Monday, November 26, 2012

Songwriter Frank Dycus Passes Away At 72

Longtime country songwriter Frank Dycus passed away on Friday, 11/23 at the age of 72.

Dycus initially had no thoughts of pursuing a career as a songwriter. At school he was reckoned to be studious and was writing poems to his mother when he was 14. He relocated to California in 1955 and soon afterwards, he enlisted in the US Air Force. He learned to play guitar and with his friend, singer Don Gonsalez, formed a duo called Don And Frank. They attempted to be sound-alike Everly Brothers and found regular bookings over two or three States sometimes opening for touring stars such as Jim Reeves and Buck Owens and for a time they were regulars on KPEG Spokane.

After discharge in 1962, Dycus spent a short time in Nashville but failed to find work and eventually settled in Wichita, where he worked for Boeing in the aircraft industry and also hosted a radio show on KATE. In 1967, he returned to Nashville and worked as a songwriter in Pete Drake’s music publishing company. In 1970, Dycus formed his own company, Empher Music, in partnership with Larry Kingston and Roger Fox. They achieved several minor hits including Wynn Stewart’s Top 50 with ‘Paint Me A Rainbow’. In 1972, they sold their company to Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner and Dycus joined Parton’s Owpar Publishing. He also managed Parton and Wagoner’s Fireside Recording Studios. At Wagoner’s instigation, Dycus made some recordings of a skiffle nature as Lonesome Frank And The Kitchen Band, with Wagoner helping out with backing vocal on some tracks.

In 1981, George Strait gained his first two Billboard chart hits with Dycus’ songs namely ‘Unwound’ (number 6) and ‘Down And Out’ (number 16) and the following year Strait gained another number 6 hit with the Dycus song, ‘Marina Del Rey’. In 1987, Dycus, who had been in failing health for sometime, had heart bypass surgery and was inactive for more than two years. In 1990, after initially deciding to retire from the music business, he formed a new publishing company in Nashville and gained further success with George Jones’ recordings of ‘I Don’t Need Your Rocking Chair’ and ‘Walls Can Fall’, songs he co-wrote with Billy Yates. 

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