A State Farm Insurance Company agent for nearly three decades, Mike Dekle has balanced his career with ventures into country music songwriting. His songs have been covered by such country artists as Ricky Skaggs, T.G. Sheppard, Moe Bandy, the Whites, Hank Thompson, and Keith Whitley. Kenny Rogers has recorded a half-dozen of Dekle's tunes. Tracy Byrd scored a Top Ten hit when she recorded his song "Don't Love Make a Diamond Shine," written with Mac Wiseman, in 1997. "I consider myself a sensitive southern storyteller," Dekle said during a late-'90s interview, "who is extremely blessed to have been given a creative talent."
Born in Panama City, FL, Dekle studied violin at the age of 12. A member of the Georgia All State Orchestra and the University of Georgia Orchestra as a high school student, he increasingly focused on the guitar that he received from his father during his junior year.
Inspired by the songwriting of Bob Dylan, John Denver, John Prine, and Doc Watson, Dekle performed in folk music coffeehouses and speakeasies throughout the late '60s. Attempting to find employment as a songwriter and performer, Dekle spent much of the late '70s in Nashville. Unable to interest a publishing company or record label in his music, he made plans to record one tune in 1982. With the help of late songwriter Roger Bowling, he was put in touch with a writer/producer for the #ATV Music Group Nashville, Byron Hill, who agreed to produce his first recording, "Scarlet Fever." Covered a few months later by Kenny Rogers, the tune reached the top slot position on Billboard's country charts.
Dekle continued working with Rogers, who signed him to an exclusive writer's contract with his company, Lionsmate Music. Dekle worked with Rogers until Rogers sold his interest in the company in 1987.
Signing with Song Source, Inc., he penned numerous tunes for country artists. Launching his own publishing house, Square D Music, in 1990, Dekle published his own songs until signing with Almo Irving Music in 1994. ~ Craig Harris, Rovi