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Singer/Songwriter Roxie Dean Up Close Ahead Of Oxford Performance

Roxie Dean. Photo courtesy of Myspace

If Roxie in concert is half as entertaining as interviewing the songwriter icon, September 7th cannot get here fast enough. On that Thursday evening at the Ford Center, Roxie along with Hall of Fame Songwriters Dickey Lee and Pat Alger, will be performing for an audience that will be receiving quite a show! HottyToddy.com had the recent pleasure to talk with Roxie in her adopted hometown of Nashville…. “America’s Music City.”
HottyToddy.com: Roxie, tell us what motivated you to become a songwriter and an outstanding one at that?
Roxie: It was a complete and total accident. I had always preferred to be a singer, but then life got in my way. Having met several songwriters in Nashville after college, I realized then that I could have my cake, ice cream and eat it all…..that is writing and singing my own work.
HottyToddy.com: You apparently left Baton Rouge quickly to head for Nashville (but who wouldn’t, LOL).
Roxie: I was a Journalism major at LSU and had been an intern there for one of the television stations. I had nothing nailed down in Nashville but thought I would roll the dice and see what happened.
HottyToddy.com: Talk about guts! You must be quite a risk taker. Before we get into your music, curiosity killed the cat. Tell us how you and Jamie O’Neal became such good friends.
Roxie: I was shopping for a publishing deal in Nashville (I was in my late 20’s) when I crossed paths with Harold Shedd, a fantastic publisher. I presented several songs that I had written, and through this, I met Jamie who was working for Harold’s company. We became very good friends, started writing together and actually were roommates for a while.
HottyToddy.com: “When I Think About Angels” was no small success.
Roxie: Jamie and I co-wrote this number one hit along with Sonny Tillis, son of Mel. We actually wrote it in one day. Faith Hill was going great at the time, and I thought it would be a perfect song for her. However, Jamie liked it so much; she wanted to record it herself. This would become her second number one hit record! “Angels” was nominated for the Grammy Song of the Year.  This is a career song and Jamie who had just arrived (fairly recently at the time) from Australia in search of a recording contract was now off and running.
HottyToddy.com: You also were instrumental in one of Lee Ann Womack’s Megahits….”Why They Call It Falling.”
Roxie: Don Schlitz who had written: “The Gambler” co-wrote this classic with me. We had already composed about 5 or 6 songs before “Falling” emerged. We both knew it was going to take off. If I remember correctly, it took us about 2-3 hours to write it. At the time this song emerged, I was working with Madonna’s company….Maverick Music.
HottyToddy.com: Describe a typical, normal day for you.
Roxie: What’s normal? With a ten-year-old, no day is typical. Some days I will go into town (Nashville) and write for 4-5 hours. And then on other days, I might have shows in the evening. I am affiliated with Judy Harris Publishing here in Nashville.
HottyToddy.com: Who were some of your role models?
Roxie: Growing up, I had several. I must say that my dad was definitely a role model as he taught me to play the guitar. Famous performers that I admired included the Everly Brothers; Johnny Cash; Roy Orbison; Ricky Nelson; Ann Murray; John Denver and K.T. Oslin.
HottyToddy.com: How does an LSU Tiger feel about performing in front of an audience of Rebels?
Roxie: I will definitely not be wearing purple and gold that evening. Everything will be red, white and blue. I will be an adopted Rebel for sure.
HottToddy.com: Tell us about learning to play the guitar.
Roxie: I was in the sixth grade (about 11) when my dad taught me the chords of D, C and G. I never took a lesson, it just came so easy to me. My first guitar (which I still have ) was a Starburst.
HottyToddy.com: The greatest concert you ever attended?
Roxie: A Rod Stewart concert when in was in HS. And also, the last concert that I just attended….George Strait here in Nashville.
HottyToddy.com: Fast forward five years to 2022. What would you like to be doing?
Roxie: Making a lot more money (LOL). Seriously, I’m currently working on a new project (music related) as I prefer to remain in this industry,  just more of it.
HottyToddy.com: Any favorite songs of Dickey’s or Pat’s?
Roxie: They have so many I like. The first time I ever heard Pat’s  “Unanswered Prayers,” I recall I was in Phoenix. Dickey’s “She Thinks I Still Care” is a song for the ages!
HottyToddy.com: Did you ever consider moving to LA?
Roxie: No. However, I did live in Orange County once upon a time for about 2 1/2 years which was unrelated to music.
HottyToddy.com: We have a student body that would thoroughly enjoy your concert. What can we say to them?
Roxie: This is not your mom and dad’s night out type of show. It will be fun; informative; entertaining with a special treat for the young ladies who ever considered the beauty pageant scene.
Now you’ve really caught our attention. It sounds like the kickoff for this season’s offerings at the Ford Center is going to be a true blockbuster right out of the Music City!

Steve VassalloSteve Vassallo is a HottyToddy.com contributor. Steve writes on Ole Miss athletics, Oxford business, politics and other subjects. He is an Ole Miss grad and former radio announcer for the basketball team. Currently, Steve is a highly successful leader in the real estate business who lives in Oxford with his wife Rosie. You can contact Steve at sovassallo@gmail.com or call him at 985-852-7745.

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