E. Lathan Hudson was born and raised in Sylacauga, Alabama. He is married to the former Kathleen Gatewood of Pittsfield, Massachusetts. They now live in Cocoa, Florida where Kathleen recently retired from the Kennedy Space Center. They have one son, Hud, and a daughter-in-law, Connie. Hud is a saltwater fishing guide on the Indian and Banana Rivers in Port St. John, Florida.
Hudson had the honor and pleasure of meeting T.S. Eliot and Harper Lee in 1962 & 1964 respectively. This was arranged through his creative writing professor, Dr. M. Study Slater, who thought Hudson was going to write the next Great American Novel. Hudson actually shot pool with T.S. Eliot and had dinner with Harper Lee (she told of Truman Capote’s encouragement and assistance which enabled her to write To Kill a Mockingbird.)
He worked for the ATSF railroad in Peach Springs, Arizona and lived on sidecars in the middle of the Jualapai Indian reservation as a Gandy Dancer (repairing railroad tracks and replacing railroad ties). Hudson worked construction as a heavy equipment operator. He also worked in a paper mill. In college, he played a baseball game in 104 degree heat with a dead fish in his back pocket (for a prank). He used to hunt (but doesn’t anymore) and actually caught a live wild turkey with his bare hands. (No one in the history of the world has ever done this). Hudson has the newspaper story and pictures.
Finally, Music calls him to Nashville
In 1976 Lathan, Kathleen and Hud moved to Nashville, Tennessee where Lathan became a staff writer for Tree Music Publisher. During Lathan’s tenure, he subsequently wrote for Pete Drake Productions and Lobo Music.
Lathan spent 18 successful years in Nashville, writing over 350 songs, of which 180 were recorded by more than 240 different artists. Four of Lathan’s songs were Grammy nominees. His songs have been recorded by stars the magnitude of B.J. Thomas, Barbra Streisand, Dolly Parton, George Jones, Tammy Wynette, Mel Tillis, Burl Ives, Martha & The Vandellas, Wayne Newton, and many others. Two of Lathan’s songs were Number 1 hits on the Billboard charts in the 1980s. New Looks From An Old Lover and the #1 Inspirational hit I’m In Tune—Finding How Good Life Can Be, both recorded by B.J. Thomas, are standards and still garner much radio and television air play.
During some of his golf outings, Lathan became popular among many of the well-known entertainment celebrities, and when he reminisces, he counts Darrel Royal, Red Lane, James Garner, (the late) Scatman Crothers, (the late) Mickey Mantle, and Jim Ed Brown as his close buddies.
While still in Nashville, Hudson co-wrote The Jingle Bell Monster song, which resulted in a children's storybook, plush toys, and a CD, all of the same name.
Now, a new Chapter
In 1994, Lathan retired from full-time songwriting. His family moved to Florida, where he turned his creativity from the Nashville scene to writing. This web site is a tribute to all the books Lathan has published and the projects to which he has given his time, creativity and energy. What you will find here doesn't begin to cover all of the projects and inventions of this tireless man. As new products are added to his inventory, they too will be honored with a page in this web site. He has just published his memoir of his years in Nashville, Once Upon a Time...There Was a Tavern."
Lathan Hudson is available for bookings for the Musical Kottage music programs. He is also a humorous/motivational speaker, using material based on his Thurmond stories and his experiences while in Nashville. He is currently available for signings and readings from his memoir.