Discover the Hidden Gems: 4 Songs Penned by Ronnie Dunn for Other Artists
When it comes to country music legends,Brooks & Dunn‘s Ronnie Dunn‘s name undoubtedly shines brightly alongside his partner, Kix Brooks. Together, they dominated the charts in the early ’90s with their infectious two-stepping, honky-tonk hits, amassing an impressive collection of 20 No. 1 hits and earning a well-deserved induction into the prestigious Country Music Hall of Fame. Although they briefly parted ways in 2009 (but have since reunited), Ronnie Dunn embarked on a solo journey, captivating audiences with his remarkable songwriting skills and his trademark Texas twang. His most recent album, the 2022 release “100 Proof Neon,” only served to cement his status as a musical powerhouse.
However, apart from his collaborations with Brooks and his successful solo endeavors, Dunn has quietly shared his songwriting prowess with other notable country artists throughout his illustrious career. Prepare to be amazed as we unveil four captivating songs that you probably didn’t know were penned by Ronnie Dunn for other talented musicians.
01. “Don’t Leave, I Think I Love You”
“Don’t Leave, I Think I Love You” (Toby Keith)
Collaborating with Toby Keith, Dunn crafted the heartfelt ballad “Don’t Leave, I Think I Love You.” This emotionally charged track found a perfect home on Keith’s acclaimed 2003 album, “Shock’n Y’all.” Among other notable singles from the same album, such as “I Love This Bar,” “American Soldier,” and “Whiskey Girl,” this gem shines brightly. It comes as no surprise that the album achieved quadruple Platinum certification in the United States. Although “Don’t Leave, I Think I Love You” may have flown under the radar, it stands as a fascinating addition to Dunn’s remarkable songwriting repertoire.
02. “I Keep On Lovin’ You”
“I Keep On Lovin’ You” (Reba McEntire)
In collaboration with Terry McBride, Ronnie Dunn penned the timeless masterpiece “I Keep On Lovin’ You,” which found its way to Reba McEntire’s critically acclaimed 2010 album, “Keep On Loving You.” McEntire herself has revealed a personal connection to the song, citing her enduring marriage to manager Narvel Blackstock as an inspiration. She shared, “We have been through rough times and tough times and arguments, but we made up over and over again.” This touching track showcases Dunn’s ability to craft emotionally resonant lyrics that strike a chord with listeners.
03. “Darned If I Don’t (Danged If I Do)”
“Darned If I Don’t (Danged If I Do)” (Shenandoah)
The infectious hit “Darned If I Don’t (Danged If I Do)” became an instant success for Shenandoah, hailing from the musical hotbed of Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Released in 1995 as the second single from their album “In the Vicinity of the Heart,” this song propelled the group to Grammy recognition with a nomination for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group. Exuding the same spirited energy as Brooks & Dunn’s barn-burner hits, “Darned If I Don’t (Danged If I Do)” showcases the collaborative genius of Ronnie Dunn, George Strait, and Dean Dillon.
04. “No U In Oklahoma”
“No U In Oklahoma” (Reba McEntire)
In the creation of “No U In Oklahoma,” Reba McEntire played a pivotal role, conjuring the clever wordplay in the song’s title. However, it was Ronnie Dunn who helped shape the idea into a compelling musical narrative. McEntire explains, “A friend of mine in Chelsea, Okla., Donna McSpadden, gave me the idea. I sent it to Ronnie [Dunn], and while we were on vacation in Cancun—I had a guitar down there at my house—he just kinda started riffing and playing. We recorded it in a kind of rough demo, and I sent it to Buddy Cannon, and he loved it.” This collaboration resulted in a captivating piece of music, as Dunn’s involvement added his distinct touch to the song’s evolution.
As we dive into the treasure trove of Ronnie Dunn’s songwriting contributions, we unearth these remarkable compositions that he generously shared with fellow artists. These songs not only showcase his extraordinary talent but also highlight his ability to craft captivating narratives that resonate with audiences. So, keep your ears tuned to the magic created by this country music virtuoso, both as a performer and a masterful songwriter.