My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Breaking News: RIP Holly Dunn

The sad news has been broken that Holly Dunn has died of cancer aged 59.

We highlighted Holly’s music in March 2014.

She is probably best remembered for her Father’s Day favorite ‘Daddy’s Hands’:

17 responses to “Breaking News: RIP Holly Dunn

  1. pyeacres November 15, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    I loved Holly Dunn the minute I first heard her on the radio. True county. True talent. Truly sad she’s gone so young.

  2. Razor X November 15, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    So very sorry to hear this. We’ve lost a lot of great artists this year.

  3. Jonathan Pappalardo November 15, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    Devastating. Another artist gone way too soon.

  4. Tyler Pappas November 15, 2016 at 4:44 pm

    I believe she should have been a bigger star than she was. She was very underrated singer/songwriter. “Across The Rio Grande” and “The Blue Rose of Texas” are two great albums with no filler if anybody gets the chance to buy them.R.I.P

  5. Erik North November 15, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    Holly’s passing, from ovarian cancer, is really one more painful reminder of how many artists in the music business we have lost in 2016 (to go along with also losing both Leonard Cohen and Leon Russell in just the last week), and also how few artists there are out there striving for artistic greatness and not just huge sales. She may not have made an overly large impact, but she did come along at a time when a revival of traditionalist styles was afoot in country music, and made that her style, which could only have been a good thing (IMHO).

  6. Paul W Dennis November 16, 2016 at 12:35 am

    A fine singer, she may have torpedoed her own career by giving in to those politically correct morons who complained about “Maybe I Mean Yes” encouraging stalking, and had her record company pull the song while it was rising up the charts . She never had another top twenty recording and I think she lost the faith with many listeners because of her action.

    Too bad, as she really was a fine singer and a good live performer


    • Ken November 16, 2016 at 8:24 am

      Sad to hear of Holly’s passing. Though she never achieved “A” list artist status she did record some very good songs and was able to score nine top ten hits including two that went to #1. One of my favorites is the retro-sounding “There Goes My Heart Again.” In person I found her to be warm and friendly and she was well liked by folks at her record labels. That’s a good sign as some performers may seem nice on the surface but notsomuch for those that must work with them behind the scenes.

      I strongly disagree with Paul’s contention however that “she torpedoed her own career” regarding her song “Maybe I Mean Yes.” That recording proved to be a huge misstep at a point in her career when her hits were becoming inconsistent and she badly needed a big hit to get her back on track. I also believe that those that viewed the song negatively were not “politically correct morons.” To say that would indicate that any objections to the lyric were completely baseless and that is not accurate. Many heard the song as a negative message regarding the “date rape” topic that was dominating the discussion of that era. They actually had a legitimate point and we discussed this topic at length in this string of posts from over a year ago.

    • Luckyoldsun November 16, 2016 at 9:42 am

      I completely agree that “Maybe, I Mean Yes” was written as an innocent flirting song and the whole thing was a fiasco. But it got caught up in the whole “No Means No” thing, and you can’t fight the culture.
      Heck, five decades ago, Paul McCartney could sing “Run for your life if you can little girl/ If I find you with another man little girl/ That’s the end.”–and everybody took it as just figures of speech and loved the song–nobody took it as endorsing either pedophilia or murder. But by the 1990’s, “What’ll You Do About Me?”–with its reference to the spurned singer “standing on the porch with a two-by-two”–was verboten. That’s the way the world turns.
      I also think your idea that Holly Dunn had the power to fight the tide and force Warner Bros. to keep pushing that single is naïve.
      It’s interesting that Holly Dunn never had a hit record after that, but the Garth/Clint/Alan juggernaut pushed a lot of ’80s singers aside.

  7. Paul W Dennis November 16, 2016 at 9:29 pm

    Holly requested, probably under duress, that the label withdraw the song. The song had top twenty written all over it and several DJ friends advised that the song was heavily requested by listeners even after it was withdrawn, although the corporate masters ordered them not to play the song. .Leroy Van Dyke had a similar experience with the song “If A Woman Answers (Hang Up The Phone)” some years before

    What Ken considers “a legitimate point”, I and many others consider to be “politically correct whining”, so I will continue to disagree with Ken on this issue since to a great extent this is a First Amendment issue

    • Razor X November 17, 2016 at 12:08 am

      I agree the the controversy was blown all out of proportion but Ken is right about it happening at a point when her career was starting to cool off anyway. If it had happened a few years earlier I think she could have recovered from the misstep without too much of a problem. I am very saddened by the news of her passing.

    • Ken November 17, 2016 at 9:51 am

      When programming a music radio station the goal is to delight and to entertain as many folks as possible. You never want to insult or alienate significant blocks of listeners, You cannot summarily dismiss all contrary opinions because it contradicts your own strict political ideology. All concerns must be considered because radio is purely a numbers game. To disregard all opinions other than your own could potentially be ratings suicide. All opinions matter but when conflicts arise you must err on the side of caution. The competition is too stiff and the stakes are too high. Woman represent a huge block of the country fan base and their concerns must be considered.

      I disagree that the Holly Dunn song was destined to be a top 20 hit. It’s initial chart progress prior to the controversy did not indicate that it was a slam dunk by any means.The progress of that song getting adds to radio playlists was rather anemic even prior to the full-blown controversy. It has a rather odd melody structure that is not easy to follow or remember. Sorry to say that your DJ friends hold the minority opinion on the potential of that song. To be clear most country listeners were not aware of this controversy or much less heard the song unless they were core Holly Dunn fans as few country stations ultimately played it. Also I personally know the folks that were in power in the promotional department at Warner Brothers Records during that era. You won’t find a more dedicated or nicer group of executives that fully believed in and supported their roster of acts. They withdrew support of that single when market forces dictated that it was impossible to bring home a hit. It’s a business and they were forced to face reality.

      The 1962 Leroy Van Dyke cheating song. “If A Woman Answers” did receive some push back from women’s groups in Chicago that objected to the content but nevertheless it became a #3 country chart hit. For those not familiar with the song it is about a husband that told his mistress that if a woman answers when she calls his number to immediately hang up as it likely would be his wife that had picked up the phone. Had it not been as strong of a song and dealt with a topic beyond infidelity it may not have performed as well. There was a moral question for sure but the limited objections at that time did not prevent the song from peaking at #3. Cheating songs had already been a part of country music for some time. The implication of the lyrics of Holly Dunn song is a much different issue.

      With all due respect perhaps your gender has blinded you to the implications of the phrase “no means yes” in a dating scenario. As a male you probably never had to fend off an overly aggressive date that believes that your “no” is really a “yes.” Perhaps if your wife or sister or daughter faced that unfortunate and scary situation your opinion would change.

  8. David Markham March 8, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    David Markham
    Country Music,
    Promoter UK,
    England GB
    Wednesday.8th 2017″

    To Chris Waters Dunn.
    Since your late sister fell asleep due to her terrible illness ,I’ve tried every way on this earth to get in touch with you Chris!!!
    I want to ask you would you send her CDs to my country stations for Air Play as a Tribute to Holly ?
    All I need you to do is send them to are Addreses ,I’ve been buying her early CDs every week from my friends country store.ive bought 7 CDs so far including Dadd’s Hands.
    So with your help Chris we can hear her over in,England.
    My closes friend who died of sun cancer age 33, was the worlds greatest singer/songwriter ,
    Eva Cassidy from,Bowie MD, I’ve had her CDs on are Liverpool,Radio Stations,for 6, weeks ,
    And Also written a story to my radio my friendship with Mrs.Jim Reeves,and my love. For Jim Reeves.who was killed in his plain crash 1964.
    So I don’t want your late sister forgotten do you Chris?
    God Bless Holly in Heaven,I’ve seen her resting place.

  9. Luckyoldsun March 8, 2017 at 8:16 pm

    “I want to ask you would you send her CDs to my country stations for Air Play as a Tribute to Holly ?”
    “So I don’t want your late sister forgotten do you Chris?”

    Oh, so if Chris Waters doesn’t put together a box of Holly Dunn’s CD’s, pack it up and send it for free to some guy in England, that means he wants his sister to be forgotten. Wow. (CD’s which you could easily pick up on Amazon, Ebay, or other sites for a few pounds, without bothering anyone.) Maybe you should also ask him to send you some original Holly Dunn concert posters and shirts, while you’re at it.

    • Ken March 9, 2017 at 8:48 am

      WOW! Pretty harsh and undiplomatic response – even for you.
      Though it likely will do little good I will repeat the guidance I’ve been offering to you for some time now. YOU DON’T NEED TO COMMENT ON EVERY POST.

      This individual from another country obviously does not understand the proper channels for this type of request. Leaving this post unanswered would have been the most appropriate course of action. Thank God you’re not involved in our country’s diplomatic efforts.

      • Luckyoldsun March 10, 2017 at 1:36 am

        Look who’s talking. lol.

        • Ken March 10, 2017 at 8:12 am

          lol indeed. Do you ever read your crazy posts before hitting the “post comment” button? Obviously not because if you did most would never be posted.(no lol – nothing that you post is funny – laughable but never funny)

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