The Hits and How They Happened

"Scarlet Fever"

(Mike Dekle)
Recorded by Kenny Rogers, Liberty Records, 1983

Scarlet Fever was a fun song to write. I'd remembered lights on a portable sign outside a nightclub in Missouri from my Army days. "Of course" the girl who danced in the club had red hair. I put in the imagery of that girl, that flashing sign and the thoughts of the Southern heroine, Scarlett O'Hara, into verse. It was easy writing the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th verses. Verse #4 was rewritten time after time. I really felt like after someone heard the chorus, I needed a profound first line in the 4th verse to get the listener back into my story. "She looked twenty-five, but I was told that she was just sixteen" was shocking to me in that she was not old enough to be dancing in a club. I recorded Scarlet Fever in March of 1982 and released it as a single on the NSD Label (Nationwide Sound Distributors). It was a pick hit in Billboard and was my very first chart single... To this day, still the most important song I've penned and the song that literally changed my life, both from a music credibility standpoint and financial standpoint. Kenny Rogers heard my recording on the radio and picked it up. Thank you Kenny Rogers...a songwriter's best friend.

"Size Matters"

(Mike Dekle & Byron Hill)
Recorded by Joe Nichols, Universal South Records, 2005

"Size Matters" is one of those songs where the lyric content seemed obvious to me and Byron Hill (co-writer). Byron and I both liked this title and really felt like we had a great opportunity. We wrote the song in less than an hour. Songwriting is much more difficult than finishing a song within an hour....we didn't feel guilty about it... we felt lucky.This one seemed like a winner from the start.This song, as much as any other I've written, truly highlights the fact that once a writer finds a "great idea" to write about, the song comes much easier. "Size Matters " presents little innuendos that people have found amusing, but the true message of the song, is that the little things in a relationship are what's important to most of us... big 'ol hearts, big 'ol kisses , and 'big 'ol smiles.

In Feb. 2005 I recorded "Size Matters" and it's included on my newest album "Tunesmith." I pitched my recording to Mike Owens the A&R Director at Universal South Records, Nashville,TN in April of 2005 and he called and said he thought it would be a smash for Joe. Byron and I thought so too. We've been honored that Joe has recorded one of our songs on each of his first three albums for Universal South. Thank you Joe Nichols and Mike Owens for always being in my corner.... I love Joe's cut!!!! Joe Nichols is the REAL DEAL...He's a great singer, a great friend but he's even better at being a "great man"..I'm honored to know him.

"Someone Must Feel Like A Fool Tonight"

(Mike Dekle & Byron Hill)
Recorded by Kenny Rogers, Warner Brothers Records, 1989

This song is one of my and my co-writer, Byron Hill's favorite songs. We've always felt that it has the quality of some of the classics of the 30's and 40's. After Kenny Rogers recorded it, he used the same flattering adjectives describing how much he loved this song. Unfortunately, shortly after its release as a single, Kenny left the Warner Brothers Label and the song did not experience the chart success that everyone had predicted. Kenny's recording is everything a writer could ask for in the presentation of his song. Thanks again Kenny. It has been recorded by more artists than any song I've written.

"Don't Love Make A Diamond Shine"

(Mike Dekle & Craig Wiseman)
Recorded by Tracy Byrd, MCA, 1997

Writers are constantly looking for that one idea that writes itself. When one on my employees came into my office one morning showing off her engagement diamond, it hit me right in the heart... The size of the diamond is not what's important... it's the love for that person that the giving of a diamond represents. Craig Wiseman and I wrote this one quickly and everyone knew it would be a hit as soon as we finished it. Tracy Byrd did a great job singing it, and of course... It's my favorite Tracy Byrd record. Thanks Tracy.

"A Day In The Life Of A Fool"

(Mike Dekle & Byron Hill)
Recorded by Keith Whitley, RCA Records, 1988

This song has that traditional country lyric and melody. I had a chance to do a television show in Georgia with Keith right after he cut this song. He already had it memorized and sang it to me while I visited him on his tour bus. He really loved this song. Keith and I became friends immediately. One of the biggest thrills of my musical career was being able to sing my songs for Keith that day on his bus. He actually was going to record another song of mine he heard that day, but he never got to the recording studio with it due to his untimely death. The world of country music deeply misses Keith's warmth, honesty, charm and of course, "his voice". Thanks Keith. You were one of a kind.

"The Minstrel"

(Mike Dekle)
Recorded by Mike Dekle, NSD, 1989

When I was 10 years old my Dad took me to downtown Athens, Georgia to get a haircut. We walked by a blind minstrel singing a cappella and exchanging pencils for tips. I never forgot his strong baritone voice and engaging personality. I wrote about him almost 27 years later. This record was a chart success for me as an independent artist. It was also the first song I wrote after being signed to a publishing contract by Kenny Rogers' publishing company. I thought the song was a natural for him, but it took 10 years before he recorded it. In my live performances this song always moves the audience. Thanks Dad for the trip downtown.

Below is a list of the many of the songs written by Mike that have appeared on albums of some of Country's biggest stars:

The Singles:

"Scarlet Fever"
"Someone Must Feel Like A Fool Tonight"
by Kenny Rogers

"Don't Love Make A Diamond Shine"
by Tracy Byrd

"No Trash in my Trailer"
by Gene Watson

"Size Matters"
by Joe Nichols

Best Known Album Cuts:

"You Wouldn't Be My First Mistake"
by The Whites

"The Sunny Side Of You"
by Moe Bandy

"Two Hearts One Love"
"People In Love"
"Some Prisons Don't Have Walls"
by Kenny Rogers

"A Day In The Life Of A Fool"
by Keith Whitley

"Pick Pocket"
by Hank Thompson

"Til They Come Home"
by Rhonda Vincent

"Joe's Place"
"Things Like That"
by Joe Nichols

Other Songs Recorded By:

Ricky Skaggs, T.G. Sheppard, Byron Hill, Rick Ruys, Gene Cotten, Patti Miner, Glen Fields, Mark Houston, Martin Wayne, Maggie Nettles, Haas Anderssen, Dusty Miller, John Berry, White Canyon, The Hunley Brothers, Sandra Dill, Nancy Wood, Evelyn Elliott, The Breeze, Steinar Albrigtsen, D.K. Davis, Tony Pritchett, Ben Burgess, Crystal Gauthier, Jerry Springer.

Mike Dekle - Tunesmith

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Get a sneak peek at some of Mike's favorite tracks from Tunesmith

555-2109 MP3
Normaltown MP3
Size Matters MP3
Bikinis and Beer MP3

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