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pod615 – Episode 4 - Dickey Lee (Full Transcript)

Updated: Feb 24, 2023

pod615 podcast interview with Dickie Lee

pod615 – Episode 4 - Dickey Lee (Full Transcript)

William Kitchens [00:00:00] Well, in 1962, you penned She Thinks I Still Care, which is an absolutely iconic country music standard still heard today. Tell me how you came to write that. What what inspired that song? Was that something you were writing for yourself or were you thinking about writing only?

Dickey Lee [00:00:17] That's the only song of all the songs I've written, really, that I was writing about a girl that I was crazy about when I was in school. And she, you know, she never really liked me that much.

William Kitchens [00:00:31] Was her name? Linda.

Dickey Lee [00:00:32] No, her name was Beverly.

Theme Song [00:00:34] Up and down Broadway across the avenues, East Nashville to Westend, Belle Meade and Bellevue, Midtown. Franklin, Green Hills, Brentwood, Donelson and Hendersonville. The people, the places, the lifestyle, living, loving in the 615.

VO [00:01:04] Welcome to the pod 615 with host William Kitchens. In this episode, William sits down to talk with the great Tennessee singer songwriter Dixie Lee. Originally from Memphis, Dickey began performing while still in high school. A visit to the legendary Memphis deejay Dewey Phillips would be the catalyst for a tremendous career in the music business. In the sixties, Dickey Lee achieved national fame with classic teen hits like Patches. I saw Linda yesterday and Lori strange things happen. Then in 1962, Dickey would write the iconic George Jones country music hit She Thinks I Still Care. This time was Standard has been recorded numerous times by artists such as Elvis Presley, James Taylor, Tina Carter, Merle Haggard and hundreds more. In the seventies, Dickey would once again appear on both the top 40 pop and country billboard charts with the hits Rocky and 9,999,999 Tears. For most artists, this would be a complete career. But for Dickey Lee, it was just the beginning. Dickey would go on to co-write his way into the Songwriters Hall of Fame with a huge discography of hits including George Strait's Number One. Let's Fall to Pieces Together, another number one in a Different Light, recorded by Doug Stone. And who could forget one of the most popular first dance wedding songs of the nineties, the Tracy Byrd chart topper, Keeper of the Stars. And now in 2022. Performing even today, Dickey Lee is still very active in his career and hasn't shown any signs of slowing down.

William Kitchens [00:02:35] Mr. Lee, how are you today? Thank you for letting me share your afternoon and good.

Dickey Lee [00:02:40] William, it's so good to have you.

William Kitchens [00:02:42] Well, I'm really honored to be here. So I told you earlier, it's about 15 years old when? 9,999,999 tears came out.

Dickey Lee [00:02:52] Hey, man, I'm older than everybody.

William Kitchens [00:02:54] Well, we won't tell that here.

Dickey Lee [00:02:55] All right.

William Kitchens [00:02:56] Oh, that Razzy Bailey song that you cut, that was incredible. I wore that 45 out playing my guitar to it, you know? Yeah. You know how you take a guitar, you copy the chords.

Dickey Lee [00:03:08] Yeah

William Kitchens [00:03:08] Learn the song. That was one of my favorite records of all time.

Dickey Lee [00:03:12] Yeah, I got that. I think Razzy even had that record out way before I did, and I think it was on small label. Nothing really happened. I didn't even know it. But there was an RCA guy, a promotion guy. And this is horrible because I can't, man, I forget name so much right now, but he he brought this song to me. He didn't have anything to do with me other than I was on RCA. And he was a he was a pop promotion guy. And he said, Man, I think this would be a great song for you. And so I played I liked it. And, you know, it was like at the time I did it, let's see, was about early seventies and it kind of had a little pop sound, too, you know. In fact, we had we had a we got a little pop play out of it, but it was a it was a big country record. So, you know, I was and I wasn't sure about that because it was oh, it was almost immortal rock and roll almost. But it worked so.

William Kitchens [00:04:14] Well in the Atlanta market. I heard it on both the top 40 station in the country. So.

Dickey Lee [00:04:19] Yeah, yeah. WPLO , slow down there. Well.

William Kitchens [00:04:24] Lynn Anthony, I mean, you came up.

Dickey Lee [00:04:26] I had my first record in 1957.

William Kitchens [00:04:29] Yes. And you are from Memphis? Yeah. You grew up in Memphis?

Dickey Lee [00:04:32] Yeah.

William Kitchens [00:04:33] And what was in the water there? The million dollar quartet. You guys were all coming up at the same time or Sun Records, and they.

Dickey Lee [00:04:40] Were they were most of those were they were just two or three years ahead of me. Right. But, I mean, you know, like Sun Records got that thing going down there. And I later I recorded for Sun , and I had a couple of records on Sun.

William Kitchens [00:04:55] Yeah. Dewey Phillips. No relation to Sam right? right. But Dewey is the deejay, the famous deejay in Memphis, that that sort of discovered you. You paid a visit to the studios and played him some songs and he took some interest.

Dickey Lee [00:05:09] Well, yeah, he's the first guy who played Elvis on the radio. But yeah, well, you know, it's kind of weird because I do these crazy things back then. I mean, I love to sing and play, and I wasn't that good that I was really just kind of starting out. But I remember in high school, he had his radio station, WHBQ was it's just a hotel on the mezzanine floor, which is down at the south end of Memphis on Main Street. And he had a show on called Red Hot and Blue Every Night. Let's see, I was like like Monday through Saturday 9 'til12. The kids just loved him, you know, and he listened. And so one night I went up there and when he came off the air, I asked him if he would listen to a couple of songs, you know, and he said, Yeah. So I had my guitar in the car, so I go back and get it, play these songs. Me, he said, he said, I really like those. You said you have a band. And I said, No, I don't. He said, Well, he said, I'll tell you what he said, you put a band together and call me and I want to hear with a band. So I did, you know, I got a band together and a couple of guys I played with off and on and got them all together. But we had a little rhythm group got back up there probably two or three months later and played them. And he actually he recorded these two songs at WHBG studios and then he, he he got some little fly by night label Tampa records out of out of Hollywood, Florida, I think it was. But we put these two songs on it out on the label, and I remember Dewey, Elvis. He came out with All Shook Up the same week that my record came out, and they weren't up the Memphis charts like I was one slot behind him all the way to number one, you know?

William Kitchens [00:07:05] And how did that feel? Felt great... did you feel like you had arrived that year?

Dickey Lee [00:07:10] Oh, man. It was like it was like magic. And I remember the the first time I heard that record on the air, a buddy of mine may actually want to drive in movie to see some action movie or something and had the radio on. And it came it came on the radio. So the first time I heard my own record, I was I was sitting at a drive in movie, had the radio going and it was, I thought, Well, this is so cool.

William Kitchens [00:07:36] How old were you then?

Dickey Lee [00:07:38] I was probably about 19.

William Kitchens [00:07:41] So you're out of high school?

[00:07:43] Yeah, I was graduated. I was just.

Dickey Lee [00:07:44] Out of high school. Yeah, I was. I was actually I was just getting out of high school when I actually went up to see him. But I started school. Before he got everything completed and they recorded it and all. And, and, and, and my buddies, all the guys in my band, they were. They were from the Memphis State University. Memphis was Memphis State at the time. And like Rhodes College was. There's it's Rhodes now, but it was Southwestern. Back then it was called Southwestern. But I got three guys saying one of them was Allen Reynolds, who produced all the Garth Brooks records, got him and he got a couple of guys. And, you know, so I had three singers in my band and a rhythm section, so I'd call it Dickey Lee and the Collegiates. And so after, you know, our record, you know, we had some, some reasonable success with the first record and and then Dewey got me on Sun after that. So I had a couple of records there and, you know, just had a lot of fun and played a lot of college and high school fraternities and sororities and know did a bunch of that stuff back then while I was while I was going to school.

William Kitchens [00:09:00] So you got your seasoning there before? Yeah, yeah. Pay your dues. Yeah. That you know, it amazes me. I want to ask you about this, because you think about Liverpool and the Beatles, four guys coming together with all this talent in one city. You think about Memphis and all these talented guys. It just happened to be in the right place at the right time with real talent.

Dickey Lee [00:09:24] Oh, man.

William Kitchens [00:09:25] You guys, what was in the water in Memphis?

Dickey Lee [00:09:27] Yeah, I don't know. Something good, I guess, but, yeah, it was amazing. Well, you know, you talk about the Beatles. I'm thinking these guys, I mean, as songwriters. Oh.

William Kitchens [00:09:40] Well, what are the odds of em four guys from Liverpool being in the same place at the same time, just like you in Memphis? I think about even Lynryrd Skynyrd from Jacksonville, Florida.

Dickey Lee [00:09:51] Yeah.

William Kitchens [00:09:52] All great recording musicians, great talents. But they're all they just came Tom Petty, another, you know, surrounded by just you and Allen Reynolds. You guys meet, what are the odds that both of you would have these distinguished careers

Dickey Lee [00:10:06] you know, in like we were, I mean, when we met in college, in fact, a guy, you know, a guy told me about him, you know, we we we got together. We kind of been together off and on ever since, you know, like we play golf together about once a week or two and whatever. But what was really funny, you talk about little groups being together. I was like, you know, this is a few years later when we moved to Nashville and Allen and I moved up to Nashville, we brought we brought Bob McDill with us. And then a guy named Waylon Holyfield came in and oh, gosh, let's see who else. But we all we all got in the Songwriters Hall of Fame. You know, I'm thinking that is really weird. You know, it's just a little click of guys and everybody is inducted into the hall.

William Kitchens [00:10:52] The music they think about a lot. How does that happen? That there's this collective group of talent, it just comes up at the same time and you're certainly part of that. You met Elvis. I heard the story that you were at the Rainbow Room performing, I think.

Dickey Lee [00:11:07] Rainbow Terrace Room.

William Kitchens [00:11:08] Yeah. He invited he was out of a parking lot. What song was that? That he had heard that he liked. He wanted to talk to you?

Dickey Lee [00:11:14] Oh, it was the first it was a first record. It was when I watched that Tampa record on one side was called Dream Boy. The other side Stay True Baby.

William Kitchens [00:11:21] So he has all shook up on the charts. Yeah, yeah. You're at the Rainbow performing. Yeah. And Elvis is out there in his Cadillac going to meet you. He didn't come in for the show. He just. He just go, Oh.

Dickey Lee [00:11:32] Now this guy, this guy told me I don't remember who it was, but he said when we were when we were done, he said, Hey, Elvis wants to meet you. And I said, You kidding me? And he said, he said, no. He said, He's outside. So, you know, I go out with the guy and he's you know, he's parked his Cadillac on the top down. And, you know, we talk for a few minutes. You said, hey, I really like your record. And I said, Well, I really like your record. I liked a few of your records, you know, so, you know, we just kind of hit it off. And he invited me out to his house and I went out there a few times.

William Kitchens [00:12:06] Have you had a chance to see the the new Elvis movie?

Dickey Lee [00:12:09] Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

William Kitchens [00:12:10] What did you have when it depicted Graceland during that era? Was it pretty accurate?

Dickey Lee [00:12:13] Well, you know, I thought, you know, it was really it was really a good movie. And and it was like from from a Colonel's viewpoint almost, you know? Sure. But but I. I really enjoy the movie. And I, you know, one thing and I thought, well, you know, the family, you know, Priscilla and all of them, they were right there on top of this thing the whole time they were doing it. And I never I never I never even had a clue that his mother had a drinking problem. And I figured it had to be true or they were have put that in the movie. But I, I remember being, being at his house one night and we were all. We were all going to a movie, he rented the old Memphian and the. Are you familiar with Memphis?

William Kitchens [00:12:58] I know some of the stories because I happened to have had a relationship with William Bell.

Dickey Lee [00:13:03] Yeah.

William Kitchens [00:13:04] Actually, early in my career

Dickey Lee [00:13:04] William Bell and I use to sing some together. Yes. I would love to see him again. You know? I know he's I think he's in Atlanta.

William Kitchens [00:13:10] Yeah, he is. He's in the that's where I met him. I met him when I was sixteen years old. He used to take me to a studio. He dated one of my mom's friends. And so we became friends and.

Dickey Lee [00:13:19] What do you do? You know? Do you ever talk to him anymore?

William Kitchens [00:13:22] I have not, but I have friends who know him. And I would love to reach out to him again, so I'll let him know.

Dickey Lee [00:13:27] Hey man, would you give my regards? I love that guy he had. We met in the Del Rio's. I think they had a they had a group and they were really good, you know, and we never really did anything together, but we sang a little bit together just. Yeah.

William Kitchens [00:13:40] Well, he was part of that group too, Elvis and him were friends as well.

Dickey Lee [00:13:43] Yeah, but I. But I didn't. I didn't realize that, you know. Sure.

William Kitchens [00:13:49] Yeah. Stax Records right there. Memphis was a hotbed.

Dickey Lee [00:13:53] He was a talented guy.

William Kitchens [00:13:55] Well, yeah. And he just won a Grammy. He won a Grammy three or four years ago.

Dickey Lee [00:13:58] Yeah, that's right. A record. That's right. I'd love to say to him sometime

William Kitchens [00:14:03] Yeah, he's gotten big again.

Dickey Lee [00:14:04] You may not even remember me. I don't know.

William Kitchens [00:14:06] You know, he he has a big way back. He'd certainly remember you.

Dickey Lee [00:14:10] But.

William Kitchens [00:14:11] So you go. You're hanging out. Going to see movies with Elvis? Yeah. Who's about to have a movie career not far away from. Not too far away from that. And he liked to go see movies, so he rented out the theater there.

Dickey Lee [00:14:23] Well, what made me think of that was want to start talking about his mother, because I remember last night when we were out we are where our in his front porch at Graceland and I remember. So now you got you boys be good. Okay. And he said, yes, ma'am, we will. And we were so sure you were. But he would he rated the movie and, you know, it was after hours, you know, so I was just about six or seven. I was there and that was it. I wish I had remembered the name of the movie, but I don't. That last one.

William Kitchens [00:14:53] Would be great to know. Yeah. He also. There was an amusement park, so remember Memphis? He used to like to rent out it.

Dickey Lee [00:14:58] Yeah, that's right. Yeah. I never did that with him.

William Kitchens [00:15:00] You never did, though.

Dickey Lee [00:15:01] I know. He rented it out. The amusement park. Yeah.

William Kitchens [00:15:04] Jack Clement, tell me about it, because this guy should be a travel agent. He moved you? He moved from Memphis to Beaumont. From Beaumont. But back to did you come back to Memphis and then go to Nashville?

Dickey Lee [00:15:15] Came back to Memphis. Ah. Oh, but then. Then he moved us from Memphis to Nashville.

William Kitchens [00:15:20] So he had a he had a major Cowboy. Jack Clement had a big, big influence on your success.

Dickey Lee [00:15:27] He was Moses in another life But but, you know, when we met him, he was the engineer at Sun Records when Dewey got me on Sun and we just, you know, we got to be really good friends and and and stay that way, you know, until his death. And but, yeah, he was responsible. Like, like, you know, Allen was one of the guys in the band. But, but Allen and myself, we pal around a lot and we just really hit it off with Jack. We'd kind of party some together, do things together. And Jack was kind of crazy back then, but.

William Kitchens [00:16:01] You gota favorite story that you can share.

Dickey Lee [00:16:04] And how much money? How much time?

William Kitchens [00:16:06] As much time as you allow me. Oh, no, I want to. I want to.

Dickey Lee [00:16:09] I remember now down there, you know, he he's got a wild, crazy guy. And we met him. And I remember later he he showed me this letter he'd gotten. He he lived to these he lived in these apartments, I think over close to where Elvis where Elvis lived. But he lived on a he lived on a second floor, had a little balcony overlooking a swimming pool, and he would jump off the balcony into the swimming pool. And he gave me this showed me this letter. He got one time he they they started they first started off just saying all the all the rules he'd broken, you know, while he was living there. And the last paragraph, they were giving them 24 hours to vacate the premises.

William Kitchens [00:16:56] Did he did he have to pay attention to that or.

Dickey Lee [00:16:59] Oh yeah. Oh yeah, yeah. They made him get out. They kicked him out, you know.

William Kitchens [00:17:03] Oh mercy.

Dickey Lee [00:17:05] But he, you know, he was a genius, you know, it's just just amazing.

William Kitchens [00:17:09] And what was this, a, how he was your producer, right? Yeah. He over to you. What records of yours that he produced for you?

Dickey Lee [00:17:17] Oh, first one, of course. He, he engineer. You know, we really didn't have a he was kind of an unnamed producer on Sun because we didn't even have a producer. He was just a recording engineer. And I had a cut about four side, four, six sides down there. He did a minor and nothing, you know, they were like mediocre Mid-South hits, you know, nothing really great happen with any of them. But when when we later got together in Nashville, he recorded I mean, he produced my first one , Never Even Saw Love, which was my first number one country record. That was about it's about 1971. And I had a I was with RCA. I had had a pop career prior to this. And between my Sun stuff and RCA, I recorded for Smash Records at RCA and also for 20th Century Fox and had had a few hits there. And then and then. And I've always loved country music. I always want to. Elvis got me sidetracked when I was when I was a kid. And but I'd always want to do country. And when when we moved to Nashville, ah, I was going up there, basically, and so was Allen. And just with the idea of writing songs for Jack and we started doing demos and things and I eventually I got to RCA and and I remember asking Chet if he because my first record for RCA was a pop record or it was a song, nobody's ever heard of it. I thought it was really a cool song, was called Charley My Whole World, and it didn't get much play because coming out of there you didn't get much pop like, you know, but it was a pop record. But the one that after that I did Never in Song A Love Which which was the number one song and Jack produced all these things and he did a few more. Another song, an old song that I did after every song I Love was a song called Ashes of Love, and it was a song that I'd been singing since I was a kid. And it was it had been recorded before by a group called Johnny and Jack, but Tennessee Mountain Boys in 1951. And they had a big hit record.

William Kitchens [00:19:35] And you knew that record as a young man growing up?

Dickey Lee [00:19:38] Yeah, I've been singing it for years, you know, just for fun, you know? I just liked it. And Jack and I, we were just talking and I said, you know, and he liked it, too. I said, Why don't we record this song? You know, nobody ever nobody had ever done it since. And that I'm aware of. And, you know, we had like I'm thinking got to number four, you know, on the charts. And it was a real, real big record for me. And I did a few more things. It was a.

William Kitchens [00:20:04] Great time in country music history.

Dickey Lee [00:20:06] Oh it was Magic.

William Kitchens [00:20:06] 70's, 80's

Dickey Lee [00:20:07] Magic time...

William Kitchens [00:20:08] Yeah. What do you think about today's music? Do you have any opinions on today's music or, the music industry, how it's evolved because it used to be you could go meet a disc jockey and you could get some local airplay that doesn't exist anymore. That's well.

Dickey Lee [00:20:21] You know, back back when I was in it, I mean, you could even I remember when I first moved to Nashville, if you knew people just walk in their session, you know, if you knew somebody was recording RCA and they were all run by, you know, going by there for Waylon Jennings Sessions and Charley Pride and and man, just and yet I got so inspired, you know, just listening to those guys recording and then and, you know, later on, well, after I was kind of out of it as far as recording. But I mean, you could it's like the Gestapo, you know, you don't go in any studio without, you know, a pass or a name tag or.

William Kitchens [00:21:05] Even I started coming up here professionally. In 87, there was buzzers. You know, you didn't just walk in with a guitar and a song, yet you had to get an appointment. And, you know, it's but it's a business is a music business.

Dickey Lee [00:21:17] Yeah, but it was so, you know, it was a business back then, but it was so friendly and you know, you would it was kinda everybody kinda knew everybody pretty much. And you always, you know, if somebody else wrote a song or had a hit record, I mean, you always really happy for them. It was almost you could live through them vicariously, kind of, you know, just just writers and singers and you just all your friends, you just wanted them to have success, you know.

William Kitchens [00:21:45] And well, in 1962, you spend she thinks are still care which is absolutely iconic country music standard still heard today. Tell me how you came to write that what what inspired that song? Was that something you were writing for yourself or were you thinking about writing only?

Dickey Lee [00:22:03] That's the only song of all the songs I've written, really, that I was writing about a girl and I was crazy about when I was in school. And she, you know, she never really liked me that much.

William Kitchens [00:22:17] Was her name Linda?

Dickey Lee [00:22:18] No, her name was Beverly.

William Kitchens [00:22:19] Okay. So you changed the names.

Dickey Lee [00:22:22] Well, now this is funny. You know, my first wife's name was Linda, and everybody thought I wrote the song for her, but I didn't really write it for anybody. Allen and I wrote that and we just wrote it. The sound of the name just sounded good for the kind of song we were writing, because that was my follow up to Patches, my first record.

William Kitchens [00:22:40] But I'm sorry, I digress. Oh, that's okay. Thanks.

Dickey Lee [00:22:43] But anyway, you know, I just this girl, I did a little thing where I sang a song on some of my shows and I said, Well, here's a song that's as far as songwriting success has been my most successful song. And so this is the song our really wrote about a girl, you know, that I just really cared about. And I said and she asked me out and I said, So do the second one. So the third one. And we could go on and on. You know what? Anyway, I said things really worked out really well because I wrote the song about her and then George Jones recorded it and had a number one record with it later on. Anne Murray did it and had a number one record with it. Elvis did it he had a number one record with in fact, he cut it twice, but I said I finally I finally made enough money out the song to have a contract put out on the girl I had her kiled anyway. But but that song and George did it. And I think it was a hit in 63. I think. I know he recorded in 62, I think, or. But I think it was 63 that made number one. And by 1975, my Canadian publishing representative said there have been over 500 cuts on that. And I'm I'm pretty sure right now we're probably at least a thousand.

William Kitchens [00:24:10] You are, I did the research on it over a thousand. Yeah. Did you know James Taylor recorded it?

Dickey Lee [00:24:15] Yeah, I know it.

William Kitchens [00:24:16] You know, Deana Carter, the list is endless. It's everybody.

Dickey Lee [00:24:20] Everybody. I'd even you know, later on, I've even pitched that song to people, so I've already done that.

William Kitchens [00:24:27] But there's nobody left to pitch it to. That's a great song.

Dickey Lee [00:24:30] Connick did it, you know?

William Kitchens [00:24:32] Yeah. Oh, what a great talent

Dickey Lee [00:24:33] Just people that you would never dream, you know?

William Kitchens [00:24:37] That's a copyright.

Dickey Lee [00:24:38] Yeah. Connie Francis did it. Do you remember J.P. Morgan? You by? She was she was on MGM the same time Connie Francis did. And they both recorded it

William Kitchens [00:24:49] At the same time

Dickey Lee [00:24:50] The same label. I don't know if it's quite the same time, but but, you know, like it just just about everybody's done it.

William Kitchens [00:24:59] Yeah, I got.

Dickey Lee [00:25:00] To say, I got a statement one time for about 200,000 on the Merle Haggard album. I didn't even know he'd recorded it, you know?

William Kitchens [00:25:07] My favorite Joe South story that I had was a moment in his kitchen when we were sitting around the table and his royality statement had come, yeah, from Sony and his name was embossed on it is. And you know, they had a platinum embossing on it and they had in the it was raining outside. So I just picked "William grab that package for me". So I grabbed it and brought it in, he said to get us a beer and I went to the refrigerator and got a beer and he opend up that FedEx package and that well let's just say it was as thick as a phone work and he started he turned it sideways and he was like picked up like maybe 12 or 20 pages. He looked and he looked at me. They picked up another 20, 30 pages, looked at me. And he went all through this for for about a minute and a half. And he got to the very last page where the bottom line was. And he looked at me, goes, "William, I'm going to be all right"! But I'm going to guess your FedEx packages is pretty good, is a list of songs you've written is incredible. Yeah. My favorite line. You've influenced me twice. And the second time, I didn't know that it was your song. Pardon me, You left in tears on the jukebox. I used to tell you that is the greatest opening country music line I think I've ever heard in my life. Pardon me. Tell me how you came up with that line.

Dickey Lee [00:26:29] Well, well, this is this is really funny. You know, I had two co-writers on.

William Kitchens [00:26:33] It was Johnny Russell.

Dickey Lee [00:26:35] One of them Johnny Russell and Tommy Rocco. Right. And we were let's see. I remember we we were in my office. We were I was writing for, Welk Music at the time, but I never changed publishers. They just kept changing letterheads. You know, I started with Jack Music when I went through Jack and Bill with through Polygram, Welk, Universal. But I never I never changed, you know, I just stayed with the same one. But we were when, when we were writing for a Welk and Bill Hall was running the company all if you're familiar, Bill or not, he and Jack Clement were partners for a while. But anyway, he was he he was a business guy and he was a good song. Great, great song man, great song plugger where we had an office in the Welk building down a oh gosh, just off of Division. But we would try we were just trying to write, we're just trying to write some country and and Russell said let's write some really Country and I said, Pardon me you left your tears on the jukebox He said, Hey! Let's do that!

William Kitchens [00:27:44] So Russell pitched that line in the session. Ungh? Russell pitched that line in the session?

Dickey Lee [00:27:50] Well I came uo with that line

William Kitchens [00:27:51] The line, I was singing... It just came out of my my mouth.

Dickey Lee [00:27:53] I mean, just from nowhere.

William Kitchens [00:27:55] That is the most brilliant opening line of a song that summarized every great honky tonk.

Dickey Lee [00:28:03] Yeah, well.

William Kitchens [00:28:04] you can hear it on jukeboxes?

Dickey Lee [00:28:06] Yeah. Well, it's one that I've done that twice. I've done it twice in my life. Like just somebody mentioned the song, and I just shoot off a line. And the others, the other one like that was Keeper of the Stars. And I had had two co-writers on that song, Karen Staley and Danny Mayo, who's passed away. And but he came over to my house one night and said he said, I think I got a really good title and I don't know what to do with it. And so what they said, the keeper of the stars. And I said. It was no accident me finding you, you know, we were all there. We you know, we were we were writing. And he brought he brought Karen Staley and and she really helped us with the bridge. We were stuck on a bridge, but I mean, on the chorus. But she was a big contributor to that. So he.

William Kitchens [00:29:02] That was that was a big hit. That was a huge hit, number one.

Dickey Lee [00:29:05] Tracy Byrd.

William Kitchens [00:29:06] Yeah. And. Probably one of the more popular first dance wedding songs.

Dickey Lee [00:29:11] Well, I said in People magazine, it was I forget the year. Exactly. It was in the eighties, but it was a wedding song of the year, you know. And what was what was really funny? That song, Tracy recorded it. They put it in an album and that album hung around, I guess maybe, I don't know, for a couple of years or so. But it was the fourth release. It was the fourth single out of the album. And after they they they did the the the second the second single I can't remember what anymore. The and the album was hovering in the thirties and forties, you know, and not doing anything fantastic. But Tracy like they released a single out of it, not much happened and Tracy said, you know, I've been singing this Keep of the Stars on the road. And he said people are really liking it. So we're really getting good response. As long as was that out, I'd say, no, that's not a hit. You know, that's that's just kind of one good song about somebody getting married, you know, no big deal. And so he went along with them. They, you know, put a put a third song out and same thing he they said, Man, I'm playing this song and you should I've started playing a lot because, you know, we've gotten such great response to it. And they said. Well, you know, we put out we put three singles out and this is not a hit, but we're only going to put one more out anyway. So we'll put it out like an the album and still hovering around, you know, thirties, forties and like. The album went double platinum. So it shows how much all the.

William Kitchens [00:30:56] Artists people.

Dickey Lee [00:30:57] Know. You know.

William Kitchens [00:30:58] You can gauge things by audience.

Dickey Lee [00:31:00] Oh, yeah, you can.

William Kitchens [00:31:02] So Red Lane once told a friend of mine.

Dickey Lee [00:31:06] Red Lane was good friend of mine...

William Kitchens [00:31:07] Yeah, he once told a friend of mine that most every cut that he ever had he pitched himself. Was that true for you or did you have a great song...

Dickey Lee [00:31:14] What did you say about.

William Kitchens [00:31:15] He said that most every cut that he got was because he pitched it himself. Now, did you have a great song plugger working with you?

Dickey Lee [00:31:23] You know, like I've had because.

William Kitchens [00:31:26] How many cuts did you get that you pitched?

Dickey Lee [00:31:27] I've had. Most of my have been pitched for me. Reba McEntire's. You're the First Time I've Though About Leaving Jerry Kennedy was producing her and I knew Jerry well I just said that over to him along with another song up in fact, show you how smart I am. Like I can't remember the other song with that was a song I was really pitching and and I put You're the First Time I've Thought About Leaving on as an afterthought. And I remember Jerry told me Hey pal, Reba really likes the song. We're going to do it. I said, That's great. And I said, And I mentioned that title, which I can't even remember , and he said, No, it's the other song you pitched me. I said, Oh, really? So anyway, that was a number one record for her.

William Kitchens [00:32:14] Yeah

Dickey Lee [00:32:16] And it was one of her, you know, it was when she just started, she don't she only had a few records out. Well, you know, I take that back. This was funny and I can't remember the the time span. But when when Reba when they first signed her on Mercury, they she had a she had a few records that didn't make it. But they they so believed in her voice. They just hung with her, you know, and she finally and wisely. So, wisely, you're not kidding. My she paid off for em, you know. But I mean, I remember her saying, you know, before anything ever happened about man, she's great. Uh, but it's funny. And then, you know, I, you know, usually. That doesn't happen. You know, you have a few singles and nothing happens. You know, they dump you. But in her case, when they hung in there, whether it really paid off.

William Kitchens [00:33:11] Sure did.

Dickey Lee [00:33:12] And I had another song that John Schneider day was a number one record. Bob McDill and own. I've Been Around Enough To Know. That song. Do you remember Jo-El Sonnier? Well, he cut this song first and I forget. Like, I think we pitched it to him and he loved it. He recorded it and and McDill and I, when we heard the record, we went berserk. We loved it. We loved it, you know? And nothing happened to it. Nothing at all. And we pitched that song around because we both really we really believed in the song and just, you know, just nothing happened. There were there were there were a couple of other records cut on it, but nothing really happened.

William Kitchens [00:34:04] And why do you think that is? Because. There have been a lot of hits that was successful by the second or third artist that recorded it...

Dickey Lee [00:34:14] Johnny Russell first recorded He Stopped Loving Her Today nothing happened. And then George did it, you know.

William Kitchens [00:34:22] So is it is it just the song finds the right artists where it captures that spirit or is it. Well, that's got to be economics with.

Dickey Lee [00:34:31] I think a lot of it is just record promotion. You know, and Johnny Russell's a heck of a singer.

William Kitchens [00:34:38] Oh, yeah.

Dickey Lee [00:34:38] And. But although. You know. But you know what? Like when I first heard that song, you know, I didn't. It didn't really do a lot for me. And then when I heard George's song, when I heard him singing it, it sounded pretty good. So I thought, well, maybe there's just some little magic or something, a certain song with a certain voice or something. But I think a lot of it's record promotion, you know.

William Kitchens [00:35:03] Mark Chesnutt cut Friends In Low Places right before Garth did it...

Dickey Lee [00:35:07] Is that right?

William Kitchens [00:35:07] He sure did and released it. He didn't even get any traction. For whatever reason. He's a great singer.

Dickey Lee [00:35:13] I didn't even know that, I didn't even know that.

William Kitchens [00:35:14] And Garth cuts it in.

Dickey Lee [00:35:17] Well, and the first time I heard that song, I thought, Wow, man, that is awesome. And they were in it, kind of. I mean, he was already doing pretty well, but that song kind of made him, you know, because that's that's his little national anthem song because, man, when he sings it, live, everybody really, really gets into that song. I got friends in low places and they just they go crazy, you know, so.

William Kitchens [00:35:44] Much that he's got a lot version as well where he adds a verse to the live version. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Of the first to you. I heard you say it in an interview with the. Just recently passed away. Joe Chambers.

Dickey Lee [00:35:59] Yeah.

William Kitchens [00:35:59] Great guy. Oh, sure, sure would have liked to had the opportunity to enter interview him. You told him that your favorite record was In A Different Light. Favorite recording...

Dickey Lee [00:36:11] Well you know, I think that is. That is my all time favorite recording. You know, I just I just like in a let's see.

William Kitchens [00:36:23] Doug Johnson Producer.

Dickey Lee [00:36:24] Doug Johnson, producer and man, I thought what a great record. You know, and I like the song, but I just thought the record just the production just knocked me out.

William Kitchens [00:36:38] And that was a number one.

Dickey Lee [00:36:39] That was a number one yeah

William Kitchens [00:36:40] Yeah. Great song.

Dickey Lee [00:36:42] And I think same deal. I think that song was about a third or fourth release out of an album, you know.

William Kitchens [00:36:49] And it took a little time.

Dickey Lee [00:36:51] Yeah, I've had I've had songs that have been number one about eight times, and every one I've been turned down, you know.

William Kitchens [00:37:00] Well, I got to ask

Dickey Lee [00:37:01] except for the Reba song. That was. Yeah. And I had a co-write on that Kerry Chater, and we wrote that song probably in a couple of hours, you know, and and sent it over to Jerry and, you know. Along with this other side. I really believe the inwards I can't even remember.

William Kitchens [00:37:18] Now I say there's a pretty good return on investment.

Dickey Lee [00:37:22] Yeah, I know.

William Kitchens [00:37:23] But those. Those two hour songs are fun, you know.

Dickey Lee [00:37:27] Man, yeah. And and, you know, I'll tell you, I. I know my guys write a lot of stuff real quick, but they're usually the stuff that I wrote that I've written that turned out to be successful. Man, it would roll into days or weeks maybe, you know.

William Kitchens [00:37:44] Hammering away at it

Dickey Lee [00:37:45] Hammering away yeah

William Kitchens [00:37:46] Which song what big hit that makes one ask this question. And what song took you the longest to write that you finally.

Dickey Lee [00:37:52] You know, She Thinks I Still Care. Well, I messed around with that song for weeks.

William Kitchens [00:37:57] Yeah, and.

Dickey Lee [00:38:00] I don't know. I don't know. And I remember, like, when we wrote. Let's Fall To Pieces Together. The last and last line of the chorus let's see let's fall to pieces together. But we kept.

William Kitchens [00:38:14] We couldn't get the line

Dickey Lee [00:38:15] We couldn't get the last. Couldn't figure out the last line of the chorus, you know. And I'm still trying to think of in my head. Now what? Let's see.

William Kitchens [00:38:24] Right here in each other's arms. Right here.

Dickey Lee [00:38:26] Right here in each other's arms. You couldn't. Couldn't think of that. Couldn't think of that line. You know, took a while.

William Kitchens [00:38:35] So it just works. It comes when it comes, I guess

Dickey Lee [00:38:38] Yeah And, you know, I know just. Just from writing, bobbing in and out a lot, just to experience, like we would write, we. It was almost like a 9 to 5 thing, you know, we'd go down to write and we like some days we'd sit there and hardly not say a word to each other. You know, and then, like, maybe. Maybe a week later, something like something something would pop in. And and, you know, we both realized, you know, and that didn't just come, you know, that came from all those days of nothing coming, you know, just just your mind working, you know?

William Kitchens [00:39:17] So I'm glad you shared that because that's a real. Real interesting part of a good songwriting team. Sometimes you can just sit there.

Dickey Lee [00:39:27] Well, you know, if I you know, I had I've been blessed with some great co-writers. But they've all been friends of mine for the most part, and is like and most of them like like McDill or Wayland Holyfield. You know, you could say that they come over when you say a lot or at least sucks.

William Kitchens [00:39:49] There's a trust.

Dickey Lee [00:39:50] And they can tell you that. They tell you the same thing. You know.

William Kitchens [00:39:53] I'll probably have to edit this part out, but. Dwight Yoakam once I read, once he said, I'll have to edit this out. He Dwight Yoakam once said that writing a song is like going to the bathroom. Yeah, he just goes in there and does it by himself. He doesn't sit there with the door open, you know. So that always I always found humorous. I think you've had all these accolades. You've had success. Member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame. What were the biggest country music standards of all time? But I'm going to daresay that Carol's of Chicago naming a hamburger after you. What? You know that. Are you aware that?

Dickey Lee [00:40:34] No.

William Kitchens [00:40:35] There's the Dickey Lee Peanut Butter Hamburger. Really? At a restaurant, Carol's , I did the research. Your song? Peanut butter? Yeah. I'll show you the picture later. There's actually a hamburger on the menu called the Dickey Lee Peanut Butter Burger.

Dickey Lee [00:40:49] We had a single call peanut butter.

William Kitchens [00:40:51] I know. That's what I'm talking about. That's what that's what I was going to talk to you about. That must be I was comparing that to your your fame and fortune. It must be to have a hamburger named after one of your songs or so I thought might be a.

Dickey Lee [00:41:03] I didn't know.

William Kitchens [00:41:04] You did not know about that?

Dickey Lee [00:41:05] No, because that that was peanut butter was not one of my most successful singles.

William Kitchens [00:41:09] Doesn't matter. Or it should have been it should have been used in Skippy or Jif. That should have been whoever.

Dickey Lee [00:41:15] Although I love I love the song. I mean, it's a.

William Kitchens [00:41:17] Great song spreading around like peanut butter. Yeah, that's a.

Dickey Lee [00:41:22] I'm trying to think who wrote it? Do you remember?

William Kitchens [00:41:25] Oh, you didn't write it?

Dickey Lee [00:41:26] No, I didn't write it.

William Kitchens [00:41:27] Oh, I'll. I'll go look it up.

Dickey Lee [00:41:29] I'm thinking, okay, remember who wrote that song? I mean, I've got it in there. I just hadn't thought about it in years.

William Kitchens [00:41:37] She's spreading like peanut butter here.

Dickey Lee [00:41:40] From one to another.

William Kitchens [00:41:41] Yeah, that was a great. I can't believe it hasn't been used in a it was.

Dickey Lee [00:41:44] When it was fun. I mean I did it a lot. Got good, good response from it. Oh sure.

William Kitchens [00:41:49] Sure. Well, it was the question I should've researched a little deeper. I saw that when I was researching you. I saw the Dickey Lee peanut butter burger.

Dickey Lee [00:41:59] I asked myself over and over, I'm I just a friend or am I her lover? Spreading it around. Yeah, that was a neat song. Fun song

William Kitchens [00:42:12] You got no showing no signs of slowing down. You're active. We don't tell people to find out how old you are. They can Google it. Look it up.

Dickey Lee [00:42:20] I don't care.

William Kitchens [00:42:20] Look at you.

Dickey Lee [00:42:22] I thought I'd be dead by now, but I'm...

William Kitchens [00:42:24] You look healthy. You got these stairs and this beautiful home here, and you get up and down them down this good. Plus, you play golf.

Dickey Lee [00:42:30] Well, I'm still I'm still picking out there. I just I was down in I did a thing down last week down in Mass, Mississippi. I'm going to go to Texas next week. I got a show out in Stephenville, Texas.

William Kitchens [00:42:43] So you're working with a house band you bring charts?

Dickey Lee [00:42:45] No, actually, this the show I'm doing in Stephenville, it's a songwriter festival and just me and my guitar. And, you know, that's something the last year or so I've been I've been doing more of that. Oh, you know, I've really loved it just. Just me and my guitar and just sitting on a stool and ah and a Singing my songs that I wrote for myself or that I wrote for somebody else, or that people wrote for me that were hits and telling stories about them. And people love to hear that. People love to hear about songs, you know? Sure. And and it's fun. It's kind of more of an intimate situation, you know. But I real I really enjoy doing that.

William Kitchens [00:43:28] Do you have a favorite song? Oh, man, it's hard to ask. Who's your favorite child I know

Dickey Lee [00:43:35] Well, if I told you a song like after you've gone, I'll think of something else and said, Man, I really like that thing. So I don't I don't really I don't really have a favorite. I'm just I'm a I'm a really I'm a I'm just a big song fan. There just been so many songs and so many songs. I think I could have never written that song, man. But, you know, I'm a I'm I'm really a fan of the Beatles as far as their songs. I mean, those guys were geniuses.

William Kitchens [00:44:06] Did you ever get the meet any of them?

Dickey Lee [00:44:07] Never did. Never did. I'll tell you. I'll tell you a story. When I first got started in 1957, there were very few left handed guitar players around, and I had a Fender Stratocaster made for myself. It was White Ash, and I think you had to pay about 15% on top of that for them to even make it left handed then. And. But anyway, I, uh, I got this one and this was 57. I moved to Nashville in 70 and I had all that time brought with me and I just kind of, I don't know, I got tired of something, but but I actually I think I sold it sold it to David Malloy. You know, David is you know, well, he's a producer, is a left handed guitar player. And he he did all the Eddie Rabbitt singles. Oh, but anyway, he later he traded it on something at this little guitar shop that was down on North Second called GT-R, I believe. And later Stephen Stills came in and bought it and gave it to Paul McCartney as a birthday present.

William Kitchens [00:45:16] So so the 57 Strat that you had custom made for you from Fender was purchased by Stephen Stills and then that's quite a lineage. Yeah.

Dickey Lee [00:45:27] And, and you know and that strat it was on all my Sun sessions, you know, I played, I played rhythm with it and I was talking to someone not too long ago that really knew their stuff about guitars. And he said, How about he said, How much did you pay for that guitar? I said, Cost me a little over $400. So 1957. And he said, and I told him Paul McCartney's story and he said, well, Paul McCartney not withstanding, you know, how much that guitar would be worth today. And I said, I don't have a clue. He said, somewhere between 80 and $90,000. Yeah. I say, well, that's that's my story. I buy high and sell low, you know. But, but I thought, you know, I thought if I ever if I ever ran into McCartney, which I probably won't now, but I would I would tell him that story. And he he probably doesn't have a clue of the history of that guitar. Oh, I don't know. You know, because, you know, even when he bought it, I mean, in I don't know if he's ever even heard me or not. But but I doubt I doubt he I think it would knock him out to know that that song that that guitar had played in son sessions. You know what I mean?

William Kitchens [00:46:40] It would absolutely thrill him. I hope he still has it.

Dickey Lee [00:46:42] Yeah, well, he's probably got a thousand guitars.

William Kitchens [00:46:45] But I mean, it's probably cataloged in inventory.

Dickey Lee [00:46:48] Yeah, yeah. But I just said it. If I ever if I ran into him, I'd tell the story and ask him if he'd give it back to me just. Just for sentimental purposes, you know, I'd never sell it, you know? But.

William Kitchens [00:47:00] Uh, there's an Instagram account called the Nashville I knew. I think I want to make sure I got that right. I may have it wrong but anyway way, they show pictures of Nashville in days gone by and there's a picture of Paul McCartney in jeans and a cowboy hat I think was the straw and glasses on, standing right next to the Ryman, standing right there on Fifth Avenue exit of the Ryman. Yeah. People are walking in the street. Have no idea of Paul McCartney standing there in his fall. I guess he does the recording here too. Yeah, he was in town in 1974 for one, but he's the one who did.

Dickey Lee [00:47:32] Carly Putnam's House

William Kitchens [00:47:33] Probably did.

Dickey Lee [00:47:34] when he was here

William Kitchens [00:47:35] But he's standing right there at the Ryman, dressed like a cowboy in a in a shirt. I'll have to show you that picture later it's hysterical and just people walking right by him and he's smiling for the camera.

Dickey Lee [00:47:45] Oh, yeah. I didn't have a clue.

William Kitchens [00:47:47] And no clue. And Ringo Starr is the only Beatle that's ever played the Ryman, is that right? He's actually performed there. And Johnny Russell, of course, wrote Act Naturally, which was.

Dickey Lee [00:47:57] Yeah, yeah. Ringo's I remember Somebody was telling me a Ringo Starr story one time somebody had asked Lennon if if said, are you the is is is Ringo the best drummer in the world? He said, Ringo's not even the best drummer in the Beatles.

William Kitchens [00:48:17] Is that off the record? Well, keep that.

Dickey Lee [00:48:20] You know what I heard? I've always heard he's really a good guy.

William Kitchens [00:48:23] Oh, there's a lot of people popular. He's popular with all the musicians that ever worked with him. And let's see Steve Luther. Was his dream. And, you know, I've heard great things about him.

Dickey Lee [00:48:33] He's a really down to earth, you know.

William Kitchens [00:48:36] Real honest.

Dickey Lee [00:48:36] Guy. That's really important.

William Kitchens [00:48:38] So what's the feeling you got? You see, you got a songwriters event coming up. You got more dates planned in the future.

Dickey Lee [00:48:44] Oh, I don't. I've, I've got a, I've got a few scattered out. I, I don't do that many more. I'll probably do ten or 15 a year. But what I do, I have been doing it for so long and I know so, so many buyers and promoters. I don't have an agent. They'll just call me somebody or call me out of the blue and say, Hey, would you do a show? You know, you know, you just yeah, because I still love to do it, you know? I thought I'd be dead by now, you know? But I'm still out there and really enjoying it.

William Kitchens [00:49:15] How's your golf game?

Dickey Lee [00:49:17] I don't know My golf game. You know, it's my golf game has never been as good as I've wanted my golf game to be.

William Kitchens [00:49:22] Best round of golf you ever had. Best?

Dickey Lee [00:49:26] Oh, I'm probably about 82.

William Kitchens [00:49:29] Yeah. Do you remember the course?

Dickey Lee [00:49:30] Just... I think it was Galloway golf course in Memphis.

William Kitchens [00:49:36] and Hole-in-one? ever had one?

Dickey Lee [00:49:37] No, I've been close.

William Kitchens [00:49:40] Yeah.

Dickey Lee [00:49:42] I know, I know. I did a show in Albuquerque, New Mexico, one time. Well, it was a show. It was the thing that Charley Pride, he had a show out there every year. And it was it was Jerry Show and all. And and I would play in it. And I remember. I remember one time I. I knocked Mickey Mantle out of some big prize of because I was closest to them to the hole of a par three.. I edged him out. I think he got about two feet and I got about a foot. We weren't playing together where they sure closest to the hole type deal. And I thought, well, you know what? I thought you know Mickey Mantle. I just I just beat him out of this thing

William Kitchens [00:50:23] Did you meet him that day?

Dickey Lee [00:50:26] Yeah we had these songwriting sessions, you know, and yeah, I did meet him and but we sit around, you know, at night and golly, you know, and I was really I love golf, but a lot of these singers, we do these sing arounds, you know, and just sing all night long. And I really want to go to bed, you know?

William Kitchens [00:50:44] Yeah.

Dickey Lee [00:50:45] Yeah.

William Kitchens [00:50:46] So I got to ask you too, about golf your clubs who've got a preference.

Dickey Lee [00:50:51] Oh, right now I've got a mixture of Calloway's and Pings.

William Kitchens [00:50:55] Putter?

Dickey Lee [00:50:56] Uh, SeeMore

William Kitchens [00:50:58] SeeMore. No Scotty Cameron, SeeMore. Yeah, it works, right?

Dickey Lee [00:51:02] I really like it. Yeah. Yeah.

William Kitchens [00:51:05] Dickey, what's the the venue you performed in that you remember the most that you thought was the, the most exciting to perform in?

Dickey Lee [00:51:12] Oh, man, that's that's a tough question because I've played. I played in. So many venues are playing in every state in the union, with the exception of Alaska. And I've never been to Alaska, but I always say I've been, and I think I've been everywhere. I've never seen anything. Because you go in, you go out, you know. Yeah, so fast. But boy, you know, I don't know if I can tell you for venue, but I know, you know, it's really funny. I'm a big Memphis Grizzlies fan and I see all these arenas I played in and I'm thinking I played in a bunch of those big arenas. Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. Detroit, yeah, I'll play there. But I mean, I played in some really big places in most most of those big arenas I've played in were like in the eighties and nineties where we're doing these rock and roll nostalgia shows, you know, and there might be, you know, three or four or five acts.

William Kitchens [00:52:16] Sure. So do you ever get to meet Dick Clark?

Dickey Lee [00:52:20] Neve did.

William Kitchens [00:52:20] You never did American Bandstand?

Dickey Lee [00:52:22] Well, you know, this is really funny. Like my manager at the time, Bill Bill Hall, he he wouldn't let me do American Bandstand because he said I don't pay anything after.

William Kitchens [00:52:35] That sounds ilike a Colonel move. Like the Colonel. Yeah.

Dickey Lee [00:52:39] It is. But, you know, it could I mean, maybe was a blessing. Maybe it was a curse. I don't know. But they would. I do I do know they would give you I think they give you $200. There was like a just a fee, you know, a union fee for doing it. But they would always ask the check for the check back. And there was a guy record for Sun, Billy Riley. I don't know if you ever or Billy Lee Riley and he he was pretty cool guy, but he he played Dick Clark one time and in they asked the check but he wouldn't give it back to them.

William Kitchens [00:53:13] You probably never did Bandstand again.

Dickey Lee [00:53:15] Or probably didn't

William Kitchens [00:53:17] Was there a time with Elvis before he passed away that you had did you know him in the seventies too? You were on the same label... Did you ever run into him or have a conversation after?

Dickey Lee [00:53:27] Know what, not really. Not really. I saw very little out of him , like the the those very early days, you know, we were get a little bit and then I, I never saw him anymore after that. Uh, I just remember he was just really nice to me.

William Kitchens [00:53:43] Who inspired you growing up? Who were your you know, you're growing up young man in Memphis. You're listening to the radio. You know, that time a lot of things are coming out. You were you could catch the Opry for sure. Were you listening to the Opry on those nights or who was inspiring you as a young man?

Dickey Lee [00:54:00] Well, I think my. My three biggest favorites when I was really in the country and I was in the country the whole time before even, you know heard Elvis Presley, like Webb Pierce, Faron Young, Hank Thompson and Carl Smith.

William Kitchens [00:54:20] Those are your four?

Dickey Lee [00:54:21] I wasn't even. I love Hank Williams now. I didn't I didn't even like him then. I didn't appreciate him for some reason. But there are two guys. There are three there are three artists that I love now that I hated. I hated their voices when I first heard them. Hank Williams, Bob Dylan, Rod Stewart. I grew to love all of them.

William Kitchens [00:54:45] They're unique.

Dickey Lee [00:54:46] Yeah. Yeah. But what did I know when I first heard? You know.

William Kitchens [00:54:50] You still take time to write. You and Allen ever sit down and write anything.

Dickey Lee [00:54:53] Are you familiar with a group called the Malpass Brothers?

William Kitchens [00:54:56] I am not.

Dickey Lee [00:54:57] We are a Google email, asks the Malpass Brothers. That's their website. They're these guys. They're two brothers from North Carolina. And all of they sing, Oh, just really traditional country music. That's all they sing. And they are really good. They opened for Merle Haggard for seven years. And he loved them and but they got their own thing, which is another friend and I just wrote a song with one of them that's going to be in there. They've got an album coming out pretty soon. I'm not sure of it dates but we've got.

William Kitchens [00:55:38] What's it called.

Dickey Lee [00:55:38] That'll Be The Day That I Get Over You and we wrote a couple other things. I don't know if they're going to do anything with them or not, but I'm.

William Kitchens [00:55:48] So you're still writing that's good and staying active and.

Dickey Lee [00:55:50] Yeah, you know, I'm, I enjoy it, you know, it's just I'd gone a few years without writing and I just got just kind of got excited again. I thought, you know, but, but I think one reason I couldn't quit writing, I thought, you know, the kind of songs I write, I can't get them cut today. But in fact, I've just I've just got a new deal with a company called Mojo Music, and they do a lot of movies and synchronization. In fact, the guy that runs it, he got he got Keeper of the Stars in a movie for me. And he didn't even have anything to do with it. Well, yeah, I take that back. Yes, he did. Because he had some of Karen Staley's publishing which is.

William Kitchens [00:56:33] Had a piece of the song

Dickey Lee [00:56:35] Yeah. Yeah. Through through the Karen Conrad. Okay. The Keeper of the Stars. And it was in a movie. It was a story about Kurt Warner, played quarterback for the rest his story and it was it was in there and.

William Kitchens [00:56:51] It won't sit well with a lot of Titans fans, but it's a great story about the way he came up, the, you know, the arena football and working at Kroger and.

Dickey Lee [00:57:01] Yeah.

William Kitchens [00:57:02] Yeah. Become a Super Bowl winning quarterback.

Dickey Lee [00:57:05] Well you know I went to I went to the University of Memphis Memphis State at the time. And I'm I'm a I'm a big Memphis fan. You know, watch them play. And they played Temple this week and his son played quarterback for Temple, AJ Warner.

William Kitchens [00:57:22] So I had the turnout. I didn't see that game.

Dickey Lee [00:57:25] Memphis won 24 to 3, I think.

William Kitchens [00:57:28] Okay. So he didn't score any touchdowns.

Dickey Lee [00:57:30] He's a true freshman. Oh, okay. Freshman quarterback.

William Kitchens [00:57:32] Yeah. So he's got time.

Dickey Lee [00:57:34] Yeah. And a.

William Kitchens [00:57:35] Good deal.

Dickey Lee [00:57:36] But boy but but his father was a great. And like you say, you went through all that arena football. I mean, a lot of guys would have quit way before.

William Kitchens [00:57:46] Nashville got songwriting stories like that. Recording artists...

Dickey Lee [00:57:50] Yeah, well, you know, it's like people. Oh, man, that's song's lousy. Well, you know, he had a lot of guy like the Packers, you know, they weren't interested in him. They didn't see anything.

William Kitchens [00:57:59] Yeah, the Falcons got rid of Brett Favre.

Dickey Lee [00:58:01] Yeah, that's right. Jerry Glanville got Rams in every business.

William Kitchens [00:58:04] Oh, yeah. Just so you know, I used to say you got to go through about 99 no's to get to the yes and one no is just getting closer to the yes.

Dickey Lee [00:58:13] Somebody always told me so. The music business so. Right. It's kind of like real estate and said and said you write about you write about 100 songs and three of them, you know, you just nail them. You know, it's like but, you know, real estate like properties and all you you know just cash in about three out of a hundred, you know, to make you rich.

William Kitchens [00:58:37] Dickey In your interview with Joe Chambers, the late Joe Chambers, you mentioned a song that you guys had written together and you thought that it should have been been a hit. What song was that?

Dickey Lee [00:58:46] And it's it still might be someday, I don't know but it's called I Could Live Here.

William Kitchens [00:58:51] I Could Live Here. So it hasn't been recorded as of yet?

Dickey Lee [00:58:53] And it's just a simple, pretty song, you know? Yeah. Love song. That's great. But.

William Kitchens [00:59:01] Dickey, thank you for your time. It's been a blessing to you know, you get a chance to meet your heroes and the people you admire growing up and you find out there's a they're just nice people. And it's been a blessing for you to take your afternoon. I know you could have been out there, but the.

Dickey Lee [00:59:17] Messing up on the gol course...

William Kitchens [00:59:18] Yeah, you could have been digging some gopher holes or something. I don't know. I'm sure you're a lot better than you let on. I haven't shot 82 yet, so thank you for your time today, Dickey, and continue blessings.

Dickey Lee [00:59:28] Hey, William. Thank you. I really enjoyed it. Thanks a lot.

VO [00:59:31] This episode of Pond 615 with Dickey Lee is dedicated to the memory of songwriter and Musicians Hall of Fame founder Joe Chambers. Please take time to visit the Musicians Hall of Fame, located at 401 Gay Street in downtown Nashville. Your support of this great musical institution is greatly appreciated.

VO [00:59:52] Thanks for listening to this episode of the pod615 with host William Kitchens. We hope you'll subscribe to the podcast on the streaming platform and give us a five star rating and review. Follow us on Instagram at the pod 615 and on, forward slash pod615. Find us on the internet at for blogs, show notes and transcripts. Would you like to be on the show? Have someone you'd like to hear interviewed? pod615 also offers featured guest opportunities for qualifying subject matter. Email for more information about this and other podcast production opportunities. Thanks again for listening.

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