Long before he was one half of legendary country duo Brooks & Dunn, Kix Brooks was making his way around Nashville as a songwriter throughout the early 1980s that yielded him a series of hits by John Conlee, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and others. Brooks took his passion for songwriting to new heights when he joined forces with Ronnie Dunn in 1990 to form Brooks & Dunn, the pair co-writing some of their biggest hits, including “Brand New Man,” “My Next Broken Heart,” “You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone” and more. Below, we look at three songs you didn’t know Brooks wrote for other artists.
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[RELATED: Top 10 Brooks & Dunn Songs]
1. “Modern Day Romance” by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Written by Kix Brooks and Dan Tyler
Kix Brooks had a hand in Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s early success when he co-penned “Modern Day Romance” with Dan Tyler. Featured on Nitty Gritty’s 16th album, Partners, Brothers and Friends, “Romance” was released as its lead single in 1985. The song follows the adventures of a man who helps a woman on the side of the road fix her flat tire, only for the chivalrous act to lead to a wild adventure in Reno where she ultimately abandons him with a modern-day romance has left me some old-fashioned pain. The song became the band’s second No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.
2. “I’m Only in it for the Love” by John Conlee
Written by Kix Brooks, Deborah Allen, and Rafe Van Hoy
Kix Brooks teamed up with Deborah Allen and Rafe Van Hoy to pen this jubilant John Conlee hit. The song sounds like it was made for Conlee’s deep, yet spirited voice as he croons, And every move is with my best intention / Before we go on I thought I ought to mention / I’m only in it for the love. This made for Conlee’s fourth No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, with Allen recording her own cover for her 2000 album, The Best of Deborah Allen.
3. “You Made a Rock of a Rolling Stone” by Oak Ridge Boys
Written by Kix Brooks and Chris Waters
A year after Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s “Modern Day Romance,” Kix Brooks had another hit on his hands as a songwriter with “You Made a Rock of a Rolling Stone” by the Oak Ridge Boys. Released as the second single off their 1986 album, Seasons, Brooks again leans into the theme of love on “Rock,” this time writing about how a woman’s love inspired a “rolling stone” of a man to settle down and sweetly gave my heart a home. The song shows off the Oak Ridge Boys’ signature harmonies, reaching the Top 30 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.
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