Best remembered for his 1979 pop smash, "Just When I Needed You Most," singer/songwriter Randy VanWarmer was born March 30, 1955, in Indian Hills, CO. After his father was killed in a 1967 auto accident, VanWarmer and his mother relocated to Cornwall, England; he began writing and performing while in his teens, and upon returning stateside in 1978 settled in Woodstock, NY, soon signing to the local Bearsville label. His debut LP, Warmer, followed in 1979 -- written when VanWarmer was just 18, the single "Just When I Needed You Most" proved the rare pop ballad that could crack disco-dominated radio play lists as the decade drew to a close, reaching the number four spot on the Billboard chart.
His sophomore effort, Terraform, appeared in 1980, trailed a year later by Beat of Love -- neither record was a pop hit, but VanWarmer was gaining increasing industry fame as a composer, especially after his "I'm in a Hurry (And Don't Know Why)" topped the country charts for Alabama in 1982. A fourth solo LP, The Things That You Dream, was issued to diminishing commercial returns in 1983, and a year later the Oak Ridge Boys hit number one with his "I Guess It Never Hurts to Hurt Sometimes." VanWarmer relocated to Nashville in 1985 to ply his trade as a country songwriter -- in 1988, he resurfaced as a solo artist with I Am, scoring a pair of country hits with "I Will Hold You" and "Where the Rocky Mountains Touch the Morning Sun." Subsequent efforts include 1990's Every Now and Then, 1994's The Vital Spark, and 1995's Third Child. After a long battle with leukemia, VanWarmer died in Seattle on January 12, 2004. ~ Jason Ankeny
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