Dick Feller is not the most famous country singer of the seventies, but he wrote more than a few songs fans remember. Johnny Cash’s “Any Old Wind that Blows,” the title song from a 1971 album which was a hit, was an early success for the songwriter, who was already playing guitar in the bands of Mel Tillis, Skeeter Davis and Werner Mack.
Feller’s songs are similar to those of Tom T. Hall, one of our favorites. They run a remarkable range between the sentimentality of “Any Old Wind that Blows” and the colorful storytelling humor of “The Night Miss Nancy’s Hotel for Single Girls Burned Down,” a hilarious slice of small town life which was a hit for Tex Williams.
Jimmy Dean asked him to write a song similar to the Tex Williams hit, and Feller offered him “Lord Mr. Ford,” which was rejected. It was eventually recorded by Jerry Reed (and sung by us in the often unreliable Hymies van fairly often). Feller signed with Reed’s publishing company and the two struck up a partnership, most memorably writing the songs for Smokey and the Bandit together. One song Feller wrote and recorded which we have earlier posted here on the Hymies blog is “The Credit Card Song,” (hear it here) which includes some references to outdated computer technology but is otherwise remarkably relevant decades later.
This is the title song from Dick Feller’s second album, No Word on Me. We’ve empathized with this song a time or two over the years, and there are several other great songs on the album. During this time Feller, like Barry Manilow, wrote a number of successful television jingles for clients including Pepsi, Dodge and AT&T.
Feller most famous song is another we sing when our Ford breaks down, “Some Days are Diamonds (Some Days are Stones),” which was one of John Denver’s last charting hits. Feller first recorded it in 1976 and it was earlier covered by Bobby Bare.
Some Days are Diamonds was also the title of a 2014 book, in which Feller came out as transgender and explained her transition to Deena Kay Rose. By this time she was largely retired as a songwriter, and had not released an album since 1982. As The Dick Feller Trio, he’d did back comedian Lewis Grizzard on an album in 1991, and also contributed some songs to a Sheb Wooley album in the 90s.