Merf News

Swift Wins ACM Entertainer of the Year

contributor • April 1, 2012 Photo: Mark J. Terrill/AP Photo [Results updated in real time—Check f Read More.


Carrie Underwood told Ryan Seacrest that her new album’s about half done, but it’s still too early to debut anything yet. Talking with the American Idol host on On Air With Ryan Seacrest, Carrie said: “I’ve been writing quite a bit. And I’ve been in the studio a little bit. So I probably have about half an album done right now and trying to fill in the gaps and figure out what pieces of the puzzle are missing, but it’s a fun time right now figuring everything out.”

Thomas Rhett Recalls Fortunate Start

Posted on February 13, 2012 by Dan Harr

Thomas Rhett has had songs he’s written recorded by people like Jason Aldean, Joe Nichols and Scotty McCreery, plus his debut album will be full of songs he’s co-written, but he remembers when he was first getting started being fortunate enough to learn from some of the best.

“My first co-write ever was Bobby Pinson and my dad [Rhett Akins]. Two of some of the greatest songwriters in town and I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I was like a child in there. Just sitting back listening to what was going on. So I guess I started to kind of understand what songwriting was about.” A few months after that first writing session Thomas says, “I sat in a room with two of my good buddies, their names are Jaron Boyer and Ben Stennisand and we were sitting there for five hours and nothing came to mind and finally somebody said something like, ‘There’s something about lighting up a Marlboro red,’ and we wrote this song called, ‘I Ain’t Ready to Quit’ which became my first cut on, the now album of the year, Jason Aldean’s last record, ‘My Kinda Party’ and I was like, ‘What is happening?’”

What was happening was that Thomas was well on his way to becoming a successful songwriter with his own new song on the radio that he helped co-write called “Something to Do with My Hands.”

The Songwriter Agency Signs Dean Dillon

Posted on February 10, 2012 by Dan Harr

The Songwriter Agency today announced one of music’s most accomplished songwriters, Dean Dillon, has joined the agency’s roster for bookings. With over 90 charted songs to his credit, Dillon was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002.

“Dean Dillon has been one of the most prolific songwriters in Nashville for over 30 years, and he’s also one of the most entertaining artists on the road,” said company president and co-founder Paul Compton. “The list of cuts he has had with some of the biggest names in the business is amazing.”
A native of Lake City, Tennessee, Dean Dillon hitchhiked his way to Nashville in 1973 to pursue his dreams of becoming a writer and artist. Two short years later, he caught the attention of hit producer Tom Collins who had Barbara Mandrell cut three of his songs on her Friends, Lovers and Strangers album. In 1979, the same year Dean has his first #1 song, “Lying in Love With You” by Jim Ed Brown and Helen Cornelius, he met a new artist named George Strait. Their friendship has lead to Strait cutting more than 80 of Dean’s songs, many of which have topped the country charts. Over the years, he has had songs cut by Alabama, Brooks & Dunn, Kenny Chesney, Vern Gosdin, Toby Keith, Keith Whitley, Lee Ann Womack and others.

Dillon signed a deal with RCA Records in 1979, which yielded eight charted singles. He released two albums on Capitol Records in the late ’80s. A deal with Atlantic Records in 1991 lead to the release of his most successful album as a recording artist, Out of Your Ever Lovin’ Mind.
When not in Nashville writing or on the road performing, Dean and his wife spend much of their time at their home in Gunnison, Colorado. Their passion for organizing and performing events for “Tough Enough To Wear Pink” has led to over $700,000 being raised for breast cancer awareness in their community. The money has been used to purchase a mammogram machine now used in a local hospital and helped pay for over 350 breast exams for local women.

“I’m pretty excited about The Songwriter Agency,” said Dillon. “These guys have a great approach to what they’re doing, and I look forward to working with them and getting out and playing some shows.”
The Songwriter Agency was conceived and created by music industry veterans Paul Compton and Randy Harrell in 2010. Along with Dean Dillon, the roster includes Steve Wariner, Don Schlitz, Skip Ewing, Ira Dean, Rebecca Lynn Howard, Regie Hamm, Bryan White, Elsten Torres, Chris Wallin and Nick Norman. For more information on these artists and the company, please visit