Fred Imus on the cover of "The Fred Book," which he wrote with the Daily News' Mike Lupica.Fred Imus, younger brother of WABC morning host Don Imus and a long-time songwriter and radio host himself, was found dead Saturday at his home in Tucson, Ariz. He was 69.
He was reportedly found in his trailer after he failed to show up for "Fred's Trailer Park Bash," a weekend show he cohosted with Don Collier and "Missy" on Sirius XM's Outlaw Country channel.
In 1976 he and a fellow railroad worker named Phil Sweet cowrote "I Don't Want To Have To Marry You," a No. 1 country hit for Jim Ed Brown and Helen Cornelius. It was voted song of the year by Music City News.
Fred collaborated with Don on the 1997 book "Two Guys Four Corners," which featured photographs and reminiscences of the Southwest, and with Daily News columnist Mike Lupica on 1998's "The Fred Book," which featured Fred's thoughts on life.
Fred was best known to New Yorkers and radio listeners as a laconic, droll, funny and sometimes ornery guest on his brother's syndicated show.
In the 1990s he ran Auto Body Express, which began as a garage where he worked on restoring vintage cars. Don mentioned it on the radio and that random remark soon turned it into a million-dollar clothing and food business.
Fred first ran Auto Body Express out of the same El Paso garage before moving to Santa Fe. He answered phones himself and grumbled that all these T-shirt sales didn't leave him enough time to finish restoring those 1957 Chevies.
The business continued until 2003, and Fred also spent time helping run Don's Imus Ranch in New Mexico before moving to Tucson several years ago.
Don, who was very close to Fred all his life, always gave Fred credit for some of his own success. Fred produced the Imus radio show for a time and Don said Fred was the one who suggested opening the microphones for comments by Imus's staff, including producer Bernard McGuirk and engineer Lou Rufino.
Don also said Fred had the skill to write more hit songs if he had pursued that avenue. Fred said in 1991 he preferred to live a more low-key life, which he did.
Fred Imus was born in 1942 in California and grew up in the Southwest before serving in the Army and working as a brakeman on the Southern Pacific Railroad.
In 1963, before Don went into radio, he and Fred wrote and recorded a song called "I'm A Hot Rodder (And All That Jazz)" for the Challenge label under the name Jay Jay Imus and Freddy Ford.
Although the two often argued on the air, they ended every call with “I love you.”
Before the Imus brothers ventured into radio they recorded a song called “I’m a Hot Rodder (And All That Jazz)” in 1963 as Jay Jay Imus and Freddy Ford.
Mr. Imus peaked musically in 1976 when he wrote “I Don’t Want to Have to Marry You” with Phil Sweet, who worked with him on the railroad. The song was recorded by Jim Ed Brown and Helen Cornelius and reached No. 1 on the country charts.
Fredric Moore Imus was born in Los Angeles on Jan. 11, 1942. He attended Kent State University and served in the Army’s 101st Airborne Division. He married and divorced twice.
Besides his brother, survivors include three sons and several grandchildren.
Mr. Imus also co-authored two books, “The Fred Book,” with the Daily News columnist Mike Lupica, and “Two Guys, Four Corners: Great Photographs, Great Times, and a Million Laughs,” with his brother.