I spent the better part of yesterday at the grand opening of Wade Bowen’s bar, and I was more familiar with some of the names than others. Right off the bat was David Lee, a surprise guest, who wasn’t mentioned in any of the promotion for the event. “Who in the blue hell is this guy ?” I got the impression that I was far from the only one unfamiliar with his work. Well, it turns out that he’s a Texas native who spent over two decades in Nashville writing massive hits – Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, Montgomery Gentry, John Michael Montgomery, Lee Ann Womack, Alan Jackson, George Strait, Alabama, Trace Adkins, and on and on. He wrote number one songs and even scored a Grammy nomination. He apparently moved back to central Texas in 2015. As a coincidence, my grandfather Lee briefly lived in David Lee’s home town of Wichita Falls, TX. Here’s the official David Lee bio
I wasn’t very familiar with Keith Gattis, but I had at least heard of him. He produced Wade Bowen’s recent album, and Kendell Marvel’s album last year. Gattis wrote Day of the Dead , the only song on Bowen’s album that Bowen didn’t write. Apparently, Gattis has a robust list of credits, and one of his highest-profile songs is El Cerrito Place , which made its way onto albums by Charlie Robison and Kenny Chesney. Here’s an East Nashvillian interview . I enjoyed George Strait’s last album in 2015, and thought some critics took it for granted a little bit, since King George’s output has been so strong for so many years. Gattis has writing credits on four of the songs on that album, including a solo write, It Was Love .Gattis was also one of the writers of Goin’ Goin’ Gone . George Strait’s career started in San Marcos, where I live, and most every weekend, I eat breakfast at a Mexican restaurant, where one wall has Jesus Christ, Merle Haggard, and George Strait.