Dick Feller

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Dick Feller
Birth name Richard Dean Feller
Born (1943-01-02) January 2, 1943 (age 74)
Origin Bronaugh, Missouri
Genres Country
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter
Instruments Guitar
Years active 1972–present
Labels United Artists, Asylum

Richard Dean "Dick" Feller (born January 2, 1943) is an American country musician and songwriter.

Biography[edit]

Feller was born on January 2, 1943 in Bronaugh, Missouri. On his twelfth birthday, Feller got his first guitar from his grandfather that was bought at a garage sale. Although it only had one string, young Feller immediately started to tune it. Some time later, he started taking guitar lessons by hitching rides with the local mailman to a neighboring town, and, at fifteen, he was playing for dances with a local band. Graduating from high school, Feller played lead guitar in various rock and blues groups including The Sliders in Pittsburg, KS and surrounding areas. In early 1964, Feller went to Los Angeles to play in a band and hone his songwriting skills. Having had no particular luck, he returned home to Missouri to continue playing with local bands.

In 1966, Feller moved to Nashville, Tennessee and toured with Mel Tillis’ The Statesiders, Skeeter Davis, Stu Phillips, and Warner Mack, with whom he also recorded. After sending some songs to Johnny Cash's publishing company, House of Cash, he got a record contract with Columbia Records.

In 1971, Tex Williams recorded Feller's song "The Night Miss Nancy Ann's Hotel for Single Girls Burned Down", which became a Top 30 single in the US. In 1972, Cash got a top five country hit with Feller's "Any Old Wind That Blows".[1]

Jimmy Dean's producer then asked Feller to write a song for Dean similar to what he wrote for Williams, which became "Lord, Mr. Ford". Dean did not record it, but he took the song to Jerry Reed's publishing company, Vector Music. Reed recorded the song, as well as two other songs by Feller: "The Lady is a Woman" and "One Sweet Reason". "Lord, Mr. Ford" was a number one hit for Reed in 1973.

That same year, Feller made his own recording debut, and the single "Biff, The Friendly Purple Bear" made it to the Top 25. He released his first album, Dick Feller Wrote..., a few months later through United Artists. His next single, the humorous "The Credit Card Song", peaked in the Top Ten. In 1974, Feller signed with Asylum Records. His first release for the label was the single "Makin' the Best of a Bad Situation", which made it to the Top 15. These three Feller records also crossed to the Billboard Hot 100 or Bubbling Under The Top 100, and Easy Listening Top 50.

Feller continued writing songs and playing guitar on the records of other contemporary artists, such as Jerry Jeff Walker, Guy Clark, and Mike Auldridge. At the same time, he also made some more of his own recordings. In 1975, he had his last chart entry as a performer, with the song "Uncle Hiram and His Homemade Beer", which made it to the Top 50.

Feller teamed up with Jerry Reed to write songs for the Smokey and the Bandit soundtrack in 1977, with Reed's vocal of "East Bound and Down" reaching #2 on the U.S. country chart.

His first overseas tour was made in 1980, and, the next year, he played with The Kelvin Henderson Band and Country Couples in England, Scotland, and the Netherlands. In 1981, John Denver recorded a country pop hit with Feller's "Some Days Are Diamonds (Some Days Are Stone)", which Bobby Bare had earlier recorded.

His final record, a live album, was released in 1982. Together with Don Schlitz, he composed songs for the movies Smokey and The Bandit 3 and Alamo Bay. For several years after, he wrote and toured with Lewis Grizzard as opening attraction for the Evening With Lewis Grizzard stage show. He wrote songs and backed Grizzard on 1991's Don't Believe I'da Told That (billed by Grizzard as "the Dick Feller Trio"), and also co-produced Grizzard's 1994 album Alimony: The Bill You Get, for the Thrill You Got.

Feller wrote many songs with Sheb Wooley on Kickin' Asphalt, which was released in November 1999. Del Reeves performed another Feller–Wooley composition on the same album.

Through the years, Feller has also written and performed a number of commercials for different companies and products, such as the Dodge television commercials "Do You Like Trucks?" and "Little Boy's Dream" and the Pepsi jingle "By Any Other Name". Feller has also made commercials for AT&T calling cards, Beech-Nut tobacco, Colgate-Palmolive, and Ponderosa Steakhouse.

In 2016, Feller published an autobiography, "Some Days Are Diamonds" under the name Deena Kaye Rose and indicated he was transgender and living life as a woman.[2]

Awards[edit]

Five of Feller's songs have won BMI Awards:

  • "Any Old Wind That Blows"
  • "The Credit Card Song"
  • "East Bound and Down"
  • "Lord, Mr. Ford"
  • "Some Days Are Diamonds (Some Days Are Stone)"

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Year Album US Country Label
1973 Dick Feller Wrote 41 United Artists
1974 No Word on Me 30 Asylum
1975 Some Days Are Diamonds 44
1982 Audiograph Alive Indigo
2001 Centaur of Attention Cyberphonic

Singles[edit]

Year Single Chart Positions Album
US Country US CAN Country CAN AC
1972 "The Sum of Marcie's Blues" Dick Feller Wrote
1973 "Daisy Hill"
"Biff, the Friendly Purple Bear" 22 101 17 59
1974 "Makin' the Best of a Bad Situation" 11 85 38 No Word on Me
"The Credit Card Song" 10 105 38 Dick Feller Wrote
"Cry for Lori" No Word on Me
1975 "Uncle Hiram and the Homemade Beer" 49 Some Days Are Diamonds
1976 "Some Days Are Diamonds (Some Days Are Stone)"
1982 "Instant Glue" Audiograph Alive

References[edit]