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Biography & Discography

James Dean Hicks

James Dean Hicks’ songs have been recorded by the biggest artists in the world including Blake Shelton, Miley Cyrus, Kenny Chesney, Reba McIntyre and Alison Krauss. He has new songs on a multitude of great artists like Jon Wolfe, Joel Crousse, and Joe Nichols. Some of country’s best selling performers of all time are also well-represented on the list. Merle Haggard, John Michael Montgomery, Neal McCoy, Collin Raye, Kenny Rogers, Bryan White, Crystal Gayle, Charlie Daniels and Conway Twitty and also pop superstars Aaron Neville and Tony Rich have included his songs on their projects. He also wrote the title cut “Sweet Kisses” for pop icon, Jessica Simpson, as well as, “Life is a Party” by  Aaron Carter.  He also  has songs in many Film and TV shows like A.N.T. Farm, Hart of Dixie, Austin & Ally, Deep Impact and many more.


At the age of 10, country music artist James Dean Hicks began making the trip from his home on a farm near Bardstown, Kentucky, to the big-city streets of Nashville. There he appeared regularly on the “WSM Midnight Jamboree” with the Grand Ole Opry greats, including Ernest Tubb and Hank Snow. By the time he was 13, James had opened concerts for Conway Twitty, Loretta Lynn, George Jones and Tammy Wynette.

From this almost legendary beginning, James has traveled on to success as one of America’s premier songwriter/artists!

Two of James’ compositions — “It Takes a Little Rain (To Make Love Grow)” and “This Crazy Love” — became #1 hits for the Oak Ridge Boys. Then came “Goodbye Time” for Conway Twitty, and “Jesus and Mama”, recorded by Confederate Railroad which became James’ third #1 hit, followed closely by Sammy Kershaw’s chart-topper “National Working Woman’s Holiday.” James’ song “Grandpa Told Me So” soared up the charts for Kenny Chesney, “The Hole” was a hit by Randy Travis and “God Gave Me You” was a hit for Bryan White. He also wrote the title cut “Sweet Kisses” for pop sensation, Jessica Simpson, as well as, “Life is a Party” by Aaron Carter. His song “Goodbye Time” was a #1 hit again when it was recorded by Blake Shelton!

The list of artists who have recorded James Dean Hicks’ songs is long. It includes Crystal Gayle, Charlie Daniels, Linda Davis, and Conway Twitty. Some of country’s hottest young performers are also well-represented on that list — John Michael Montgomery, Neal McCoy, Collin Raye, Lorrie Morgan, Bryan White, Skip Ewing, and pop superstars, Aaron Neville and Tony Rich.

James was named after the actor James Dean. “It was always kind of hard living up to that name,” James says. “One of my brothers is named after John Wayne, another one is named after Ernest Tubb. So I guess it could have been worse. They could have named me after Doris Day.”

“I always wanted to sing and write songs,” James recalls. “I used to sit on my swing on the farm, and make up songs. Daddy gave me a guitar and I learned to play by ear and from a chord book.”

From age 10 until he was 16, James performed regularly at weekend jamborees. Then he decided he was missing out on a regular childhood, so he laid his music performance career aside to enjoy a normal teenage life. “One night some of my high school buddies tossed me in the back seat of their car and started blasting AC/DC on the radio. I had never heard that kind of music before. I really got into Journey, AC/DC and Bob Seger, and those artists have influenced my music. I literally went from Conway Twitty to AC/DC overnight. It was the best shock my music career could have had.”

After earning a music degree in college, the next logical step for James was to move to Nashville to pursue his childhood dream of becoming a professional artist/songwriter. “Staff writing helped me learn my craft,” James explains. “It helped me learn the basics and how to knock the rough edges off, and taught me how to write from the heart about real life. The good thing is now I know how to put those rough edges back on.”

But there are no rough edges in James Dean Hicks’ music. His voice is as smooth as the fine Kentucky bourbon distilled in his hometown. His songs recall the purity of sound and emotion found in the best recordings of Dan Fogelburg, the down-home simplicity of Merle Haggard and the creative edge of Don Henley. His live concerts are both captivating and riveting, as he takes the listener on a musical journey through heartfelt ballads, traditional country themes, and rocking anthems. “If anyone had to pick one word to describe my music, I hope it would be ‘honesty’. I want my work to have integrity.”

This honesty shines through James’ compositions and touches universal emotions: lost love, religious faith, single parenthood, straying children, enduring love. His lyrics are complex and witty, poetic, yet simple.

James performs over 200 shows each year opening for many diverse acts, from Merle Haggard to Bryan White, from the Romantics to Keith Urban.

“To me, the hope of creating a classic is why I write and sing. It’s the chance to create something that will outlast your days on this earth. Finishing a great song is the biggest thrill of all and then to see the emotion of that song mirrored in the face of an audience brings it full circle.

Memorable Hits

I Can’t Take My Eyes Off You – Joe Nichols

Summer Love – Joel Crouse

Barefoot Cinderella – Miley Cyrus

I Love Christmas – Austin & Ally

How Do I Get There From Here – China Anne McClain (A.N.T. Farm)

Dreaming Wide Awake – American Mall (MTV Musical)

So Long – Little Texas

The Suitcase – Emerson Drive

Son Of A Gun – Billy Ray Cyrus

Lovely Fool – Jack Savoretti

Love Works – Brad Cotter

The Little Things – Bryan White

When You Come Around – Bryan White

Someone Who Gets Me – Beverly Mitchell (7th Heaven)

Don’t Tell Me – Joel Crouse

I Wish I Could Say That – Kenny Chesney

My Place – Lila McCann

If Merle Would Sing My Song – Blaine Larson & Merle Haggard

Yesterday’s Makeup – Natalie Howard

I Don’t Want to Live Like That – Natalie Howard

It Just Has To Be This Way – Vince Gill/Reba McEntire (Duet)

I Pray – Lonestar

Heaven Help Me – Wynonna Judd

Line On Love – John Michael Montgomery

Sweet Kisses – Jessica Simpson

A Bible And A Bus Ticket Home – Collin Raye

Sounds Of Home – Confederate Railroad

Why Now? – Neal Mccoy

That’s How I Know – B44

What Did I Do – Bryan White

The Hole – Randy Travis

The Hole – Deep Impact (Movie)

The Hole – Skip Ewing

Life Is A Party – Aaron Carter

Grandpa Told Me So – Kenny Chesney

Keepin’ Me Up Nights – Asleep At The Wheel

Time In – The Oak Ridge Boys

God Gave Me You – Bryan White

I Wish I Could Say That – Kenny Rogers

A Bible And A Bus Ticket Home – Confederate Railroad

A Bible And A Bus Ticket Home – Ty Herndon

Wreckin’ Ball – Burnin’ Daylight

When It’s The Right Time – Smokey (European)

What Did I Do – Aaron Neville

Sure Thing – Adam Hughes

You Can’t Take It With You – T.G. Sheppard

You Can’t Take It With You – Ron David Moore

Small Town Girl – Claudia Church

Nothing’s Impossible – Claudia Church

I Picked A San Antonio Rose – Hank Thompson

I Picked A San Antonio Rose – Gene Watson

Mama Needs Someone To Hold Her – Greg Holland

I Wish I Could Say That – Lorrie Morgan

The Carpenter Man – O.K. Taylor Jr.

Stay With Me – Karel Gott (European)

Heartbreak Hall Of Fame – Eddie Cooper

All Dressed Up And No Place To Go – Bryan Austin

It’s How Deep – Larry Stewart

Mama Needs Someone To Hold Her – Larry Stewart

Bad Thing About A Good Memory – Roger Ballard

That’s What Her Memory Is For – Tracy Byrd

That’s What Her Memory Is For – Butch Baker

Nobody Can Fill Your Shoes – Conway Twitty

I Never Had You Anyway – Burch Sisters

Love Is A Road – Clinton Gregory

This Ain’t Heaven – John Snyder With Johnny Cash

God Still Lives In Tennessee – Aaron Barker

What My Baby Sees In Me – Charlie Daniels Band

Knowing We’ll Never Know – Linda Davis

You’ve Become The Dream – Barbara Mandrell

That’s The Least That I Can Do – Crystal Gayle

I Know There’s A Heart In There Somewhere – Chris Austin

God Gave Me You – Don Phillips

I’ll Be Your Jukebox Tonight – Barbara Mandrell

Jesus And Mama – Tommy Jennings

Read All About It – Libby Hurley

I’m Glad I Married You – Barbara Mandrell

It All Came True – Barbara Mandrell

The Carpenter Man – Bruce Carroll

Honky Tonk Ways – Roger Springer

I Hope You’re Happy Now – Roger Springer

Hard Times – Roger Springer

Ol’ Rock & Roller – Keith Stegall

Falling Hearts – Barbara Mandrell

The Blue In You – Diana Rae

I’m Still Holding On – Diana Rae

Run Fool Run – J.J. White

Baby Now You’re Talking – Dana Mcvicker

The Cost Of Loving You – Kim Adkins (Canadian)

Run Fool Run – Cindy Fee

That’s What Love Will Make You Do – Byron Hill

Kiss Of A Southern Son – Kimber Clayton

Love Is A Road – Diamond Rio

Feel For Me – Kimber Clayton

Wreckin’ Ball – Kimber Clayton

A Line On Love – David Wills

If You Keep Building Fences – Janie Frickie

What Did I Do – Andy Vargas

That Good – Bryan White

Nobody Loves Like A Woman – Yankee Grey

#1 Hits

Goodbye Time
Blake Shelton

Jesus and Mama
Confederate Railroad

National Working Woman’s Holiday
Sammy Kershaw

It takes a Little Rain
The Oak Ridge Boys

This Crazy Love
The Oak Ridge Boys

Goodbye Time
Conway Twitty

The Long Night
James Dean Hicks / Natalie Howard
Austrailian Video on CMC

Interesting Facts

Albums:  Making My Own Way, Somewhere in America

Hometown:  Bardstown, Kentucky USA

Birthday:  December 13th

Musical Influences: Merle Haggard, Don Henley, ACDC, Jimmie Rogers, Dan Fogelburg, Kansas, Conway Twitty, Foreigner, Aerosmith and Richard Claderman

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