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Frank Dycus, Songwriter for George Strait, Gary Allan + More, Dead at 72

Frank Dycus
Banana Shack Records

Frank Dycus, the man who helped write hit songs like ‘Marina del Ray’ for George Strait and ‘Gonna Get a Life’ for Mark Chesnutt, has died. The songwriter had over 500 songs published during a 45-year career that included many works with frequent Strait songwriter Dean Dillon.

The Tennessean reports that Dycus died on Friday (Nov. 23) after years of failing health. In addition to ‘Marina del Ray,’ he and Dillon co-wrote ‘Unwound,’ ‘Honky Tonk Crazy’ and others together. Dycus wrote Gary Allan‘s second single ‘Forever and a Day’ before scoring his first and only No. 1 hit in Chesnutt’s ‘Gonna Get a Life,’ a song he wrote with Jim Lauderdale.

“I was at Frank’s house writing that day,” Lauderdale told Taste of Country in 2011. “We were in the kitchen taking a break, and I played him the song. I said, ‘What should we call this, Frank?’ He said, ‘How about ‘Gonna Get a Life’?’ And then he preceded to write out the rest of the lyrics on the song.”

Of ‘Marina del Ray,’ Dycus revealed that it was Dillon’s idea. “He drove around in his car drinking whiskey instead of going to bed,” he recalled in a 2011 interview.

“He’s one of these guys that falls in love. Every time a girl looked at him he fell in love with her. He said ‘I left my heart in Marina Del Rey.’ I said ‘what do you mean?’ He said ‘she was just cruel. I fell in love with her. All she said was I had a good time as she walked away.’ I turned to my wife and said, ‘Tammy bring me a pen.'”

Dycus was born in Hardmoney, Ky. and moved to Nashville in the early ’60s after spending seven years in the Air Force. He soon left for Kansas, but in the ’70s returned and struck up a friendship with Dillon. The early ’80s and ’90s were his most fruitful years as a songwriter, as that’s when he penned George Jones‘ ‘I Don’t Need Your Rockin’ Chair’.

Dycus released two albums on a Swedish label in the ’70s. In 2003, he released ‘Horny Frank and the S—kickers,’ and in 2008 he unleashed ‘Ghost Train.’

“He was a real hillbilly poet, with a great sensibility and a way with words,” Lauderdale told the Tennessean. “He was a wise person and a deep thinker. I’m sure going to miss him, and a lot of other people will, too.”

Next: See More Country Greats We've Lost in 2012

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