Dennis Linde

Induction Year: 2001

Birth Name: Dennis N. Linde

Birth Date: 03-18-1943

Place of Birth: Abilene, Texas

Death Date: 12-22-2006

Place of Death: Nashville, Tennessee

Dennis Linde was a consistent country hitmaker with a distinctively humorous, cockeyed point of view. Born in Abilene, he moved around a lot as a child, bouncing from Texas to Florida to Missouri. When he was in his teens, his grandmother gave him a $14 guitar. After high school, he worked a day job delivering dry cleaning and played in cover bands at night. When he lost his driver's license, after one too many speeding tickets, he turned to songwriting to fill his extra time.

Linde's influences were a diverse bunch — George Gershwin, Little Richard, Mark Twain, J. D. Salinger — and by the time he moved to Nashville in 1969, his quirky, idiosyncratic songwriting voice was already formed. He became a staff writer at Combine Music, joining Kris Kristofferson, Billy Swan and Mickey Newbury in the publisher's arsenal of left-of-center, soulful poets. Linde hit the jackpot when Elvis Presley took his "Burning Love" up to #2 on the pop charts in 1972 and made it a staple of his concerts in the early 1970s (most notably the famed Aloha From Hawaii TV special). Presley cut two more of Linde's songs and had another on hold for the record he never made in 1977.

Linde usually wrote solo, and over the next two decades he recorded a handful of his own albums as an artist, while landing cuts by Don Williams, George Jones, the Judds, Tanya Tucker, Kenny Rogers, Randy Travis, Garth Brooks and many others. In 1993, he won the NSAI Songwriter of the Year Award, and a year later he was BMI's Songwriter of the Year. Three decades after he moved to Nashville, he was still in demand with edgy, head-turning hits like "Goodbye Earl" for the Dixie Chicks and "The Talkin' Song Repair Blues" for Alan Jackson.

Linde's sense of fun and freedom as a writer was also apparent in the challenge he set for himself of writing songs starting with each letter of the alphabet (which explains catalog titles like "X Marks the Spot" and "Zoot Suit Baby").

As his songplugger, industry vet Al Cooley, once said, "Not everybody gets Dennis's stuff, but the people who do consider it some of the most wonderful music made in Nashville."

Up until his death at age 63 in 2006, Linde remained something of a reclusive mystery man, avoiding industry events, parties and interviews.

"(Had a Dream) For the Heart"

Elvis Presley1976 #45 country, #28 pop
The Judds1984 #17 country

"All Fall Down"

Roger Miller1969 
George Jones1991 

"Bless 'Em All"

Henson Cargill1970 

"Bone Dry"

(written with Don Devaney)

George Jones1980 

"Bubba Shot the Jukebox"

Mark Chesnutt1992 #4 country

"Burning Love"

Arthur Alexander1972 
Elvis Presley1972 #2 pop
Mel Street1974 
Ronnie Spector1987 
Travis Tritt1992 
Melissa Etheridge1994 
Shawn Camp & Billy Burnette2007 
Wynonna Judd2009 

"Callin' Baton Rouge"

Oak Ridge Boys1978 
Billie Jo Spears1980 
New Grass Revival1989 #37 country
Garth Brooks1993 #2 country

"Down in a Ditch"

Joe Diffie1995 

"Goodbye Earl"

The Dixie Chicks1999 #13 country

"Goodbye Marie"

(written with Mel McDaniel)

Bobby Goldsboro1981 #17 country
Mel McDaniel1980 
Kenny Rogers1986 #47 country

"I Got a Feelin' in My Body"

Elvis Presley1974 

"I'm Gonna Get You"

Billy Swan1987 #63 country
Eddy Raven1988 #1 country

"I'm on My Way to Good Ol' San Antone"

Billy Walker1972 

"In a Letter to You"

Shakin' Stevens1984 
Eddy Raven1989 #1 country

"It Sure Is Monday"

Mark Chesnutt1993 #1 country

"Janie Baker's Love Slave"

Shenandoah1993 #15 country

"John Deere Green"

Joe Diffie1993 #5 country

"Long Long Texas Road"

Roy Drusky1970  #5 country

"Night Is Fallin' in My Heart"

Diamond Rio1994 #9 country

"Queen of My Double Wide Trailer"

Sammy Kershaw1993 #7 country

"Ten Pound Hammer"

Aaron Tippin1995 

"The Love She Found in Me"

Gary Morris1983 #5 country
Hal Gibson1989 #87 country

"The Talkin' Song Repair Blues"

Alan Jackson2005 #18 country

"Then It's Love"

Don Williams1986 #3 country

"Tom Green County Fair"

Roger Miller1970 #36 country

"Train Long Gone"

Randy Travis2004 

"Walkin' a Broken Heart"

(written with Alan Rush)

Janie Fricke1983 
Don Williams1984 #2 country

"What'll You Do About Me"

Steve Earle1984 #76 country
Randy Travis1987 
Forester Sisters1992 #74 country
Doug Supernaw1994 #16 country

"When I Say Forever"

Chris LeDoux1997 #65 country

"Where Have All the Average People Gone"

Roger Miller1969 #14 country

Dennis Linde

Induction Year: 2001