Writer of “Hot Rod Lincoln” Dies

Charles Ryan, the Spokane man who will always be remembered for having co-written the hit song “Hot Rod Lincoln,” has finally parked his ol’ Model A and given up chasing the immortal “Hot Rod Lincoln.”

    Ryan died over the weekend at the age of 92 following a lengthy battle with heart disease.

    “Anyone who ever had the pleasure of meeting with, or working with Charlie, knew one thing: He was the REAL DEAL!” wrote Karl Bingle, who operates the Web site hot-rod-lincoln.com.

    “He had the kind of spirit and personality that immediately brought a smile to your face and challenged you to live life to the fullest. Charlie was one of a kind and his amazing contributions to Country and Rockabilly music will never be forgotten.”

    With the help of W.S. Stevenson, Ryan penned “Hot Rod Lincoln” and first recorded the song for the first time back in 1955. Since that time it has been recorded by numerous artists.

    Ryan was born in Graceville, Minn., on Dec. 19, 1915. He spent his early years in Polson, Mont., before moving to Spokane, Wash., in 1943. He was also a WWII veteran.

    He married Ruth Scheffler of Polson in 1943 and they had three children.

    The song, “Hot Rod Lincoln” was inspired by Ryan’s many commutes in his 1941 Lincoln from Spokane to play gigs at the Paradise Club in Lewiston, Idaho.

    Ryan’s version hit the Billboard Top 100 charts in 1960 and remained there for six months.  He was later inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame.

    A memorial service was set for Friday at Hazen &Jaeger Funeral Home in Spokane.

“I said, "Look out, boys, I’ve got a license to fly"
And that Caddy pulled over and let us by.”

CLICK HERE to listen to Charlie Ryan’s hit song "Hot Rod Lincoln.""


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