John Dennie is an American songwriter, performer and music producer. In 2023, he appeared on the stage at the Grand Ole Opry House where he was awarded Songwriter of the Year by Nashville based Josie Music Awards. The Josie Music Awards is currently the only organization and awards show that emphasizes the contributions of independent recording artists. He has spent a lifetime exploring the roots of American music while writing and performing in gospel, blues, rock and roll, folk and country genres. His latest studio effort, Americana Dream represents the convergence of a wide variety of influences that include Terry Allen, Blaze Foley, Delbert McClinton and Rodney Crowell.
Dennie has been a working musician since he was a teenager. His songwriting and performances are inspired by the human connection music affords all people. “Friend or stranger, we all share common experiences in this mind-blowing existence we call humanity. My goal in the studio is to create something that fosters a connection between people and the world around them,” says Dennie.
American Songwriter Magazine describes him as "best compared to artists like John Prine and Jackson Browne, stoic singers and songwriters who convey an aptitude and attitude that still make room for enticement and enjoyment. Like those singer/songwriters that populated the musical environs of the late “60s and early ‘70s, Dennie’s best considered a traveling troubadour, one who shares his songs from a personal perspective and finds an unbridled resolve in each of those entries.”
In His Own Words
When I was a boy, my father was a television repairman. One day he brought home a broken phonograph and a stack of records. My dad fixed the record player, and my mom showed me how to load the spindle up with 45s and set the automatic play in motion. I was young – very young. But in my mind I can still smell that old tube powered RCA player and I can hear the warm sounds coming out of it.
As a boy I was captivated by what I was hearing, and I would pick up anything within reach and pretend to play guitar – tennis rackets, baseball bats, couch pillows and even my mother’s viola. I wrote my first song on piano when I was eight. Simply put, I was crazy for music and especially for writing songs and playing the guitar.
As I entered my middle teens and got my driver’s license, I started sneaking out of my parents’ house and sneaking into the local music scene. It wasn’t long before I began getting paid a little bit of money here and there to sing and play. I began playing local dives in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and it was at The Hop in Fort Worth that I was befriended by one of the greats of Texas guitar, Bill Ham (Sonny & Cher, Joan Armatrading, David Gates and Bread). Bill took a shine to me and I began studying guitar with him. I credit him for teaching me solid mechanics and fanning the flames of my musical passion.
I soon became close friends with his brother Warren (saxophone, singer, percussionist, flutist, harmonica and keyboard player, Ringo Starr, Toto, Kansas, The Righteous Brothers) I learned a thing or two about singing from listening to Warren. And while I was always a big fan of Edgar Winter, Warren turned me on to using Edgar’s vocal runs as vocal training exercises. (Listen closely to Warren, and you can hear Edgar’s influence.) Of course, few people in the world can sing as well as Edgar or Warren, but I credit Warren’s direction with helping me learn to sing with power and control. I'm eternally grateful to Warren, Bill and the entire Ham family for their friendship and support as well as the mentorship and experience I've had with other music industry greats. I am indebted to all of them forever.
To be certain, the music business has changed a great deal since I was a kid, but something that will never change is how music connects us through common longings, joy, defeat and triumphs. That's what I'm about - connecting. I look forward to making a connection with you.
"Dennie might best be compared to artists like John Prine and Jackson Browne, stoic singers and songwriters who convey an aptitude and attitude that still make room for enticement and enjoyment." – Lee Zimmerman, American Songwriter Magazine
Others are saying. . .
“In almost 50 years as a disc jockey, playing music’s greatest tunes in one of America’s biggest markets, I’m not sure I’ve ever heard a more complete album of conscience. It’s a statement of ideals and admonitions that’s instrumentally rich, musically interesting, and lyrically surprising. You can’t not listen,”
– Jody Dean, KVIL, KLUV, CBS News
“John’s music is an authentic reflection of the fertile North Texas environment where he was raised. He follows a long line of gifted songwriters and singers from Texas. Rest assured there will be more to come from him,”
– Warren Ham, Toto, Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band
"John “Pops” Dennie connects with people through his music, reaching others through common experiences, despite any differences of opinion. In today’s world, those strengths are more important than ever, and Dennie’s new album, I’ve Got Something To Say, comes at just the right time." – Elmore Magazine
"John Pops Dennie…honest, contemplative, sometimes funny … his voice is almost as thick as his big, grayish beard.” – Jacob Vaughn, Dallas Observer