“I burn with desire, each time my heart fans the fire, to that old flame that burns inside of me.” Recognize those heart wrenching lyrics? That is one of George Strait’s best songs. It hit number one on the Billboards in 1983. A lot of people assume that since George sang it, he wrote it. That is not true. Not to take away from George’s ability to perform, sing and make a song his own. He’s a bad ass. He is, and always will be one of my favorite country artist of all time. However, Dean Dillon is the man behind the hits. With songs like “Nobody in His Right Mind Would’ve Left Her”, “Famous Last Words of a Fool”, “Down and Out”, “Marina Del Ray”, “The Chair”, “Ocean Front Property” and his latest creation for George, “The Breath You Take”, just to name a few. Dean Dillon is the true definition of a troubadour. Even though he did not write George Strait’s “Troubadour”, that song is about guys like him. George and Dean make one hell of a team. Dean being the poet, George being the face and the voice. Couldn’t have worked out any better.
Two George Strait songs written by Dean Dillon. “Easy Come, Easy Go” and “Here For A Good Time”
If you ask me, Dean Dillon is the best songwriter since Hank Williams. To a lot of people, “them’s fightin’ words”, but I truly believe that! This guy did not write hit songs for George Strait alone. You know that little tune we play on KLLL called “Tennessee Whiskey”? Yeah, that’s all Dean Dillon. He wrote it back in 1983 and George Jones recorded it. Recently covered by Chris Stapleton. He also wrote that Texas Swing tune we play called “West Texas Town”. I am a big fan of Texas Swing so it’s one of my favorites. I will say, I was extremely disappointed at the fact that Lubbock was not mentioned in that song. Lubbock is often left out of songs, and with the rich music history here, I’m not sure why. There are so many artists that buy Dean Dillon songs. They are so poetic and true. They send chills up and down the spine. They make the hair on your neck stand on end. All of that good stuff. That’s what its all about. People relate to these songs. The person on stage means nothing. The song the person on stage is singing is what truly matters. As well as how that person presents that song. That is what George Strait has perfected. He makes a song his own and that definitely takes a certain kind of talent. People tend to get caught up in the fascination of the person on stage, myself included, and do not focus on the music. It’s easy to do! The words of the song as well as the music backing those words, truly is the heart of any song.
If you want to see real swagger watch this video. This guy has to be the most charismatic person in the world. Frank Sinatra ain’t got nothin’ on Dean Dillon. What Dean says at the 1:50 mark is honesty. Briefly speaking on modern country music, what he has to say couldn’t be more simple and more true. When you hear what he says, remember, it’s coming from a rough, traditional, songwriting cowboy that gets it. This is just one small reason why I am a Dean Dillon fan. This guy is so damn cool.
Dean Dillon has written songs for some of the best in the business. Brooks and Dunn, Keith Whitley, Alabama, Vince Gill, Kenny Chesney, Hank Williams Jr., Waylon Jennings, Toby Keith, Lee Ann Womack, Pam Tillis, and many more.
If he wanted to, Dean could hang his hat and live a very comfortable life from this point forward, but why in the world would he do that? He has an impact on so many people’s lives, including mine, with his poetry. Make no mistake, it is poetry. Why do you think Bob Dylan received the Nobel Prize in literature? Even though half of his songs make no sense.<—–That was a joke and a shot at my good buddy Alex, so calm down Bob Dylan fans. Sadly, real poetry is dead. Songwriters are the modern day poets. I would sell my soul to the devil to be able to write like Dean Dillon. Well, maybe not sell my soul, but I’d let him tamper with my soul a little bit! If there is any kind of formula to song writing, Dean Dillon has it locked away in his Saturday night special, six shooter case, next to a 70 year old bottle of whiskey. Sounds about right to me.
I am providing the link for “Tennessee Whiskey: The Dean Dillon Story” on YouTube. It’s less than four bucks and it’s a great story about a man that just can’t help but write a damn good song.
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