DOYLINE, La. -- Some of you may know him by his stage name of Danny Alan, a gospel singer and songwriter, and poet. Before achieving that fame, Dennis Northcutt served in the Vietnam War, with an unusual story about being attacked and survival.
Soon after entering the Air Force in 1960, Dennis was sent overseas as part of America's early involvement in Vietnam. He helped deliver vehicles that ran along the flight lines at air bases. It was off base in Taiwan where he became a target.
"Got beat up over there," he says. "They attacked me two of them. And I beat the hell out of them. But they got me first.
"I was one tiger," Dennis added with a chuckle. "I didn't want to leave America just yet.
"One had a club and the other had his fist. My face on one side was caved in," Dennis went on, removing his eyeglasses to reveal the lasting wound. "Tore my eyeball up. Got back here. The doc said, 'They put your eye back in pretty good.' I said, 'Sure did.'
"It took me almost a year to get the feeling back. Then I had to get glasses," Dennis said, mocking a frown.
With a transfer to Barksdale, Dennis was put in charge of maintenance of a thousand vehicles.
He served out eight years in the Air Force. The next path he chose was to become an ordained minister, and to sing and write the gospel.
He has two platinum and two gold records are among hundreds of song he's written and performed, earning gospel music industry awards.
Dennis would use his stage name when he began a longshot challenge of Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. Dennis was going to run as a conservative independent. But Dennis withdrew before the 2011 election.
"If they don't want you for that I'll stick to my music," Dennis said with another laugh. "My music loved me. That kept me in a mood of being a born again Christian."
He performed lots of shows at Municipal Auditorium and he owned the Louisiana Country & Gospel Hall of Fame Theater. He last performed five years ago. And as a widower, about to turn 80, he's retired on five acres by Lake Bistineau.
"Loving Jesus. Right here in the USA. That's one of my song lines," Dennis added.
Dennis is originally from Newton, Iowa. In between his work with vehicles in the Air Force and his gospel singing, he worked in sales and service for a couple of local car dealerships.