Dick McVey was born and raised in the Appalachian Mountains in the tiny town of Pemberton, West Virginia (near Beckley). His father, mother, and uncle sang in a gospel trio with his father accompanying them on guitar. Dick was raised around country and gospel music and always "fooled around" with the guitar but in 1963, he and his family moved to Amigo, WV and shortly afterward The Beatles showed up in the USA. Dick was heavily influenced by The Beatles and other English groups that followed. His desire to play their songs on guitar led him to take the instrument seriously. His father showed him some chords and within a year, Dick had taught himself a number of pop songs and started his own band, initially called "The Offbeats" and later changed to "The Rondeaus" (pictured below in 1965). He played area school functions and community events and built the band into a regional favorite. It was during these early years that Dick so loved performing that he handled all the affairs for the band. He scheduled the rehearsals, he booked the band, he prepared all the publicity, he acquired financial backing, arranged for transportation and equipment and handled all the problems. These experiences prepared him for a career, not only as an entertainer, but also as a businessman in the business of music. Throughout his lifetime, Dick held several "day" jobs, but always had a working band. He played lead guitar and sang in groups in the late 60s, and switched to bass guitar in the early 70s.
In 1978, Dick and his band decided to hang up their regular jobs and go on the road full time. The band was called "Visions," and they were an immediate success on the road, primarily due to their versatility and showmanship. They traveled all over the US, and eventually, in 1981, played 5 weeks in Nashville at the Holiday Inn on Briley Parkway. During the band's time in Nashville, Dick was thrilled when an old friend invited him to go backstage at the Grand Ole Opry. It was then and there that Dick made the decision to make Nashville his permanent home and establish himself as a musician and a music business executive. Dick has always been a goal-oriented person and his first and foremost goal was to seek a job playing with a major artist and get a spot on the Grand Ole Opry. His plan was to write letters to everyone in Nashville from his home area in West Virginia. Those people included Grand Ole Opry star Little Jimmy Dickens. His letter reached Dickens the very week Dickens fired his bass player, and Dick was hired. His first goal in Nashville had been achieved, and much faster than he expected. Since then, he has worked as bass player, road manager and frontman for Dickens, Leroy Van Dyke, Jean Shepard, Nat Stuckey, Stonewall Jackson, and Holly Dunn. He played the Grand Ole Opry at different times with different stars throughout the 80's, 90's, and 2000's including the 1988 Grand Ole Opry Birthday Celebration on national television with host Tom T. Hall.
Dick has worked as an opening act for nearly every major country music artist in the business, including several months with Merle Haggard in 1982-83, and a few months in 1983 opening for Jerry Lee Lewis. He has worked in nearly every aspect of the music business including selling T shirts, setting up sound, driving the bus, recording and engineering sound both live and in the studio. He also had extra parts in two major motion pictures that were filmed in Nashville; "Marie" starring Sissy Spacek and "What Comes Around" starring Jerry Reed. In 1986, Dick founded the Musician's Referral Service in Nashville, with the goal of helping Nashville musicians find work. The service has been used by such artists and shows as Randy Travis, Alan Jackson, Chely Wright, Holly Dunn, Tracy Lawrence, George Jones, Billy Dean, Tanya Tucker, Opryland, Disney World, Euro-Disney and several Branson, Gatlinburg and Myrtle Beach Theaters. In 1988, Dick founded D & T Records and produced sixteen national chart records in a row (never missed). Several records reached the # 1 spot on the independent charts and one hit # 52 on the national charts - quite a feat for a small label. One of the records Dick produced was a pick hit in Billboard, three were pick hits in Cash Box Magazine, sixteen were top twenty on the national independent charts with fourteen reaching the top ten.
In October of 1989, Dick started handling publicity and promotion work for the legendary George Jones. As a result of his efforts, George was featured on the cover of Music City News the very next month (November 1989 issue), with a two-page article inside. Dick received a gold album from George for his publicity work. Dick continued to coordinate special projects for George, including a showcase for his guitarist DeWayne Phillips. Eight major labels were in attendance. Dick and George co-produced the recording session for DeWayne, and the tape was submitted to the major record labels. Every act Dick has represented has had their publicity published in one form or another in fan and trade magazines. Many of Dick's publicity clients have been featured in Music City News, Music Row and Country Weekly. Since 1993, Dick has had his own recording studios, however, in 1996, Dick realized a lifelong dream by acquiring a 24 track digital, master quality recording studio in the heart of Music Row. The studio was installed to record and work with singers in a state-of-the-art facility that was both comfortable and affordable. With studio costs rising daily, it gave acts the opportunity of getting first hand recording studio experience under Dick's direction without the added pressure of paying high hourly studio costs. Dick has also recorded master quality band albums and award-winning songwriter and singer demos in his studios. In June of 1993, Dick was selected the 1993 "Independent Producer of the Year" by Tracker Magazine in Nashville, based on a poll the magazine took of country music radio disc jockeys. (He was nominated for the award again in 1998.) In July of 1993, Dick was offered and accepted the position as Bureau Chief for the Nashville office of Performance Magazine, an international trade magazine with offices in New York, Los Angeles, London, Tampa and Fort Worth. He was promoted to the position of Senior Editor (April 1997). The position afforded him the luxury of being invited to every major music function in Nashville and the ability to "rub elbows" with decision-makers in every facet of the music industry, including the major record labels. By being able to talk with these people and discussing the business, Dick gained an edge in knowing what the major labels are looking for with regard to new acts.
In 1994, Dick produced an album for Cissie Lynn, daughter of Loretta Lynn. Early in the project, Loretta heard Dick's production on the first three songs, liked what she heard, and agreed to sing a duet with Cissie on the album under Dick's direction. This was first and only time Loretta has recorded with any of her children in the studio and is one of the highlights of Dick's career as a producer. In April of 1994, Dick was selected as one of "Music Row's Decision Makers" by Music Row magazine, and was included in the 1994 edition of "In Charge - Music Row's Decision Makers." On display in Dick's studio are gold and platinum record awards from Vince Gill, Tracy Lawrence and John Berry for his publicity contributions to their careers. In June 1995, Dick received an award for producing and arranging the first place song in the 9th Annual St. Louis Music Contest. Another song he produced and arranged placed in the top 5 of the same competition. Dick has also recorded songs, which won awards in Atlanta and the State of Wisconsin. All the songs were recorded in his studio. In 1995 Dick played bass guitar with country superstar Trace Adkins at "Tillie and Lucy's" nightclub in Nashville just prior to his signing with Capitol Records. In 1996, Dick produced and arranged an album of country songs for children titled "Country Kiddie Boogie" which was picked up by Sony Music. Since 1996 he has also had such notable artists as Hal Ketchum, Mark Collie, Danny Shirley (Confederate Railroad), Lacy J. Dalton, and Judy Rodman recording in his studio. His studio was also selected to mix a special acoustic project for Trisha Yearwood, which was originally recorded in Australia. In 1997, Dick was selected by The Nashville Network as an expert on the country music concert industry and appeared on "Today's Country" with Crook & Chase, a television show which was available to over 50 million households. Dick was interviewed along with Alan Jackson, Garth Brooks, Tracy Lawrence, and Mark Miller (Sawyer Brown). In April, 1998, Dick was selected as a "Lifetime Member" of the prestigious National Registry of Who's Who In America." In May 1998, he hosted a roundtable discussion featuring such notable Nashville music figures as Bruce Hinton, CEO of MCA Records / Nashville and Rick Shipp, president of the William Morris Agency / Nashville In June 1998 Dick's liner notes were featured in the best-selling book "Chicken Soup For The Country Soul," on the very first page. In August 1998, Dick was hired to handle publicity and promotion for The Bellamy Brothers and their annual Snake Rattle & Roll Jam, which was held, near their home town in San Antonio, Florida. His company, All Star Publicity, was named "Public Relations Firm Of The Year" for 1998 at the Golden Music Awards held in Nashville. From January, 1999 through September, 1999, Dick hosted a weekly radio show on one of his hometown radio stations, WPMW-FM 92.7 in Mullens, WV. The show covered virtually all of Southern West Virginia. Dick reported Nashville news and had interviews with many special guests including Trace Adkins, country legends Charley Pride and Little Jimmy Dickens, and rock artists including John Kay, lead singer with Steppenwolf . In late 1999, Dick constructed a 24-track recording studio in his home. With increasing crime and traffic problems in Nashville, Dick felt the studio in his home would allow him more time to devote to his family and his music and less wear and tear on his vehicle and body. Having the studio in his home also meant lower prices for his clients. In 2000 Dick's love of playing music and performing on stage was satisfied as he was named music director, bandleader and bass guitarist with the Music City Showband that backed a touring package of Opry legends. Dick performed with a host of country legends like Kitty Wells, Jack Greene, Little Jimmy Dickens, Stonewall Jackson, Jeanne Pruett, Jeannie Seely, Hank Thompson, David Frizzell, Bobby Bare, Johnny Rodriguez, Dave Dudley, Jean Shepard and others. In 2001 Dick signed a management deal with Travis LeDoyt, touted as the "world's best young Elvis." Travis is currently working the casino circuit where he is selling out shows, receiving accolades and standing ovations nightly. He was featured in a New York Times photo shoot as the person most naturally resembling young Elvis Presley, and, D. J. Fontana, Elvis' original drummer says Travis's show is a close as you will get to seeing an actual Elvis Presley concert from the 1950's. Check out the website at www.travisledoyt.com for more information about this amazing act. In June 2002, Dick took the position of bass guitarist with award-winning artist Holly Dunn and played shows across the US and the Grand Ole Opry with her until her retirement in November, 2003. In October, 2002 and February 2003, Dick recorded audio for the syndicated television series "Nashville Country Connection" for the UPN Television Network. Over the past few years he has recorded and mixed television shows for GAC (Great American Country) and The Gospel Music Channel. In May 2003, Dick recorded, mixed and mastered Holly Dunn's last album, "Full Circle" containing 10 great gospel hits. The album and all of the other Holly Dunn albums are available at www.hollydunn.com. Since 2003, Dick has dedicated most of his time to managing the career of Travis LeDoyt, but he continues to be one of the most respected people in Nashville as a consultant, producer and publicist. He is still as driven as ever, and continues to make contributions to Nashville's music scene. He is currently handling career development and publicity for several promising unsigned acts and looks toward each new year with increasing optimism. He always has one goal in sight while looking for another to achieve.