Dennis' songwriting career
Dennis Morgan has enjoyed enormous songwriting success both in country and pop music since his emergence in the late 1970s. He was 11 years old when he saw the Beatles perform on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964. Like millions of kids across the country, Morgan soon after got his first guitar and started pursuing his musical dreams. But unlike 99 percent of those kids, Morgan's dreams came true, in platinum-selling fashion.
After dropping out of high school, Dennis hit the road with his first band. They got a recording deal. The deal fell through. In the early '70s, he moved to Nashville, where he played in honky-tonk bars for a few years. Slowly, a few session gigs came his way. He wrote jingles for Opryland, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Rubbermaid. He got a staff writer deal with Charley Pride's publishing company. And then in 1978, after he and Kye Fleming co-wrote "Sleeping Single in a Double Bed," a country #1 for Barbara Mandrell, his career took off. Together Fleming and Morgan wrote a string of top country hits from the late '70s into the early '80s for pop-leaning country artists like Barbara Mandrell, Ronnie Milsap and Sylvia.
By the mid-'80s, Morgan had started his own publishing company, Little Shop of Morgansongs, and was consistently scoring hits on the country and pop charts alike. In 1987, with English songwriter-artist Simon Climie, he co-wrote "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)," a globally seismic, Grammy-winning #1 duet for Aretha Franklin and George Michael. During the '80s, he also accumulated a shelf-load of awards, including BMI's Country Songwriter of the Year four times, and England's prestigious Ivor Novello Award (Morgan is one of only three Americans ever to receive it).
In the '90s, his success continued with cuts by Amy Grant, Neil Diamond and Faith Hill. As Morgan's publishing company expanded, he signed other writers, including future Nashville Songwriters Hall of Famer Tony Arata, who wrote "The Dance," the Garth Brooks smash.
With over 20 #1 hits under his belt, Morgan says he would like to be remembered "as a songwriter who touched others with his music, not a specific song. If I'm lucky enough to write songs that last, beautiful. But the pure pleasure is in the doing of it. That's what a songwriter is. You have to love it, because you're going to have more rejections than acceptances."