Fred Imus lived in a 5th wheel trailer in the same RV park in Tucson that we have stayed at the past 5 years. He pretty much was a loner but would talk to you if you initiated a conversation with him. He had a number of friends in the park, however we didn't know him very well at all. He was quite a character and I know many people will miss him.
Fred Imus, songwriter and brother of Don Imus, dies at 69
Saturday, August 6th 2011, 10:47 PM
Don ImusFred Imus on the cover of "The Fred Book," which he wrote with the Daily News' Mike Lupica.
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.
Plans for services have not been announced.