With these guys coming to town in a few days for maybe the most anticipated show of the year of any kind at Blossom, I thought it would be great to look back and remember their sheer greatness. In my 41 years of playing country music on the radio, I don't know if any artist did as much right, for as long of time as Brooks And Dunn. As far as successful longevity is concerned, they are in the same conversation as George Strait. They epitomize superstardom.
What A Debut Song - 1991
They rode in a couple of years after the Class of 1989, and country music was exploding. They hit the radio in the summer of 1991 with Brand New Man, which I feel is one of the best debut singles of all time. True story here, I remember seeing the first song label from these guys for the first time, and before we heard the song, we all wondered why Garth Brooks and Holly Dunn recorded a duet together. After all those two were both big at that time, and things were different then. No internet, social media, or YouTube. Hard to think THAT was 30 years ago. But once you heard Brand New Man, you knew something was really different and really good.
This Song Really Energized The Line Dance Craze
As much as Clint, Garth, Travis and Alan defined 1989, and beyond, I feel Brooks And Dunn defined the entire 1990's musically for many fans. They ran off hit after hit, and had a style with their music and far beyond. They were cool. One was a hat act one was not. They really embraced the whole country life with their fashions and videos. They reminded many of Hall And Oates as the chemistry and formula seemed to be similar, although the music was very different. They rocketed through that decade among the biggest acts in an era that was insanely competitive and loaded with stars and came out on top. What I really remember about that time was their incredible appeal. Everyone loved Brooks And Dunn.
Great Song And Tribute To The Working Man
It's funny how these things work out. In the 1980s, both Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn had solo careers that were struggling. A songwriter named Tim DuBois suggested they form a duo, best idea ever. The enormity of their success is almost unparalleled. They have won 80 awards of some kind, have 20 number one songs, 50 singles and sold over 30 million albums. This spanned over the first original 20 years, and that's hard to do. 20 years is a long time to keep a level of excellence, but also what may be even tougher is the level of acceptance. They were as popular in 2009, the year they announced they were "retiring" as they were in the mid 90's.
This Was And Is a Gigantic Fan Favorite From Them
Many of their songs were influentiual as well. Boot Scootin' Boogie, and Little Miss Honky Tonk - early on really energized the line dance craze that soared in the mid 90's. Only In America has been used in political campaigns. Their remake of the B.W. Stevenson pop classic My Maria was universally loved and many think better than the original. Their albums just kept getting better too. Steers And Stripes in 2001 was incredible as their seventh album, and Red Dirt Road and Hillbilly Deluxe later in the 2000's are stellar as well.
Biggest Hit They Ever Had
Brooks And Dunn to me were very important artists. They were the baseline that was the 1990's and 2000's, as they were constant, they the measuring stick that much of the format was based on. They were so great for so long, we took them for granted but not in a bad way. After a few albums, they were slowly evolving and subtly reinventing themselves. Fact is, their highly successful chart run far outlasted many of the giants of their era including Alabama, Garth, Clint, and competed with Alan, and Strait for excellence in longevity. I feel they deserve to be in the same breath as those titans, even though they came around a few years after.
What A Great Concert Song
I'm not sure anyone dominated the entire scene as long was they did, on the charts, awards, shows and sales. They won the CMA for Vocal Duo Of The Year every year from 1992 till 2006 (except for 2000). They have recorded with everyone, have toured everywhere and are universally accepted as one of the most powerful forces country has every seen. I have seen them many times in concert, including the second to last show they ever did at Blossom where Merle Haggard was the opener. Think about that. Haggard opened for them
Very Cool Song
If I sound like a fan, it's because I am, but we all were - and are. I have proudly played all their songs for decades on great stations across the country, including WQMX, and the music holds up very well. When many other big stars, mega stars, pop stars and wannabees came and went, Brooks And Dunn was the musical barometer they were all measured by. They brought us millions of new fans, both men and women, and were the absolute originators of celebrating country music as a total lifestyle and not just a love of the music. What a gift they gave us with that, we should be forever thankful, as that has been imitated by tons of very big artists ever since.
Always Loved This Early Gem - Very Underrated Song
They will be at Blossom on September 17 and it should be a show to remember.
GREAT Memory from August 26th, 2010 Me and Sue Wilson with Brooks And Dunn - Second To Last Show For Them -Superstars - (Photo Cred - Sue Wilson)
Titans of our format for one reason only. Not because I or anyone said else said so, but simply because they were.