NJ native who penned ‘Rhinestone Cowboy’ struggles after COVID-19 battle

COVID-19 knocked the New Jersey native who penned the megahit “Rhinestone Cowboy” right out of his saddle.

And now the family of Newark-born singer-songwriter Larry Weiss is hoping friends, strangers and those who’ve enjoyed his work — including Jersey icon Bruce Springsteen — will ride to his rescue.

Weiss became seriously ill in July after contracting corona from his roommate — who succumbed to the virus.

The 79-year-old Weiss spent two months in and out of the hospital battling high fevers, low oxygen levels and two bouts of pneumonia. At one point he was almost put on a ventilator.

“It was a time of reflection. It was a time to look back at my life and to think about things that I had done and could have done. And want to do. I never felt I was going to check out,” Weiss told The Post from his longtime residence in Nashville.

Weiss admitted he was “scared” when originally rushed to the hospital on July 29.

“I had no control over my breathing,” he said.

Now on the road to wellness, Weiss — whose tunes have been recorded by everyone from Eric Burden to Jeff Beck and Barry Manilow — faces mounting medical bills and a lengthy rehab.

His daughter, Stephanie, who lives in Seattle, launched a GoFundMe campaign Oct. 19 that has raised nearly $6,000 — including $100 from the Nashville Songwriters Association Int’l.

Weiss’ Garden State cousin has tried to enlist the help of Springsteen — who covered “Rhinestone Cowboy” last year.

Weiss called Springsteen’s rendition “fantastic,” noting that Glenn Campbell’s version “was a bit glossy, but Bruce gave it more meat. Closer to the street. It was more towards what the song was about…a reflection of my experiences on Broadway as a songwriter starting out in the 1960s.”

Weiss’ insurance will “only cover only a small portion of what is necessary for his proper home care” the GoFundMe explains.

Weiss gets royalties for “Rhinestone Cowboy” — which went  No. 1 for Campbell in 1975 — but he said, “it’s just enough for me to get by, but not to pay my medical expenses.”

Weiss said he’d “love to hear” from The Boss, but, “that’s up to him. I’m not asking him for anything. I’m just happy that he recorded my song. It was a great honor for me.”

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