George Strait Producer and Songwriter Blake Mevis Has Died

You’re assured nothing in the music business. For any artist to rise to the level of having a career—let alone a notable one—it takes incredible timing, a little bit of magic, and a lot of luck. It also takes people behind the scenes making critical connections at important moments in a career, often while receiving little or no recognition themselves.

Blake Mevis was responsible in part not just for one Hall of Fame career being launched into the country music stratosphere, but two. As the guy who introduced country music legend and Hall of Famer George Strait to now Country Music Hall of Fame songwriter Dean Dillon, Blake Mevis helped forge one of the most legendary and successful artist/songwriter partnerships in country music history, and participated in the partnership in large part as well.

It was the song “Unwound” written by Dean Dillon with Frank Dycus that Blake Mevis brought to George Strait in early 1981 as a suggestion for the lead single from Strait’s debut album Strait Country. George fell so in love with the song, he decided to select five more Dean Dillon co-writes for the record, and so began the historic collaboration that continues to this day. “That pretty much solidified the relationship between George and myself because he never forgot that,” says Dillon.

“Unwound” ended up being George Strait’s breakout hit, going #6 on the country charts. Strait later released “If You’re Thinking You Want a Stranger (There’s One Coming Home) as a single,” which was co-written by Blake Mevis. “Friday Night Fever” from Strait Country was co-witten by Mevis and Dean Dillon.

Blake Mevis was also the producer of Strait Country, along with Strait’s second album Straight from the Heart, which included the Blake Mevis song “Fool Hearted Memory” co-written with Byron Hill. “Fool Hearted Memory” became George Strait’s first #1 hit, and the rest was history.

Blake Mevis did much more than just introduce George Strait and Dean Dillon, and help launch Strait’s career by allowing him to stick to a more traditional country sound that was counterintuitive to everything else going on in Nashville at the time. Mevis also produced Keith Whitley’s first two albums, L.A. to Miami (1985) and portions of Don’t Close Your Eyes (1988). He also produced albums from Vern Gosdin, Charley Pride, Clay Walker, and The Kendalls.

As a songwriter, Blake Mevis had songs recorded by Don Williams, Charlie Rich, and Jim Ed Brown to name a few. Brown cutting Blake Mevis’s “If The World Ran Out Of Love Tonight” put Mevis on the map as a songwriter when it went Top 10. Blake Mevis also wrote Charley Pride’s last #1 song “Night Games,” and co-wrote the Joe Nichols signature song that helped launch his career, the #1 “Brokenheartsville” released in 2002.

Originally from Plymouth, Indiana, Blake Mevis moved to Nashville in 1971, and began his career working for publishing companies, finding his first job with Loretta Lynn’s Coal Miner’s Music, then later working for both ABC and MCA Records, and also becoming the President of Charley Pride’s publishing company, Pride Music Group.

Blake Mevis died on February 9th from a COVID-related stroke and double pneumonia. He was 73 years old.

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