Photo of Dean Dillon a singer songwriter and man behind writing many famous country songs

Dean Dillon: The Man Behind Writing These 5 Famous Country Songs

Dean Dillon, while not a household name among country music enthusiasts, is undoubtedly responsible for crafting numerous songs that you’ve likely heard. Originating from Lake City, TN, he set his sights on his musical journey at the age of 18 when he moved to Nashville. There, he focused on songwriting and had the privilege of writing for legendary artists such as Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard. Although he briefly dabbled in performing, his true passion was composing music.

Dean Dillon’s songwriting talents soared to great heights, particularly in his collaborations with George Strait, where he contributed to the creation of over 70 chart-topping hits. He also lent his skills to other iconic musicians, including Kenny Chesney and Toby Keith. He is now a proud inductee in the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Country Music Hall of Fame, a testament to his dedication and exceptional abilities.

Dean Dillon’s journey serves as a reminder that influential figures in the music industry often work behind the scenes, leaving an impact on the genre.

Here are 5 songs you probably didn’t know Dean Dillon wrote:

“Unwound” – George Strait

Co-written by Dean Dillon and Frank Dycus, Strait’s major label single debut known as “Unwound” appeared on his 1981 album, Strait Country. This influential country song earned Strait a spot in the top 10 on the Billboard charts for the first time in his career.

“Tennessee Whiskey” – George Jones/Chris Stapleton

Before “Tennessee Whiskey” was recorded by Chris Stapleton in 2015, the single was originally brought to life by David Allan Coe in 1981 and then George Jones three years later. Written by Dillon and Linda Hargrove, this hit song has remained a country music staple for over 40 years.

“A Little Too Late” – Toby Keith

Released in 2006, Toby Keith’s “A Little Too Late” was the second single off his White Trash With Money album. Co-written by Keith and songwriting hit-makers, Dillon and Scotty Emerick, the single about the bitter end of a relationship quickly reached the Top 5 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart once it hit the airwaves.

“A Lot of Things Different” – Kenny Chesney 

Kenny Chesney, the No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problem artist released his version of the hit single “A Lot Of Different Things” in 2002. Together, Dillon and Bill Anderson penned the song about regrets and second chances, which was originally released as the title track to Anderson’s 2001 album.

“The Chair” – George Strait

“Unwound” might have started George Strait’s career, but this single off his fifth studio album was the driving force to the next chapter for him as an artist. Co-writers Dillion and Hank Cochran captured the true essence of a country love song when they penned “The Chair.”

Go purchase Dean Dillon tickets at the Grand Ole Opry on Tuesday, August 8, and enjoy his music live.