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Sheltered Music Publishing Acquires Interest in Nashville Songwriting Legend Dennis Linde’s Catalog

The agreement covers songs including "Burning Love" and "Callin' Baton Rouge."

Sheltered Music Publishing has acquired a significant interest in the music catalog of Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame writer Dennis Linde. The agreement covers Linde-written songs including “Burning Love,” “Goodbye Earl” and “Callin’ Baton Rouge.”

Known for his quirky writing style and vivid character portraits, Linde also wrote what would become Elvis Presley‘s last Billboard Hot 100 top 5 hit, 1972’s “Burning Love,” as well as other songs recorded by Presley. He also wrote “Callin’ Baton Rouge,” which was first recorded by The Oak Ridge Boys and later by New Grass Revival, before becoming a signature recording from Garth Brooks in 1993. Linde also penned the (then-Dixie) Chicks‘ 1999 hit “Goodbye Earl,” Sammy Kershaw’s “Queen of my Double Wide Trailer,” Joe Diffie‘s “John Deere Green,” as well as the Mark Chesnutt-recorded “Bubba Shot the Jukebox” and “It Sure is Monday.”

“It is not often that a catalog as distinguished and diverse as Dennis Linde’s becomes available,” said Sheltered Music senior vp Darrell Franklin in a statement. “As a music publisher, this is the quality of work we all aspire to represent. I’m honored to be able to do that with this music and to help further raise awareness and appreciation of one of Nashville’s greatest songwriting talents.” 

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Linde moved to Nashville in 1969 and signed with music publisher Bob Beckham, eventually marrying his daughter, Pam.

“First and foremost, Dennis was a great father and loving husband,” said Pam Linde in a statement. “He was the greatest man I ever met and I miss him every day. When we sat down with Lance and Darrell, I knew that Sheltered Music Publishing would be a great home for Dennis’s musical legacy.”

“I know the word ‘genius’ is overused, but in this case, it’s the only word I know that best describes Dennis Linde,” Blake Chancey, longtime friend, creative partner and record producer (“Goodbye Earl”), said in a statement. “Dennis co-wrote with himself. In one end of his house, the house he didn’t leave that often, he had a library where he wrote most of the lyrics to his songs. He had a fake town, Norwell, reminiscent of Mayberry with great characters like Billy Bob and Charlene, Bubba, Mary Anne and Wanda. And let’s not forget Earl! He was always describing the charm and laid back style of the Southern way of life. A combination of Mark Twain meets Stephen King. On the other end of the house was the studio where Dennis was building tracks. He was a ‘Track Guy’ before there were ‘Track Guys.’ Dennis either played or programmed everything. His goal was for it to sound like a real band and not a machine. And it did! His grooves were sick. I’m so fortunate I got to sit by Den all those years and watch him create. It was a priceless education.”

Linde won BMI’s top writer award in 1994 and earned 14 BMI “Million-Air” songs. Linde was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2001. He died in 2006, at age 63.

More recently, singer-songwriter Ashley McBryde paid tribute to Linde’s work with her collaborative album Lindeville, which features a collection of songs that jointly paint a picture of a number of characters residing in the fictional town of Lindeville.