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
- "A Pair of Broken Hearts" (Rose/Carson) - Hank Snow
- "Be Honest With Me" (Rose/Autry) - Gene Autry
- "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain" (Rose) - Roy Acuff, Willie Nelson, Olivia Newton-John, Hank Williams (on Mothers Best Show), Alain Bashung
- "Blue Love (In My Heart)" (Floyd Jenkins) - Hank Williams
- "Charlestonette" (Rose/Whiteman) - Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra
- "Crazy Heart" (Rose/Maurice Murray) - Hank Williams
- "'Deed I Do" (Rose/Walter Hirsch) - Sophie Tucker
- "Deep Henderson" (Rose) - Joe "King" Oliver, The Ipana Troubadors, Coon-Sanders Original Nighthawk Orchestra
- "Deep Water (Rose) - Bob Wills, Carl Smith, George Strait, Don Everly
- "Dreaming the Waltz Away" (Rose/Whiteman) - Jesse Crawford
- "Faded Love and Winter Roses" (Rose) - Carl Smith, Hank Williams, David Houston
- "Fireball Mail" (Floyd Jenkins) - Roy Acuff, Wanda Jackson
- "Flamin' Mamie" (Rose/Whiteman) - Coon-Sanders Orchestra, Aileen Stanley
- "Foggy River" (Rose) - Moon Mullican, Red Foley, Carl Smith
- "Hang Your Head in Shame" (Rose/Ed G. Nelson/Steve Nelson) - Bob Wills, Red Foley
- "Home In San Antone" (Rose) - Bob Wills, Ray Price, Moe Bandy
- "I Can't Go On This Way" (Rose) - Bob Wills
- "I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive" (Rose/Williams) - Hank Williams
- "I Hang My Head And Cry" (Rose) Gene Autry, Marty Robbins, Hank Williams (on the Mother's Best Show)
- "It's a Sin" (Rose/Grishaw) - Eddy Arnold
- "Kaw-Liga" (Rose/Williams) - Hank Williams, Hank Williams, Jr., Carl Perkins, Charley Pride, Del Shannon, Jayke Orvis & the Broken Band,
- "No One Will Ever Know" (Rose/Mel Foree) - Marty Robbins, Gene Watson, Hank Williams
- "Pins and Needles" (Rose) - Darrell McCall, Hank Williams (on Mothers Best Show)
- "Red Hot Henry Brown" (Rose) - The Charleston Chasers, Margaret Young
- "Red Hot Mama" (Rose/Wells Gilbert/Bud Cooper) - Sophie Tucker, Cliff Edwards
- "Roly Poly" (Rose) - Bob Wills, Carl Smith, Hank Williams, Jim Reeves
- "Settin' the Woods on Fire" (Rose/Ed G. Nelson) - Hank Williams, Johnny Burnette
- "Take These Chains From My Heart" (Rose/Heath) - Hank Williams
- "Texarkana Baby" (Rose/Clark) - Eddy Arnold, Bob Wills
- "Waltz of the Wind" (Rose) - Roy Acuff, Carl Smith, Hank Locklin, Marty Robbins, Hank Williams
- Rumble, John. (1998). "Fred Rose." In The Encyclopedia of Country Music. Paul Kingsbury, Editor. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 459.