Best known for writing the 1972 Elvis Presley hit, “Burning Love”, Linde spent much of his adolescence in St. Louis, first picking up the guitar at the age of 15. During the late ’60s, he played in the St. Louis band the Starlighters, driving a dry-cleaning delivery truck by day. When speeding tickets cost him his license and his day job, Linde turned to songwriting, relocating to Nashville in 1969 to join the Combine Music staff (which also included Kris Kristofferson, Mickey Newbury, and Wanda Jackson). Linde scored his first major hit a year later when Roy Drusky cut his “Long Long Texas Road.” He also signed a solo deal with Mercury’s Intrepid imprint, issuing his debut effort, “Linde Manor”.
In 1972, Elvis scored his final number one hit with “Burning Love,” launching Linde to the forefront of Nashville songwriters. Presley performed it live a few times, but often had trouble with the lyrics and soon pulled it from his playlist, although he did perform it during his famous show “Aloha from Hawaii”.
The attention earned him a deal with Elektra, which released his self-titled sophomore record in 1973. “Trapped in the Suburbs” appeared on the label’s Asylum subsidiary the following year, and in 1978 Linde signed to Monument to release his fourth and final solo disc, “Under the Eye”.
Dennis Linde wrote numerous hit songs for other country music singers, beginning with hits for Roger Miller and Roy Drusky in 1970. He continued his commercial success during the mid-’80s, writing hits for Kenny Rogers (“Goodbye, Marie”), Gary Morris (“The Love She Found in Me”), Don Williams (“Walkin’ a Broken Heart”), and Eddy Raven (“I’m Gonna Get You”).
In 2000, his song for the Dixie Chicks, “Goodbye Earl”, stirred some controversy for its take on spousal abuse. Linde also wrote tunes that were recorded by Tanya Tucker, The Judds, Alan Jackson, Mark Chesnutt and Garth Brooks, among several other acts. He also wrote two songs for the film “Grease 2”: “Cool Rider” and “Reproduction.”
Linde was the sole writer of most of his songs, but he had also collaborated with the likes of country artist Mel McDaniel and Nashville songwriter Bob DiPiero.
He was known as one of the more reclusive figures on the Nashville scene, rarely attending industry events and preferring not to be photographed or interviewed. Nashville manager Scott Siman described him as a “mystery man,” explaining, “If you ever saw Dennis Linde it was amazing, because you didn’t get that opportunity very often.”
In 2001, Linde was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. His daughter Lisa Linde (b. May 10, 1972 in Nashville, Tennessee) is an actress, known for “Days of Our Lives” (1965), “The Darkling” (2000) and “Pacific Blue” (1996), and was previously married to actor James Marsden.