Buddy Holly's longtime songwriting partner Bob Montgomery has died, aged 77.

The hitmaker and producer, who also wrote songs for Eddy Arnold, Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton, passed away in Missouri on Thursday (04Dec14) after a struggle with Parkinson's disease.

He began his career with Holly in a rockabilly group in the 1950s, but turned to songwriting when his pal formed the Crickets.

He moved to Nashville, Tennessee in the late 1960s and launched House of Gold Music, which became a publishing hub for acts like Alabama, Parton, Rogers and the Judds.