He has penned songs covered by artists like Barbra Streisand, Glen Campbell, Whitney Houston, Dolly Parton and more
Three-time Grammy- and six-time Emmy-nominated Steve Dorff has written over 20 Top 10 pop and country hits, including Kenny Rogers’ “Through the Years,” Mel Tillis’s “Coca Cola Cowboy,” Clay Walker’s “Hypnotize the Moon,” Ronnie Milsap’s “Cowboys and Clowns,” Anne Murray’s “I Just Fall in Love Again” (Billboard’s top country hit of 1979), George Strait’s “I Cross My Heart,” Lee Greenwood’s “Don’t Underestimate My Love for You,” and Eddie Rabbitt’s “Every Which Way But Loose”--the titletrack from Clint Eastwood’s 1978 film. Dorff, whose influences range from Beethoven to Burt Bacharach, Dave Grusin, Jimmy Webb and The Beatles, has also penned songs covered by artists like Barbra Streisand, Glen Campbell, Melissa Manchester, Karen Carpenter, Roy Rogers, Celine Dion, Blake Shelton, Smokey Robinson, Ray Charles, Whitney Houston, Dolly Parton, Judy Collins, Cher, Dusty Springfield, Ringo Starr, Garth Brooks and Vanessa Williams.
But Dorff has additionally established himself as a gifted film and television composer, with nine No. 1 film songs among credits including TV music for the Elvis mini-series, Spenser: For Hire, Murphy Brown, Major Dad, The Singing Bee, Just the 10 of Us, Growing Pains, Murder She Wrote, Columbo and Reba; his other film contributions include songs and scores for Bronco Billy, Rocky IV, Pure Country, Tin Cup and Honky Tonk Man.
Altogether, the remarkably diverse L.A.-based Queens native Dorff’s songs have charted in five successive decades--with No. 1 hits spanning across four decades. Over 250 artists covering all genres have recorded his songs, and he’s earned over 40 BMI awards, 11 Billboard No. 1 awards, and last year, the rare Lifetime Achievement Award from TAXI, the independent A&R company that helps independent songwriters, artists and composers get their music to record labels, music publishers and licensors, and other companies looking to use music. More recently, the father of actor Stephen Dorff and late songwriter Andrew Dorff has focused on his first love—musical theater—and is involved in a pair of theatrical projects: Josephine (based on The Josephine Baker Story) and a musical version of Pure Country.
But Dorff is also remaining active in the contemporary songwriting/recording scene. New Dorff songs have been released by LeeAnn Womack and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Bill Medley, and Dorff is producing a new Christmas album with Rodney Carrington and commencing production on a new movie score. Meanwhile, he has become a popular participant at songwriters conferences, workshops, concerts and festivals, and last year published the memoir I Wrote That One, Too ...: A Life in Songwriting from Willie to Whitney, which documents his broad experience as a songwriter. The book traces Dorff’s journey from his childhood in Queens to Manhattan to Nashville to Los Angeles, and is full of anecdotes, insights and advice—and of course, the real and heartfelt stories behind his songs.