Story Behind the Song: George Strait, ‘The Breath You Take’
The fourth single from George Strait's album Twang, "The Breath You Take" was written by Casey Beathard and the father-daughter team of Dean and Jessie Jo Dillon. The song was released in July of 2010 and peaked at No. 6 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart -- the 83rd Top 10 hit of Strait's career. It also earned a Best Country Song nomination at the 2011 Grammy Awards. Below, the Dillons tell The Boot about writing "The Breath You Take."
Dean Dillon: It was my daughter's idea. She brought it to the table. I thought it was great.
I called Casey, who's a good buddy of mine. We met at my office the next day and did what songwriters do.
Jessie Jo Dillon: I had that title for a while. I brought it into the session when writing with Dad and Casey. I threw out the idea, and they really jumped on it. We went from there.
Casey is really into sports and stuff, so we got off on that in the first verse. It was a really fast write. We finished it in about an hour. It was really neat because we wrote it, and we were really excited about it.
Dean Dillon: I thought it would be a great song for George to cut.
Jessie Jo Dillon: George liked it so much, which was a huge honor to me. That was amazing! He put it on hold just from the work tape, which artists hardly do anymore.
Dad went down with George to the studio when he was recording it. I still remember the day they called and said he cut it ... I cried! It was one of the last songs he did for the album.
Dean Dillon: Twang is a special album as a whole because of the fact that [George's son] Bubba's on it and Jessie Jo's on it. We felt good about that. George felt good about cutting things that Bubba had been part of and that Jessie Jo had been part of. Both of them have turned into great little songwriters.
Jessie Jo reminds me so much of me when I was 23 years old. She's got the gift. She's got a great head for songwriting. Even in high school, her teachers would comment to me how she was a great writer. She never really pushed [songwriting] in front of me until two or three years ago. She never came to me to write a song until she felt she had something to really offer.
She brought more than just the title to the table with "The Breath You Take." She plugged away line by line with us. It's great to see the next generation come along like this.
This story was originally written by Alanna Conaway, and revised by Angela Stefano.
See Photos of George Strait Through the Years