Fred Koller

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Fred Koller (born March 5, 1950 in Chicago, Illinois) is an American singer-songwriter. He has been active in the music business since 1973. Fred currently lives and works in Nashville with his wife Trish and their cat Buddy.

Music career[edit]

Koller has written over 300 songs which have been recorded. He was awarded the BMI Millionaire Performance Award for both Angel Eyes and She Came From Fort Worth. Koller also won BMI Awards for This Dream's On Me, Goin' Gone, Life As We Knew It and Will It Be Love By Morning. He is the former Vice President of The Nashville Songwriters Association International. Koller has taught for Songwriters Guild of America and was a staff instructor for both the Kerrville Folk Festival and the Augusta Heritage Festival.

Books and Bookselling[edit]

Koller opened his first bookstore in Capitola, California in 1975. It was located a few blocks from the ocean on Bay Ave. and was called Words and Music. The shop stocked an eclectic collection of used records, books and sheet music. After two years the store moved to an old fisherman's cottage where Fred and his first wife, majolica artist Farraday Newsome, lived upstairs.

In 1979 Fred sold his bookstore and moved back to Nashville, Tennessee. He opened Rhino Booksellers in Nashville in Oct. 2001. There are presently two locations.

Koller is the author of How to Pitch and Promote Your Songs[1] which is in its third edition. He also contributed to The Homespun Songwriter's Workshop and taught Homespun Tapes: Developing Your Lyrics.

Fred and Shel[edit]

Children's author Shel Silverstein was spending a lot of time on his houseboat in Sausalito, California and would often visit to write songs and explore Santa Cruz, California.

In 1974, Silverstein and Koller began writing their first song together. Silverstein was already famous for his Playboy cartoons, children’s books and several songwriting hits for artists like Doctor Hook and Johnny Cash. Their collaboration grew into a friendship that would last for the next 25 years.

On one two-week trip together to Santa Cruz, California [2] they wrote a dozen songs like "Don’t Knock The Music (You Were Made To)" and "Lovely Margarita," which features a transvestite strip tease artist unveiling the "secrets of an ancient world's delight." Other encounters produced "Little Green Buttons," which introduces listeners to a woman saving a dying marriage with carefully placed tattoos, and "The Happy Caucasian," which chronicles a modern-day Johnny Appleseed who spreads joy and jubilation all across the nation while "singing out good news." Country singer Bobby Bare recorded a version of "This Guitar Is for Sale," and Robert Earl Keen, Conway Twitty and Bare have all recorded versions of the first song Koller and Silverstein wrote together, "Jennifer Johnson and Me". A few more were recorded on Fred's "Night of The Living Fred" release.


  • Night of the Living Fred, Alcazar (1989)
  • Songs From the Night Before, Alcazar (1994)
  • Where the Fast Lane Ends, Alcazar (1994)
  • Sweet Baby Fred, Appaloosa (1998)
  • No Song Left To Sell, Gadfly (2001)
  • 12 Original Songs Live From Norm's River Road House, Lucrative Music (2012)

Songwriting Credits[edit]

Song Title Artist
Ain’t It Been Love Vern Gosdin
Alabama Bad Marshall Chapman
Angel Eyes Jeff Healy Band, New Grass Revival, John Hiatt
Bachelor Girl Baillie & The Boys
Blind Luck Peter Case
Boomtown Lacy J. Dalton
Breaking Up This Happy Home Brendan Croker
Caught in the Spotlight Bobby Bare & Lacy J. Dalton
Circumstantial Evidence Jerry Lee Lewis
Count the Days Don Dixon
Daddy Was a Sensitive Man Reverend Billy C. Wirtz, Ironweed
Don’t Knock The Music Sean Seman
Don’t The Good Times Rosemary Clooney
Drink American Peter Stampfel
Driving You Out Of My Mind Joyce Woodson
Eli Whitney Kay Adams
Elvis Was A Narc Pinkard and Bowden
Everytime The Whistle Whines Tony Sarno
Everything You’d Never Want to Be Joe Brock
Exactly What I Thought She’d Do Omar & The Howlers
Fan The Flame Benita Hill
Feels Real Afrikan Dreamland
Fool Like That Gina Jeffreys
Fourth Wife Blues Reverend Billy C. Wirtz
Gauloise Blue Jonathan Pointer
Give Me Some Of That Fred James, C. J. Chenier, Jr.
Giving Up The Ghost Don Dixon, Darlene Love
Goin' Gone Pat Alger, Mary Black, Forester Sisters, Nanci Griffith, Kathy Mattea, Alison Krauss (live versions exist), Woodstock Mountain Revue
Goodnight Little Houseplant Bobby Bare, Shel Silverstein
Habits of The Heart The Woodys
Heart To Heart Gail Davies
Heart Of A Woman Terri Gibbs
House of Cards The New Seekers
I Don't Have The Right J.T.Hall
I’d Rather Wear Out Than Rust The Hard Travelers
If Love Hurts Mary Ann Brandon, Saffire - The Uppity Blues Women
I Get The Picture Keith Whitley
I Got Your Number Dave Edmunds, Al Anderson, Albert Lee, Blues and Trouble, Eddie Raven
If You Came Back Tonight Lorrie Morgan
I’ll Be There For You Brendan Croker, Celeste Krenz
I’m Going To Town Robert Earl Keen
I’m Still Feeling Blue J. D. Myers
In My Dreams Asleep At The Wheel
I Never Got To Say Goodbye Bill Staines
It Doesn’t Matter What The People Say Peter Case
It Makes No Difference Now Joyce Woodson
I Wanna Live Annie Hughes
I Want My Rib Back Charlie Sizemore, Keith Whitley, Gene Watson, [[Kenny Chesney], [Adam Harvey (AU)]
I Want To Know Robert Earl Keen
I Was Going Home Hundred/Seventy Split
I’ve Loved Enough To Know Jim Rushing
Jennifer Johnson and Me Bobby Bare, Mac Davis, Dr. Hook, Goose Creek Symphony, Paul Overstreet, Conway Twitty, Robert Earl Keen
Juanita David Allan Coe, Burl Ives
King Gets A Day Job Reverend Billy C. Wirtz
Lady Jane Max D. Barnes
Last Time I Looked Peter Case
Let’s Talk Dirty In Hawaiian Jonathan Edwards, John Prine, Wild Jimbos, Tom Rush, Those Darlins'
Life As We Knew It Kathy Mattea
Little Green Buttons Lui Collins
Lone Star State of Mind Pat Alger, Nanci Griffith, Don Williams, Lorrie Morgan
Love Can Be a Dangerous Thing Pat Alger
Love Will Always Find It’s Way Pierce Pettis
Lovers On the Rebound Marie Bottrell, The Younger Brothers
Make It Pretty For Me Lilian Askeland, Bobby Bare, Tom Bresh, Suzanne Klee, Helen O'Conner, Tex Williams
Man's Best Friend is His Automobile Barry and Holly Tashian
Margarita Hell Reverend Billy C. Wirtz
Mary Goes Round Stu Stevens
Melancholy Moon Tim O'Brien
Midnight Chauffeur Marshall Chapman
Missionary Ridge Claire Lynch
Monroe's Mule John Cowan
My Baby’s Like a Jukebox Jason Sever, Bub Tyler
Niagara Falls Bill Lloyd
Neutral Ground Pierce Pettis
Never Be The Same Pam Tillis
New Day Laurie Lewis
New Old Friend The New Seekers, The Hard Travelers
Not To Old To Cry Kenny Serrat
Off To A Crawling Start Keith Whitley
Old Blues Singer Lowell Fulsom
On Grafton Street Frances Black, Nanci Griffith
Open Your Eyes Brian Austin
Pale Wind Larry Crane
Piece of Paper Larry Crane
Pretty Painted Ladies Bobby Bare, Chris Ledoux, Plainsmen, Sons of the Pioneers
Pull Together David Mallett
Red Neck State of Art Brendan Croker
Rock In My Shoe Tim O'Brien
Rock Stars Lament Bobby Bare
Room 309 Reverend Billy C. Wirtz
Sassafrass Coon Creek Girls
She Came From Fort Worth Kathy Mattea, Pat Alger
She Loves Me She Loves Me Not Hal Ketchum
She’s Just a Place To Fall Vern Gosdin
Shop Shop Bama Band, Erin’s Pride, James White
Sidestepping The Blues Stonewall Jackson
Skip A Stone Beccy Cole
Somebody Else’s Tune Marge Calhoun
Some of That Fred James, C. J. Chenier
Something To Hold On To Joyce Woodson
Stand Still Brothers Brooks
Stars on The Water Priscilla Herdman
Stolen Art Jeff Wilkinson
Strong Young Breeze Sean Seman
Summer Melody Stoney Edwards, The Kendalls
Taking My Chances With You The New Seekers
Tell Me I'm Mistaken J.T. Hall
The TV Tells Me So The Smothers Brothers
Tell Me What You Want Brendan Croker
The Town With No Downtown Jeff Wilkinson
The First Time Danny O'Keefe
There’s No Guarantee Al Anderson
This Dream's On Me Gene Watson
This Guitar is For Sale Bobby Bare, Wes McGee, John Prine
This Time I'm Gonna Be Loved J.T. Hall
This Town Pat Alger
Til The Coast Is Clear Hal Ketchum
True Western Movie Chris Ledoux
Twenty-Nine Todd Dereemer
Walking With My Memories Loretta Lynn
We’re History Atlanta
Wheel of Fortune Peter Rowan
When It’s Gone Tom Paxton
When The Sun Comes Up Tammi Fassert
When You Ran With Me Hank Flamingo
Where The Fast Lane Ends Sonny Throckmorton, Oak Ridge Boys
Where the Blue Began Hundred/Seventy Split
Whicita Way John Cowan
Whiplash Will Bobby Bare
Will It Be Love By Morning Michael Martin Murphy
Winding Down Lacy J. Dalton
With Out The Love The New Seekers
Words Said In The Dark Pierce Pettis
Yard Sale Jonathan Pointer
Yes Mr. Rogers Bob Gibson, Shel Silverstein
You Can’t Take The Texas Lacy J. Dalton
You Don’t Mean A Thing Al Anderson


  1. ^ Koller, Fred (2001). How To Pitch and Promote Your Songs. Allworth Press. 1581151942
  2. ^ Koller, Fred. "About the songs". No Song Left to Sell. Burlington:Gadfly.

External links[edit]