A hit that was written by Johnny Russell, Tommy Rocco, and Dickie Lee “Let’s Fall To Pieces Together” by George Strait became No. 1 back in 1984.
The first hit that made Johnny Russell famous was the signature song of Buck Owens, “Act Naturally.” Thereafter, he continued to write songs through the 1960s to 1970s. 28 of his works made it to the Billboards County chart.
In 1978, he became frustrated with his label, RCA, because they didn’t promote him that much and they sometimes refused to release his material. He left RCA and signed with Mercury Records. One of the most disappointing moments of Johnny with Mercury came when they chose not to issue one of his albums that he believed to be a strong one. Three of the Ten were, “Song Of The South” (became a No. 1hit for Alabama), “You’ll Be Back (Every Night In My Dreams)” which the Statler Brothers proved to be a big hit. Then there was “He Stopped Loving Her Today” that became the signature song of George Jones. Mercury said that his album was too weak and they decided to scrap it.
How the Song Came To Be
Fortunately, Russell didn’t miss the opportunity with “Let’s Fall To Pieces Together.” Another songwriter named Tommy Rocco suggested the title to four or five partners in writing songs, but all passed on it. Then the day came when he heard of Johnny Russell and Dickie Lee when he was at a publishing office in Nashville. The two tunesmiths were in another office and Rocco crashed in and sang three lines of the chorus. Russell cut in the fourth line and they started working together.
According to Johnny Russell, working with Dickie Lee was a challenge. It was for the reason that for every song, Lee always called for a rewrite after rewrite. Rocco and Russell became quickly satisfied with the song, however, it took the team several days to polish the song until Lee was happy with it. Thereafter, they sent the song to Billy Sherrill’s office so that George Jones would record the song. Unfortunately, Sherrill turned the song down. So, they approached George Strait’s producer that time, Blake Mevis. Again it was again turned down. Luck came their way and King George decided to change producers for his next album.
Three songwriters again tried to get the song to George Strait and this time it worked. Strait’s new producer, Ray Baker, loved “Let’s Fall To Pieces Together” then George Strait recorded it at the first session for the new album. It was released as a single soon afterward. It reached the top spot on Billboards Country Singles Chart on September 1, 1984.
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