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Dennis Linde; wrote Elvis hit 'Burning Love,' country songs

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Songwriter Dennis Linde, who wrote Elvis Presley's last major hit, "Burning Love," has died. He was 63.

Mr. Linde died Friday of a rare lung disease, his daughter, Lisa Marsden, said.

"Burning Love" was a hit for Presley in 1972.

Mr. Linde also wrote "Goodbye Earl," a hit by the Dixie Chicks in 1999, and "Callin' Baton Rouge," a Garth Brooks hit in 1993.

Mr. Linde was born in Abilene, Texas, and became hooked on music after his grandmother gave him a $14 guitar.

Friends remember him as a man with a quick wit who blended quirky lyrics with up-tempo melodies. His "Goodbye Earl," for example, tells the story of domestic abuse and almost blissful retribution.

He was also a reclusive homebody who would rather spend time with family than appear at music industry functions, including those honoring him with awards.

"He was the quintessential mystery man of Nashville because he didn't go to all the functions," Scott Siman, an artist manager who had known Mr. Linde since the 1970s, told The Tennessean newspaper. "If you ever saw Dennis Linde it was amazing because you didn't get that opportunity very often."

His other songs included "It Sure Is Monday," recorded by Mark Chesnutt, "Janie Baker's Love Slave" by Shenandoah, "John Deere Green" by Joe Diffie, and "Queen of My Double Wide Trailer" by Sammy Kershaw.

Mr. Linde was elected to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2001 and was selected as BMI's Songwriter of the Year in 1994.

Funeral arrangements were incomplete, but family members said they planned a music celebration of Mr. Linde's life after New Year's Day .

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