We are delighted to be joined this year by legendary singer-songwriter, Mike Dekle. Mike has released five studio albums and his songs have been recorded by some of the biggest names in country music. Mike’s hits include the recent top-ten smash Size Matters (Joe Nichols), Scarlet Fever (Kenny Rogers), Don’t Love Make a Diamond Shine (Tracy Byrd), and Someone Must Feel Like a Fool Tonight (Kenny Rogers).
In the late sixties, Mike began playing in coffeehouses, speakeasies and other “nice joints” in the Atlanta and Athens, Georgia area. In his performances, Mike included a few original songs. Positive feedback from patrons encouraged him to continue to write songs.
In the late seventies, with encouragement from his wife Crystie, Mike started making regular trips to Nashville. The “dues paying” really began at this point.
In 1982, after years of dropping off tapes, talking to publishers and being told “You’re hooks ain’t strong enough”, Mike decided to record one of his own songs. He’d developed a close friendship with the late Roger Bowling (writer of “Lucille”, “Coward of the County”, “Blanket On The Ground”) a Hall of Fame songwriter. “Roger Bowling was that first person who wanted to see me realize a dream.” He introduced Mike to Byron Hill, then a young writer/producer for ATV Music Group in Nashville. Mike says “Byron Hill is a creative genius whose songwriting and producer credits are legendary.” Byron produced Mike’s first record, “Scarlet Fever”. This song was a chart maker in Billboard Magazine and a pick hit. Within weeks of Mike’s release, Kenny Rogers heard the song on a local radio station and contacted Mike and asked about recording the song himself. Kenny recorded “Scarlet Fever” and released it in July, 1983. This was Mike’s first published song and it became Mike’s first number one. Soon after Kenny Rogers’ publishing company, Lionsmate Music, signed Mike to an exclusive writer’s contract. Their association lasted until Kenny sold his publishing company. Kenny has recorded six of Mike’s songs to date. “Kenny Rogers is a warm and caring man and friend who gave me instant credibility as a songwriter… I can never thank him enough.”
In 1987, Mike signed with Song Source, Inc. This association produced cuts by Ricky Skaggs, T.G. Sheppard, Moe Bandy, The Whites, Hank Thomson, Keith Whitley and several overseas artists. From 1990 until 1994 Mike published his own songs in Square D Music. In 1994, Mike signed with Almo Irving Music in Nashville. Since signing there, Mike’s had a top ten hit with Tracy Byrd titled “Don’t Love Make A Diamond Shine”. Mike’s latest songs are published by Square D Music, including a new song on Gene Watson’s current CD, “No Trash In My Trailer”.
Mike’s “Fine Tuned” album was released in 2000 and garnered him his first success on the Americana charts. “Fine Tuned” has been a great calling card for Mike among industry professionals, especially on Nashville’s Music Row, and has led to other artists recording some of the songs from the album, including Joe Nichol’s 2001 recording of “Joe’s Place”.
In 2003, Mike released his “Sketches” album that resulted in several of his songs being covered by artists like Joe Nichols, Gene Watson, and Rhonda Vincent.
He followed “Sketches” with his fourth album “Tunesmith,” released in January of 2006. The album contains the song “Size Matters,” which was covered by Joe Nichols and released as a single at the same time.
Mike says, “I consider myself a sensitive Southern storyteller who is extremely blessed to have been given a creative talent. Songwriting is in my blood. I’ll write because I’ll bust wide open if I don’t.”