Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music
(b Dean Rutherford, 26 March '55, Lake City TN) Nashville-based singer-songwriter, starting in his early teens on the weekly Kathy Hill TV show in Knoxville, moved to Nashville, signed to Plantation label as Dean Dalton; moved back to Knoxville, auditioned for Opryland and landed role as Hank Williams in the Country Music Show. Developed songwriting and landed minor hits '76--9 for Johnny Rodriguez, Barbara Mandrell etc, hitting the big time when Jim Ed Brown and Helen Cornelius took 'Lying In Love With You' high on country charts '79. This led to a recording contract with RCA, his light voice scoring minor hits '79--83: 'What Good Is A Heart', 'Nobody In His Right Mind (Would've Left Her)', etc. Teamed with Gary Stewart for short-lived hell-raising honky- tonk duo that saw Dillon relying on booze and pills; marriage saw him straighten out and emerge as successful songwriter, mainly for George Strait, who has cut more than 30 of his songs, incl. 'Unwound', 'Ocean Front Property', 'The Chair'; George Jones cut 'Tennessee Whiskey', Vern Gosdin 'Set 'Em Up Joe' and 'Is it Raining At Your House', Steve Wariner 'By Now', Pam Tillis 'Spilled Perfume', Keith Whitley 'Miami My Amy', 'Homecoming '63'. On Capitol '88 and Atlantic '91 scored minor hits incl. 'I Go To Pieces' and 'Friday Night's Woman'. Albums incl. Brotherly Love '82 (with Gary Stewart on RCA); Slick Nickel '88 and I've Learned To Live '89 on Capitol; Out Of Your Ever Lovin' Mind '91 and Hot, Country And Single '93 on Atlantic.