George Strait has had so many No.1 hits, it’s hard to keep them straight.
In 1990, Strait’s 29th No.1 hit of his career, “I’ve Come to Expect It from You,” was #1 on the country music charts on this day.
The song was his final single of the album “Livin’ It Up.” It soared on the charts, staying at No.1 for five weeks on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart.
What some George Strait fans may not know is the country singer came to expect hits from George Dillon, which is also true for the song “I’ve Come to Expect It from You.”
George Strait and Dean Dillon
Dillon composed or had co-written 55 of his songs.
“His songs all pair instantly catchy melodies with gutbucket country lyrics, signature qualities of a Dillon composition that would also become hallmarks of Strait’s own style and sound,” according to an article from Texas Monthly.
Dean Dillon started his career by working with a songwriter named Frank Dycus. He got his first guitar when he was 7. By the time he was 12, he was cranking out songs.
“So when George called to say he was ready to cut the second album, I hadn’t even met him yet. But he was in town, and Erv hooked us up. So I go over there and he’s this good-looking Texas cowboy with his cowboy hat on, and here I am, maybe three years younger, but just an absolutely wild, young long-haired song-slinger who does not give a shit about anything or anybody but writing songs,” Dillon said.
Dean tried for years to become a performer, but his knack for storytelling and songwriting, as well as being a cohesive unit on George Strait’s team, is what he gets all the fame for. Strait heard “Easy Come, Easy Go,” which was meant to be Dillon’s single. However, after thinking about it, he gave the song to Strait and quit at Atlantic Records. From here on out, he became a go-to songwriter/composer.
A Way With Words
In addition to writing for Strait, he has a list of other high-profile artists he has worked for. He wrote, “A Lot of Things Different” for Kenny Chesney, “A Little Too Late” for Toby Keith, ‘Tennessee Whiskey” for George Jones, and “Homecoming ’63” for Keith Whitley.
Dillon continues to create cohesive songs and albums.
“Dillon kicked off the second decade of his collaboration with Strait in 1991 with his second No.1 with the singer in the same year with ‘If I Know Me.” That song was a continuation of what had become one of Dillon’s master crafts as a songwriter by that point — his way with words,” according to the book “Nashville Songwriter: The Inside Stories Behind Country Music’s Greatest Hits.”
The songwriter worked with Buddy Cannon to create this hit. The knack for playing on words is clear in the 1990 No.1 single:
“I could raise hell / But what the hell / It wouldn’t do a bit a good.”