He moved to San Francisco, California after graduating from college, and first played Rock & Roll before switching his focus to Country music at record producer Pete Drake’s suggestion. By 1964, he played bass guitar for Carl Butler and Pearl, and had been signed to a publishing contract; his first hit as a songwriter was “How Long Has It Been”, which was a Top Ten Country hit for Bobby Lewis.
Over 150 of his songs were recorded in only nine months, including Johnny Duncan’s first Number One hit, “Thinking of a Rendezvous”. Other artists who had hits with his songs included John Conlee, Dave & Sugar, Merle Haggard, The Oak Ridge Boys, and Jerry Lee Lewis. He was also named Songwriter of the Year by the Nashville Songwriters Association International in 1978, 1979 and 1980, as well as Songwriter of the Year by Broadcast Music Incorporated in 1980. Between 1976 and 1980, at least one of his songs appeared on the Country charts almost every week, and overall, more than a thousand of his songs were recorded by Country artists. Throckmorton’s streak of songwriting continued into the 1980s and 1990s, with Mel McDaniel, George Strait and Doug Stone recording his material as well.
Throckmorton was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1985. Throckmorton retired to his ranch in Texas in 1988 to care for his dying father.