For Bob DiPiero, All That Counts Is A Great Song
By Charlene Blevins
There's an old maxim that says if you love what you do for a living, you'll never work a day in your life. Bob DiPiero is living that adage. And it might explain why he has a reputation as one of Music City's "funnest" guys.
"The actual physical act of songwriting has always been a joy," he explains, "so every day is like a holiday for me. It's fun!"
The fun factor might also help explain his phenomenal success and longevity in a business where such success, except for the blessed few, is fleeting. With literally hundreds of songs recorded over the last 20 years, DiPiero is one of Nashville's most celebrated tunesmiths: 19 Top 10 hits - 13 of them number ones. He's won 18 BMI Awards, including the 1995 Robert J. Burton Award for Neal McCoy's "Wink." He was named 1998's Songwriter of the Year at the Nashville Music Awards. In both '95 and '96 he won CMA Triple Play - an award for having three number one songs in a 12-month period - for chartbusters including Faith Hill's "Take Me As I Am," Reba McEntire's "Till You Love Me," George Strait's "Blue Clear Sky," and Vince Gill's "Worlds Apart." Add to that five NSAI awards for superior creativity and a smattering of other industry awards, cuts by pop artists including Neil Diamond, Dusty Springfield and Jason and the Scorchers, and you have what DiPiero humbly calls "good fortune."
Following one's heart brings that good fortune, though, and the Youngstown, Ohio native turned down a football scholarship to Dartmouth to play in a rock & roll band. After graduating Youngstown State University's Dana School of Music in the late '70s, DiPiero moved to Music City and set about learning the craft of songwriting. He landed a publishing deal at the legendary Combine Music, and there, he says the ultimate lesson was that "All that counts is a great song." With that fundamental focus, DiPiero helped build independent publisher Little Big Town Music, and when Sony/ATV Tree bought the company in 1998, DiPiero formed Love Monkey Music as a co-venture with the powerhouse.
When he isn't having a blast at work, DiPiero likes to scuba dive, hang out with his two dogs, Butch and Peaches, and refurbish old houses. "I like working in an architecturally free environment," he jokes. And while Bob DiPiero's joie de vivre is ever apparent, he considers himself a perpetual student of music and life. "I think if anything has added to or continued my success, it's that I never think I've got it figured out."