Dean Dillon

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Dean Dillon
Birth nameDean Rutherford
Born(1955-03-26) March 26, 1955 (age 58)
OriginLake City, Tennessee, USA
OccupationsSinger, songwriter
InstrumentsVocals, guitar
Years active1979–present
Associated actsGary Stewart
George Strait
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Dean Dillon
Birth nameDean Rutherford
Born(1955-03-26) March 26, 1955 (age 58)
OriginLake City, Tennessee, USA
OccupationsSinger, songwriter
InstrumentsVocals, guitar
Years active1979–present
Associated actsGary Stewart
George Strait

Dean Dillon (born March 26, 1955) is an American country music artist and songwriter. Between 1982 and 1993, Dillon recorded six studio albums on various labels, and charted several singles on the Billboard country charts. Since 1993, Dillon has continued to write hit songs for other artists, most notably George Strait. In 2002, he was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.[1] Dillon is the father of country music songwriter, Jessie Jo Dillon, and the two often collaborate.

Early life[edit]

Dean Dillon was born Dean Rutherford[2] on March 26, 1955 in Lake City, Tennessee, where he was raised. He began playing the guitar at the age of seven, and when he was 15 he made his first public appearance as a singer and performer in the Knoxville variety show Jim Clayton Startime.[1] After finishing high school in 1973 he hitchhiked to Nashville with hopes of starting a music career.[3]


Recording Artist[edit]

As a recording artist between 1979 and 1983, Dillon charted eight times, including one top 30 hit, "I'm into the Bottle (To Get You out of My Mind)." He was featured on several duet albums with songwriting partner Gary Stewart. Early songwriting success earned Dillon a recording deal with Capitol Records for whom he released two studio albums. In 1991, now at Atlantic Records, Dillon released his most successful and most recent studio album, Out of Your Ever Lovin' Mind.[1]


As a songwriter, early successes includes George Jones' 1983 hit "Tennessee Whiskey". Dillon has written several singles for George Strait, including "The Chair," "Nobody in His Right Mind Would've Left Her," "It Ain't Cool to Be Crazy About You," "Ocean Front Property," "Famous Last Words of a Fool," "I've Come to Expect It From You," "If I Know Me," "Easy Come, Easy Go," "Lead On," "The Best Day," "She Let Herself Go", "Living for the Night," "Drinkin' Man" and "I Believe". Strait and his son Bubba co-wrote the latter three with Dillon.[1]



YearAlbumUS CountryLabel
1982Brotherly Love (with Gary Stewart)23RCA
1983Those Were the Days (with Gary Stewart)54
1988Slick NickelCapitol
1989I've Learned to Live
1991Out of Your Ever Lovin' Mind58Atlantic
1993Hot, Country and Single


YearSingleChart PositionsAlbum
US CountryCAN Country
1979"I'm Into the Bottle (To Get You Out of My Mind)"30Single only
1980"What Good Is a Heart"28
"Nobody in His Right Mind Would've Left Her"25
1981"They'll Never Take Me Alive"57
"Jesus Let Me Slide"77
1982"Brotherly Love" (with Gary Stewart)41Brotherly Love
"Play This Old Working Day Away"74
"You to Come Home To"65
1983"Those Were the Days" (with Gary Stewart)47Those Were the Days
"Smokin' in the Rockies" (with Gary Stewart)71
"Famous Last Words of a Fool"67Single only
1988"The New Never Wore Off My Sweet Baby"51Slick Nickel
"I Go to Pieces"39*
1989"Hey Heart"58*
"It's Love That Makes You Sexy"6160I've Learned to Live
"Back in the Swing of Things"8970
1991"Holed Up in Some Honky Tonk"6950Out of Your Ever Lovin' Mind
"Friday Night's Woman"3926
"Don't You Even (Think About Leavin')"6271
1993"Hot, Country and Single"62Hot, Country and Single

Music videos[edit]

1988"The New Never Wore Off My Sweet Baby"
1991"Holed Up in Some Honky Tonk"
"Don't You Even (Think About Leaving)" (with Tanya Tucker)
1993"Hot, Country & Single"[4]Mary Newman-Said

Songs written by Dean Dillon[edit]

Dillon has worked with a younger generation of country stars including Toby Keith and Kenny Chesney. In 2002, he was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame along with Bob Dylan and Shel Silverstein. Dillon co-wrote two songs on Toby Keith's 2005 album Honkytonk University, and five on his 2006 album White Trash with Money, including the single "A Little Too Late."

Dean has written, or helped write, the following singles for other artists:

Alabama"Changes Comin' On"
Brooks & Dunn"I'll Never Forgive My Heart"Ronnie Dunn, Janine Dunn
David Allan Coe"Tennessee Whiskey"
Gary Stewart"An Empty Glass"Gary Stewart
George Jones"Tennessee Whiskey"
George Strait"A Real Good Place to Start"Gary Nicholson
George Strait"Any Old Love Won't Do"Frank Dycus
George Strait"Back to Bein' Me"Hank Cochran
George Strait"Down and Out"Frank Dycus
George Strait"Drinkin' Man"George Strait, Bubba Strait
George Strait"Easy Come, Easy Go"Aaron Barker
George Strait"Famous Last Words of a Fool"Rex Huston
George Strait"For Christ's Sake, It's Christmas"Hank Cochran
George Strait"Four Down and Twelve Across"Tom Douglas
George Strait"Friday Night Fever"Frank Dycus, Blake Mevis
George Strait"Give Me More Time"Al Anderson, Scotty Emerick
George Strait"Good News, Bad News"Dale Dodson, Lee Ann Womack
George Strait"Her Goodbye Hit Me in the Heart"Frank Dycus
George Strait"He's Got That Something Special"George Strait, Bubba Strait
George Strait"Holding My Own"Pam Belford
George Strait"Honk If You Honky Tonk"Ken Mellons, John Northrup
George Strait"Honky Tonk Crazy"Frank Dycus
George Strait"Honkytonkville"Buddy Brock, Kim Williams
George Strait"I Ain't Her Cowboy Anymore"Scotty Emerick, Maria Cannon-Goodman
George Strait"I Believe"George Strait, Bubba Strait
George Strait"I Get Along With You"Frank Dycus, Murray F. Cannon, Raleigh Squires, and Jimmy Darrell
George Strait"I'd Just as Soon Go"Aaron Barker
George Strait"If I Know Me"Pam Belford
George Strait"If Heartaches Were Horses"Buddy Brock, Wil Nance
George Strait"If It's Gonna Rain"Scotty Emerick, Donny Kees
George Strait"I'm All Behind You Now"
George Strait"Is It That Time Again"Buddy Cannon, Vern Gosdin
George Strait"It Ain't Cool to Be Crazy About You"Royce Porter
George Strait"I've Come to Expect It From You"Buddy Cannon
George Strait"Lead On"Teddy Gentry
George Strait"Living for the Night"George Strait, Bubba Strait
George Strait"Marina del Rey"Frank Dycus
George Strait"Nobody in His Right Mind Would've Left Her
George Strait"Ocean Front Property"Hank Cochran, Royce Porter
George Strait"Peace of Mind"Aaron Barker
George Strait"Rockin' in the Arms of Your Memory"Norro Wilson
George Strait"She Let Herself Go"Kerry Kurt Phillips
George Strait"She's Playing Hell Trying to Get Me to Heaven"David Wills, Charles Quillen
George Strait"She Took the Wind From His Sails"Donny Kees
George Strait"That's My Kind of Woman"Tammy Hyler
George Strait"That's the Breaks"Royce Porter
George Strait"That's Where I Wanna Take Our Love"Hank Cochran
George Strait"The Best Day"Carson Chamberlain
George Strait"The Breath You Take"Jessie Jo Dillon, Casey Beathard
George Strait"The Chair"Hank Cochran
George Strait"The Road Less Traveled"Buddy Brock
George Strait"Unwound"Frank Dycus
George Strait"We're Supposed to Do That Now and Then"David Anthony, Joseph-Nicholas-Pancrac Royer
George Strait"West Texas Town"Robert Earl Keen
George Strait"What Would Your Memories Do"Hank Cochran
George Strait"When You're in Love"Kerry Kurt Phillips
George Strait"Without Me Around"John Northrup
George Strait"Without You Here"Royce Porter
George Strait"You Sure Got This Ol' Redneck Feelin' Blue"Buzz Rabin
Hank Williams, Jr., Waylon Jennings, and Ernest Tubb"Leave Them Boys Alone"
Keith Whitley"Miami, My Amy"
Keith Whitley"Homecoming '63"
Kenny Chesney"A Chance"Royce Porter
Kenny Chesney"A Lot of Things Different"Bill Anderson
Kenny Chesney"Be As You Are"Kenny Chesney
Kenny Chesney"Boats"Kenny Chesney, Scotty Emerick
Kenny Chesney"Guitars and Tiki Bars"Kenny Chesney, Mark Tamburino
Kenny Chesney"I'm Alive"Kenny Chesney, Mark Tamburino
Kenny Chesney"She Always Says It First"Kenny Chesney
Kenny Chesney"Soul of a Sailor"Kenny Chesney, Scotty Emerick
Kenny Chesney"The Angel at the Top of My Tree"Kenny Chesney, Buddy Cannon
Lee Ann Womack"Have You Seen That Girl?"
Lee Ann Womack"Twenty Years and Two Husbands Ago"
Lee Ann Womack"We've Called It Everything But Quits"
Pam Tillis"All the Good Ones Are Gone"
Pam Tillis"Spilled Perfume"
Paul Overstreet"If I Could Bottle This Up"
Rodney Atkins"The Corner"Dale Dodson, Jessie Jo Dillon
Sammy Kershaw"One Day Left to Live"
Shenandoah"Darned If I Don't (Danged If I Do)"Ronnie Dunn
Toby Keith"A Little Too Late"Toby Keith, Scotty Emerick
Toby Keith"Ain't No Right Way"Toby Keith, Scotty Emerick
Toby Keith"Burnin' Moonlight"Toby Keith, Scotty Emerick
Toby Keith"Get My Drink On"Toby Keith, Scotty Emerick
Toby Keith"Go with Her"Toby Keith, Scotty Emerick
Toby Keith"I Ain't Already There"Toby Keith, Scotty Emerick
Toby Keith"Knock Yourself Out"Toby Keith, Scotty Emerick
Toby Keith"Note to Self"Toby Keith, Scotty Emerick
Toby Keith"Too Far This Time"Toby Keith, Scotty Emerick
Toby Keith"You Ain't Leaving (Thank God Are Ya)"Toby Keith, Scotty Emerick
Vern Gosdin"Is It Raining at Your House"
Vern Gosdin"Set 'Em Up, Joe"
Vince Gill"Whippoorwill River"Vince Gill


  1. ^ a b c d Sterling, Todd. "Dean Dillon". Allmusic. Retrieved March 5, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Dean Dillon". Discogs. Retrieved March 5, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Biography". Dean Dillon. Retrieved March 5, 2013. 
  4. ^ "CMT : Videos : Dean Dillon : Hot, Country, And Single". Country Music Television. Retrieved September 30, 2011. 

External links[edit]