Songcraft: Spotlight on Songwriters Podcast

Dickey Lee

Ep. 63 - Dickey Lee

She Thinks I Still Care: The Multi-Decade Hitman

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Paul and Scott call up Dickey to get the story on how his first song ever recorded by someone else became a standard; why he had to buy back half of his own composition for $2500; the reason one of his songs was banned from radio; why he thinks Cowboy Jack Clement might have been Moses in another life; how a bottle of Mateus wine is to thank for one of his biggest hits; the background on why an eventual #1 hit he wrote was originally shipped to DJs with "?" listed instead of the artist's name; and how he inspired the name of Jerry Lee Lewis' band.

Dickey Lee’s early artist career found him scoring pop and R&B hits in the 1960s with songs such as “Patches” and the self-penned single “I Saw Linda Yesterday.” He went on to record seventeen Top 40 country singles, including the major hits “9,999,999 Tears” and “Rocky,” which hit #1 in 1975. Lee is best known, however, for writing “She Thinks I Still Care,” which George Jones took to the #1 spot on the Billboard country chart in 1962. The song has since been covered by artists as diverse as Elvis Presley, Little Willie John, Connie Francis, Merle Haggard, James Taylor, Harry Connick, Jr., Cher, Anne Murray, and Garth Brooks.

Dickey has written an additional half dozen #1 country hits, including “I’ll Be Leaving Alone” for Charley Pride, “You’re The First Time I’ve Thought About Leaving” for Reba McEntire, “Let’s Fall to Pieces Together” for George Strait, and “In a Different Light” for Doug Stone. His long list of additional hits includes Emmylou Harris’ “Someone Like You” and Tracy Byrd’s “Keeper of the Stars,” which won the Academy of Country Music’s Song of the Year award. Other artists who’ve recorded his songs include Ernest Tubb, Eddy Arnold, Marty Robbins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Conway Twitty, Don Williams, Glen Campbell, John Fogerty, Waylon Jennings, Joe Cocker, Vince Gill, Patty Loveless, Jamey Johnson, and Keb’ Mo’. Ten of Dickey’s songs have earned BMI Performance Awards, and he was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1995.


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