On his twelfth birthday, Feller got his first guitar from his grandfather. It was a guitar bought at a junk sale. It had only one string, but young Feller started immediately to tune it. Some time later, he started taking guitar lessons by hitching rides with the local mailman to a neighboring town, and at fifteen years of age, he was playing for dances with a local band. Graduating from high school, Feller played lead guitar in various rock & roll groups and blues bands, becoming a proficient rock 'n' roll guitarist. Around 1964 Feller went to Los Angeles to play in a band and hone his songwriting skills. Having had no particular luck, he returned home to Missouri to continue playing with local bands.
In 1966 Feller moved to Nashville, then he a couple of years later joined Mel Tillis’ touring band, The Statesiders, and toured with them for a while. He also toured with Skeeter Davis and Stu Phillips, as a band member. For some years Dick Feller was the touring band leader for Warner Mack, and he also played sessions on several of Mack's albums.
During his early years in Nashville, Feller played demos of his own songs by day, but did not tell other band members that he was a songwriter. Before 1970 Feller wrote songs with only meager success. The first tune he ever had released, was a song entitled Boston, which Jimmy Payne put on a record in 1968.
Feller has told reporters that he had learned to write by listening to Johnny Cash’s early songs. So when Cash opened his own publishing company, House of Cash, Feller went there and left some songs. One day Cash called him to say, "I like your songs. They’re not just a bunch of words." So Cash signed Feller as a staff writer. The year was 1970. Cash recorded some of his songs, and he also got Feller a record contract with Columbia, but they didn’t do anything with him.
In 1972 Cash got a No. 1 country hit with Feller's Any Old Wind That Blows. Another Feller song had become a hit the year before; in 1971 Tex Williams had recorded Feller's song "The Night Miss Nancy Ann's Hotel for Single Girls Burned Down," a talking story-type song that became a Top 30 single in the States. Jimmy Dean's producer then asked Feller to write a song for Dean with a similar feel to it. Feller decided to write a song about automobiles in a Jerry Reed style (Reed had had an influence on Feller), which became "Lord, Mr. Ford." Dean decided to not record it, and Feller was left with a song but no singer. Then one night, he dreamed that he took his song to Reed's publishing company, Vector Music. The dream led him to do so for real, and after having heard Feller sing the song once, Reed said he wanted to record it. He also decided to record two other of Feller's songs, "The Lady Is A Woman" and "One Sweet Reason." "Lord, Mr. Ford" became a No. 1 hit for Reed in 1973 and became at the same time Feller's biggest song-writing break. This was the beginning of a long-lasting association between Feller and Reed. Feller signed with Vector as a staff writer in 1975, and Reed and Feller became co-writers for many years. Some of their songs can be heard in films, such as Smokey and the Bandit (1977). Feller and Reed co-wrote the well-known "East Bound and Down," and Feller wrote "The Bandit." A number of other Feller compositions can be found on several of Reed's own albums. At that time, Feller was also touring as opening act for the Jerry Reed stage show.
In 1973, Feller had made his own recording debut, and the single "Biff, The Friendly Purple Bear" made it to the Top 25 and crossed over to become a minor pop hit as well. This song is very likely Feller's most remembered performance. The same year he released his first album, Dick Feller Wrote..., which was released through United Artists. Some months later he released a humorous single called "The Credit Card Song," which is typical for Feller's humorous style and reached the Top Ten. Feller signed with Asylum Records in 1974. His first release for the label was the single "Makin' the Best of a Bad Situation," which made it to the Top 15 and again crept into the pop charts.
Feller continued writing songs, and besides that he played guitar sessions on the records of other contemporary artists, such as Jerry Jeff Walker, Guy Clark and Mike Auldridge. At the same time he also made some more of his own recordings. In 1975 he had his last chart entry as a performer, with the funny song "Uncle Hiram and His Homemade Beer," which made it to the Top 50. In 1981 John Denver recorded Feller's song "Some Days Are Diamonds (Some Days Are Stone)," and scored a major country-pop hit. A couple of years before that, Bobby Bare's cover of the same song had become a hit. Regular tours, especially to UK country clubs, made Feller known and popular in Europe too. His first overseas tour was made in 1980. And in 1981, supported by The Kelvin Henderson Band, he toured in England, Scotland and Holland.
His final record, a live album, was released in 1982. Together with Donz Schlitz, he composed songs for the movie Smokey and The Bandit 3 (1983), and also a tune for Alamo Bay (1985). For several years Dick Feller was writing and touring with the late Lewis Grizzard, as opening attraction for the "Evening With Lewis Grizzard" stage show. Feller also co-produced Grizzard's album, Alimony, which was released the year Grizzard died, in 1994. Grizzard died before the album was finished, and therefore Feller, together with Timmy Tappan finished it. Feller played both the guitar and bass, and added his vocals to six of the tracks as well. Eleven of the twelve tracks on this album were co-written by Feller and Grizzard.
The last few years Feller has been writing many songs with Sheb Wooley. Three of their co-written songs were performed by Wooley on the truck-driving collection Kickin' Asphalt, which was released in November 1999. Del Reeves performed another Feller-Wooley composition on the same CD. Even more songs have been written by Feller and Wooley, who in the fall of 2000 went into studio to record a demo of a few tunes.
Through the years, Feller has also written and performed a number of commercials for different companies and products, such as the Dodge TV commercial "Do You Like Trucks?," and the Pepsi jingle "By Any Other Name." His Dodge Truck National TV commercial "Little Boy's Dream" even won a price as the best commercial of the year. Feller has also made commercials for AT&T calling cards, Beech-Nut tobacco, Colgate-Palmolive, and Ponderosa Steakhouse, among others.
Five of Dick Feller's songs have won BMI Awards:
Feller himself opined in the liner notes on his album Wrote... that "a songwriter is an observer, a reporter, [a] voyeur of emotions (...) I take people I have met and invent new situations for them; then sit back and see how they react. That's called writing a song."