Dean was born March 26, 1955. Hailing from the small Tennessee town, Lake City. Located in East Tennessee right outside of Knoxville with a population of around 1,700 people. Dean’s songs would go on to be known all around the world.
Dean was inducted into the Nashville songwriters hall of fame in 2002. Dean also has the look of the quintessential cowboy, complete with a mustache that even Sam Elliott would appreciate.
Dean wrote “Set em up Joe” recorded by Vern Gosdin which is probably the song most identified with Vern to this day. “Is it raining at your house” is also one of the most popular ballads Gosdin ever recorded.
Also wrote Keith Whitley’s first single “Miami My Amy” and the hit “Homecoming 63”
Also my favorite Brooks and Dunn song “I’ll never forgive my heart”
Kenny Chesney “A lot of things different” which is probably the most pure country song of Kenny’s career.
Dean also wrote Tennessee Whiskey which was one George Jones signature songs and later helped Chris Stapleton burst onto the national scene with his bluesy rendition of the song.
But Dean’s biggest success was writing for George Strait. From the beginning Dean, was George’s go to for hit songs and album cuts as well. Dean even wrote “Unwound” which was George Strait’s first single and kicked off Strait’s unbelievable 35 plus year career.
Here’s a few of the song
“It ain’t cool to be crazy over you”
“I’ve come to expect it from you”
“If I know me”
“Easy come, easy go”
“Marina Del Ray”
“Nobody in his right mind would have left her”
“Ocean Front Property”
“The Chair” which both are two of the most clever lyrically that Strait ever recorded. “The chair” was co-written with another country music songwriting legend Hank Cochran. And was written in about 20 minutes after a late night song writing session.
Also “Back to being me” which is one of my favorite album cuts from the “ If you ain’t lovin, you ain’t livin” album.
Dean also has written songs for Toby Keith, Leann Womack, Alabama, and Shenandoah.
Dean has a great website deandillon.com that has a ton of cool information about his career. In 2017, a documentary was released entitled “Tennessee Whiskey, The Dean Dillon Story.”
Also check out my podcast The Hillbilly Luchadore Podcast. Episode 93 is all about Dean Dillon's songwriting career. It's on iTunes and Youtube.