Barry Dean (songwriter)
Barry Dean (born c. 1967) is an American country and pop music songwriter based out of Nashville, Tennessee. He has written three No. 1 singles with “Pontoon” (Little Big Town), “Day Drinking” (Little Big Town) and "Think a Little Less" (Michael Ray), along with a Top 40 hit with “Girls Chase Boys” (Ingrid Michaelson). He has been nominated for a Grammy for Best Country Song on Tim McGraw's "Diamond Rings and Old Barstools."
|Born||May 10, 1967|
|Occupation(s)||Singer-Songwriter, Record Producer|
|Associated acts||Little Big Town, Hunter Hayes, Ingrid Michaelson|
Dean was born in Okmulgee, OK and grew up in rural Pittsburg, KS. He wrote songs and played in bands throughout high school and during his time at Pittsburg State University. Dean briefly pursued songwriting in Los Angeles but abandoned that in his 20s.
Dean returned to Pittsburg and worked as Creative Director for Pitsco Incorporated. He was involved in the education business for several years with a focus on marketing and media technology. In his mid-30s, Dean’s wife encouraged him to pursue songwriting again and signed him up for a cruise held by the Nashville Songwriter’s Association International for aspiring songwriters. The NSAI subsequently invited Dean to a song camp in Nashville. He considers this camp a formative experience where he learned how to write professionally and began to co-write with other Nashville writers.
For his first years as a songwriter Dean continued to live in Kansas and would commute into Nashville to co-write. He eventually moved to Nashville and signed with BMG in his mid-30s. His first songwriting cut was Reba McEntire playing “Moving Oleta,” a personal song Dean wrote based on his grandfather’s love for his spouse as she went through Alzheimer’s Disease. His first single, Matrina McBride’s “God’s Will,” was also personal, written in response to his daughter’s premature birth and slow recovery. Rolling Stone included “God’s Will” on its list of the “Saddest Country Songs of All Time.”
Dean has had two No. 1 hits with Little Big Town, his first with “Pontoon” and again with “Day Drinking.” “Pontoon” has been certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. Dean also reached No. 1 with “Think a Little Less” recorded by Michael Ray. Dean has co-written many hit radio singles including Jason Aldean’s “1994,” Brothers Osborne’s “Rum,” Hunter Hayes’ “Tattoo,” Toby Keith’s “Drinks After Work," Ashley Monroe's "On to Something Good," and Allison Krauss & Union Station's "My Love Follows You Where You Go." In addition to country, Dean's “Girls Chase Boys,” co-written and performed by Ingrid Michaelson, appeared on multiple radio charts, won a BMI Pop Award, and has been certified platinum by the RIAA.
In the past decade, Dean has had songs recorded by Jason Aldean, Charlotte Church, Billy Currington, Brett Eldredge, Hunter Hayes, Toby Keith, Alison Krauss, Reba McEntire, Jake Owen, Thomas Rhett, LeAnn Rimes, Carrie Underwood, Jon Pardi, Brothers Osbourne, Lori McKenna, and Maren Morris, among others.
“Pontoon,” co-written with Luke Laird and Natalie Hemby, went on to be nominated for a number of Country Music Awards. Tim McGraw’s “Diamond Rings and Barstools,” which Dean co-wrote with Luke Laird and Jonathan Singleton, was nominated for a Grammy for Best Country Song. His music has appeared in movies, such as Act of Valour, and TV shows, such as Nashville and NCIS.
In appreciation for providing him a place to stay after his first child’s premature birth, Dean has been an outspoken advocate and organized a benefit for the Ronald McDonald House of the Four States.
|2003||Martina McBride||Martina||"God's Will"||Tom Douglas|
|Reba McEntire||Room To Breathe||"Moving Oleta"|
|2006||Heartland||I Loved Her First||"Judge A Man"||Don Poythress|
|John Corbett||John Corbett||"Judge A Man"||Don Poythress|
|2007||Carrie Underwood||Carnival Ride||"Crazy Dreams"||Troy Verges|
|Lewis, Scruggs & Long||Lifetimes||"James White"||Don Poythress, Brian White|
|Chris Eaton||Dare To Dream||"Alright"||Don Poythress, Chris Eaton|
|Phil Stacey||Phil Stacey||"No Way Around A River"||Harrington|
|2009||Karen Peck and New River||No Worries||"The Hour I First Believed"||Tony Wood, Don Poythress|
|2010||Bill Anderson||Songwriter||"One Bad Memory"||Bill Anderson, Tim Nichols|
|Laura Bell Bundy||Achin' and Shakin'||"Boyfriend"||Luke Laird, Laura Bell Bundy|
|Adam Brand||It's Gonna Be Ok||"Kiss You Back"||Adam Brand, Travis Meadows|
|Don Poythress feat. Ricky Scaggs||Wash Away||" Faithful Love Of Jesus"||Don Poythress, Karyn Rochelle|
|Clay Walker||She Won't Be Lonely Long||"People In Planes"||Luke Laird|
|Lori McKenna||Christmas Release||"Wishlist"||Mary Steenburgen, Troy Verges, Lori McKenna|
|Whitney Duncan||iTunes EP||"Getting Off Now"||Luke Laird, Whitney Duncan|
|Katharine McPhee||Unbroken||"Last Letter"||Luke Laird, Katharine McPhee|
|"Anybody's Heart"||Luke Laird, Katharine McPhee|
|Guy Penrod||Breathe Deep||"Breathe Deep"||Don Poythress, Tony Wood|
|2011||Neal McCoy||XII||"A-OK"||Luke Laird, Brett Eldredge|
|Alison Krauss||Paper Airplane||"My Love Follows Where You Go"||Lori McKenna, Liz Rose|
|Hunter Hayes||Storm Warning||"Cry With You"||Hunter Hayes|
|"Faith To Fall Back On"||Hunter Hayes|
|"Can't Say Love"||Hunter Hayes|
|Sara Evans||Stronger||"Life Without Losing"||Luke Laird, Sara Evans, Andrew Dorff|
|Lori McKenna||Lorraine||"American Revolver"||Lori McKenna|
|"The Most"||Lori McKenna|
|"Still Down Here"||Lori McKenna|
|"Rocket Science"||Lori McKenna|
|Meat Loaf, John Rich, Lil Jon, Mark McGrath||Feat. on Celebrity Apprentice||"Stand In The Storm"||Troy Verges|
|Martina McBride||Eleven||"Ask The Boy"||Troy Verges|
|Charlotte Church||Back to Scratch||"The Story Of Us"||Luke Laird, Charlotte Church|
|"Suitcase"||Luke Laird, Charlotte Church|
|"Unraveling"||Luke Laird, Charlotte Church|
|2012||Little Big Town||Tornado||Pontoon||Luke Laird, Natalie Hemby|
|Kellie Pickler||100 Proof||"Rockaway"||Kellie Pickler, Brent Cobb|
|Hunter Hayes||Act of Valor: The Album||"Where We Left Off"||Hunter Hayes|
|Jay Sean, Jewel, Owl City||ConAgra Child Hunger Campaign||"Here's Hope"||Luke Laird, Hunter Hayes|
|Montgomery Gentry||Act of Valor: The Album||"What It Takes"||Troy Verges, Andrew Dorff|
|Neil McCoy||XII||"Judge A Man"||Donald Poythress|
|Marlee Scott||Beautiful Maybe||"Rhinestone in the Rough"||Lesley Roy, Desmond Child|
|Trent Dabbs||Future Like Snow||"Better Off Now"||Trent Dabbs|
|"Hoping For Home"||Trent Dabbs, Luke Laird, Mary Steenburgen|
|"Future Like Snow"||Trent Dabbs, Lori McKenna|
|Brandon Heath||Blue Mountain||"Blue Mountain"||Luke Laird, Brandon Heath|
|2013||Jason Aldean||Night Train||"1994"||Luke Laird, Thomas Rhett|
|Toby Keith||Drinks After Work||"Drinks After Work"||Luke Laird, Natalie Hemby|
|Ronnie Dunn||I Wish I Still Smoked Cigarettes||"I Wish I Still Smoked Cigarettes"||Luke Laird, Lori McKenna|
|Jake Owen||Days of Gold||"Tall Glass Of Something"||Luke Laird, Jaren Johnston|
|Thomas Rhett||It Goes Like This||"Sorry For Partyin'"||Jimmy Robbins, Thomas Rhett|
|Billy Currington||We Are Tonight||"Another Day Without You"||Andrew Dorff, Shane McAnally|
|Brett Eldredge||Bring You Back||"Gotta Get There"||Luke Laird, Brett Eldredge|
|2014||Little Big Town||Pain Killer||"Day Drinking"||Troy Verges, Karen Fairchild, Jimi Westbrook, Phillip Sweet|
|Brothers Osborne||Brothers Osborne||"Rum"||John Osborne, T. J. Osborne|
|Hunter Hayes||Storyline||"Tattoo"||Troy Verges, Hunter Hayes|
|Ingrid Michaelson||Lights Out||"Girls Chase Boys"||Ingrid Michaelson, Trent Dabbs|
|Blake Shelton||Bringing Back the Sunshine||"Anyone Else"||Luke Laird, Natalie Hemby|
|Hunter Hayes||Storyline||"Flashlight"||Troy Verges, Hunter Hayes|
|"Wild Card"||Luke Laird, Hunter Hayes|
|Steve Moakler||Wide Open||"Crooked Heart"||Steve Moakler|
|Angaleena Presley||American Middle Class||"Surrender"||Luke Laird, Angaleena Presley|
|2015||Tim McGraw||Sundown Heaven Town||"Diamond Rings and Old Barstools"||Luke Laird, Jonathan Singleton|
|Ashley Monroe||Blade||"On To Something Good"||Luke Laird, Ashley Monroe|
|Hunter Hayes||The 21 Project||"Saint or a Sinner"||Hunter Hayes, Lori McKenna|
|2016||Hunter Hayes||TBA||"Yesterday's Song"||Hunter Hayes, Martin Johnson|
|Michael Ray||Michael Ray||"Think a Little Less"||John Nite, Jimmy Robbins, Thomas Rhett|
|Lori McKenna||The Bird & the Rifle||"Halfway Home"||Lori McKenna|
|"Old Men, Young Women"||Luke Laird, Lori McKenna|
|LeAnn Rimes||Remnants||"How to Kiss a Boy"||LeAnn Rimes|
|2017||Brothers Osborne||Pawn Shop||"Dirt Rich"||John Osborne, T. J. Osborne|
|"Rum"||John Osborne, T. J. Osborne|
|The Steel Wools||Straw in the Wind||"The Well"||Brent Cobb|
|Little Big Town||The Breaker||"Free"||Natalie Hemby, Luke Laird, Lori McKenna|
|Steve Moakler||Steel Town||"Siddle's Saloon"||Steve Moakler|
|2018||Devin Dawson||Dark Horse||"Dip"||Devin Dawson, Luke Laird|
|BØRNS||Blue Madonna||"We Don't Care"||BØRNS|
|Travis Meadows||Killin' Uncle Buzzy||Producer|
|2012||Sugar and the Hi Lows||High Roller||Producer|
Awards and nominations
- Country Music Association Single of the Year Winner for Little Big Town's "Pontoon"
- MusicRow’s Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year Nominee
- CMA Song of the Year Nominee for Little Big Town’s “Pontoon”
- ACA Song of the Year Nominee for Little Big Town’s “Pontoon”
- NSAI Songs I Wish I'd Written Award for Little Big Town’s “Pontoon”
- NSAI Songs I Wish I'd Written Award for Tim McGraw's "Diamond Rings And Old Barstools"
- BMI Pop Award for Ingrid Michaelson's "Girls Chase Boys"
- Parker, Eric (September 4, 2012). "Little Big Town Earns First No. 1 Single". MusicRow.
- Schlansky, Evan (August 4, 2014). "Writer Of The Week: Barry Dean". American Songwriter.
- Reuter, Annie (March 31, 2017). "The Writer's Round with Barry Dean". Sounds like Nashville.
- Staff. "Barry Dean Calls NSAI Song Camp a 'Rare Opportunity.'".
- McIntosh, Dan (April 19, 2017). "Barry Dean". Songfacts.com.
- Dauphin, Chuck (October 2, 2014). "Little Big Town's Secret: Natalie Hemby and Barry Dean on Writing Country Hits". Billboard.
- Gooding, Sarah (February 13, 2016). "Barry Dean Nominated for Grammy". Morning Sun.
- Staff. "40 Saddest Songs of All Time". Rolling Stone.
- Waterman, Dan (January 21, 2013). "How Did They Write That? Little Big Town's 'Pontoon'". American Songwriter.
- Staff (Summer 2018). "Barry Dean: Credits". All Music.
- Staff (October 17, 2013). "BMI Writers Owen, Steele, Jennings and Martine Honored at NaSHOF". BMI.
- Murray, Rebecca (October 31, 2013). "2013 American Country Awards Nominees Announced". Showbizjunkies.com.
- McIntosh, Dan (April 19, 2017). "Barry Dean". Songfacts.com.
- Bialas, Michael (December 6, 2017). "With High Roller (and Song Premiere), Sugar and the Hi-Lows Sweeten the Pot". Huffington Post.
- Larimore, Jordan (November 5, 2017). "Songwriter Barry Dean Stayed at Ronald McDonald House after Daughter's Premature Birth". Jopling Globe.
- Staff (October 28, 2017). "Noted Nashville Songwriter Returns Home to Give Back". Pitt State (Newspaper).
- "Country Music Association Awards - 2012 | Winners & Nominees". awardsandwinners.com. Retrieved 2018-07-29.
- Nicholson, Jessica (May 22, 2013). "'MusicRow' Awards Announce Breakthrough Songwriter Nominees". musicrow.com.
- "Searchable CMA Awards Database". Country Music Association.
- Skates, Sarach (May 15, 2015). "Nashvillians Bring Home BMI Pop Awards". Music Crow.
- "Grammys 2016 Preview: The Inside Scoop on the Best Country Song and Country Album Nominees". Billboard.com. February 13, 2016.