized during the program.
“We’re hoping for a big crowd to share this special night as we celebrate the life of a favorite son of Pontotoc,” McGee said. “ I recently had a phone conversation with Pontotoc native Ray Beddingfield who was a teammate of Jimmy’s at Pontotoc High and Ole Miss. Ray said he once played in a band with Jimmy in high school.”
“It’s going to be a special night and everyone’s invited.
A 2014 Songwriter Hall of Fame inductee, Weatherly, 77, died February 3, 2021, at his home in Brentwood, TN.
Weatherly was ASCAP’s Country Songwriter of the Year in 1974. In 2006 he was inducted into the Nashville Songwriter’s Hall of Fame.
He was inducted into the Ole Miss Alumni Hall of Fame in 2011.
In 1999 Weatherly’s song “Midnight Train to Georgia” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. That song and Weatherly’s song “Neither One of Us” were number one hits for Gladys Knight & the Pips. Over his career Weatherly’s songs were recorded by more than 75 artists.