What you see (or hear) is not always what you get, and that sentiment is especially true in country music. Did you know that some of your favorite songs were actually meant for an artist other than the one who recorded it? Did you know that artists occasionally, and inadvertently, ad lib songs and accidentally create the most memorable lyrics? Betcha didn’t know who some of those background vocalists are on your favorite tunes.
Have no fear, faithful #CMchat readers! I am here to rock your country music loving worlds with trivia about the songs you hear regularly. Pull these little facts out at family gatherings, parties, or around the water cooler … no one can ever tell you again that you aren’t a wealth of useless information!
1. Jo Dee Messina originally recorded The Band Perry’s “Better Dig Two.”
The Band Perry‘s hit song, “Better Dig Two,” was previously recorded by Grammy-nominee and platinum recording artist, Jo Dee Messina. When Messina recorded the song, it was called “Put Me in the Ground.” While Messina believed wholeheartedly in the song, her former record label thought it should be buried. The track was later given to the Perry siblings, shot up the charts, and proved to Messina that it was time to put her relationship with her label in the ground.
2. The “UGH!” in The Band Perry’s “DONE.” was unplanned.
While we are on the subject of The Band Perry, the trio, specifically lead singer Kimberly, accidentally created the most well-known part of “DONE.” during a recording session. The one word that steals the thunder from the rest of the lyrics was an expression of Kimberly’s frustration during the recording process. Kimberly told Country Countdown USA’s Lon Helton “I busted the line in the chorus. I messed it up. So while the recording was still on, I went ‘Ugh!’ Dann Huff our producer loved it so much that we kept it. One take wonder!” And, collectively, all songwriters who slave over lyrics they hope make an impact let out an in-stereo “ugh!”
3. Reba McEntire’s “Because of You” (featuring Kelly Clarkson) was written by Clarkson at age sixteen.
“Because of You,” the Grammy nominated Reba McEntire and Kelly Clarkson duet, was originally a solo on Clarkson’s sophomore album, “Breakaway.” The song was written when Clarkson was sixteen years old and was about coping with her parents’ divorce. The song took on new meaning when recorded as the duet, as the premise became an abusive relationship that one person had to stand by and watch helplessly. The song instantly went from a song about trying to move forward to a song about being held back, and, somehow, both versions are captivating.
4. Miranda Lambert’s “The House That Built Me” was originally intended for Blake Shelton.
Miranda Lambert‘s #1 song, “The House That Built Me” was initially sent to Lambert’s hubby, Blake Shelton. When Shelton played the song for his then girlfriend, she immediately wept. Shelton insisted she take the song. Lambert told The Today Show, “It was beautiful. I mean, I just started bawling from the second I heard it. [Shelton] was like, ‘If you have a reaction to this song like that, then you need to cut it.'” Despite not having written the song that became so near and dear to Lambert’s heart, she has certainly claimed ownership of it, making the song right at home at the top of the Billboard charts.
5. Kacey Musgraves wrote, and begrudgingly shared with Miranda Lambert, “Mama’s Broken Heart.”
Miranda Lambert‘s quirky smash hit, “Mama’s Broken Heart,” was written by fellow musician, Kacey Musgraves (and the award-winning Shane McAnally). The song was “unintentionally” pitched to Lambert and she approached Musgraves to ask if she was going to cut it herself. Musgraves, being the stone-faced artist we have all gotten a glimpse of, thought about it for a few days and countered that Lambert could have the song if she followed Musgraves’ arrow and had her sing harmony on it. Bet you’ll never guess who provides the harmonies on the track …
6. Faith Hill tried to convince Tim McGraw not to record “My Next Thirty Years.”
Tim McGraw has experienced quite a bit of success with his #1 single “My Next Thirty Years,” but his wife, country superstar, Faith Hill, was not exactly on board for McGraw to record the song. Why would Hill try to put a stop to her husband recording the great Phil Vassar’s masterpiece? Because she was afraid it would make McGraw seem too old to country music fans. Thankfully McGraw stood firm in his decision, as the song danced on the charts for thirty-one weeks and will likely be played daily on SiriusXM’s Prime Country for my next thirty years.
7. Garth Brooks’ hit song “Shameless” is a Billy Joel cover.
Before Garth Brooks was shameless, Billy Joel didn’t have a prayer every time he saw her standing there. Joel released the song in 1989 and it climbed the Billboard Hot A/C chart, but it wasn’t until Brooks roped it in (1991) that the classic peaked at Number 1. Consider that a shameless little plug for country music and megastar Garth Brooks.
8. Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott provides background on Luke Bryan’s “Do I.”
Luke Bryan won my heart when he released his vulnerable 2009 hit song “Do I” (especially the piano version *swoon*). The depth in this ballad about love that is dwindling can be attributed to the vocal stylings of Lady Antebellum‘s lead female Hillary Scott. Interestingly, Scott’s bandmates, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood, also co-wrote this piece of musical perfection with Bryan. Surprisingly this song never evolved into a duet with Bryan and Scott, but I wouldn’t frown upon it if they decided to re-release it as such. Do I make myself clear? Do I?
Follow me on Twitter @JenSwirsky
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