Country News

Country News

Country News

Since he released his debut self-titled album in 1989, Garth Brooks has been a force in country music. His career skyrocketed in the early 1990s as his album sales and concert attendance set records worldwide.

Garth Brooks released a new album in November called Time Traveler and included it on his final limited edition box set. Garth said of the seven-disc package, “This is the third and final box set of our career. I like how that completes the circle, the new music tying in. It kind of completes the set, for me, with the old stuff.”

The package is available exclusively at Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s.

Time Traveler, of course, features “Rodeo Man,” Garth’s duet with Ronnie Dunn, as well as a pairing with Kelly Clarkson (“The Ship and The Bottle”), an update of David Allen Coe’s “The Ride” that tells more of the song’s original story, and “Me Without You.”

Those songs join six others on the new album, while Time Traveler joins Man Against Machine, Gunslinger, Fun, and Triple Live inside the latest Limited Series set.

In April, Brooks will play his Las Vegas residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace. He told us of his busy 2024, “Yeah! This was the busiest year so far. I seriously think things are going to slow down a lot in ’24. Oh – let me rephrase that!! I think things are going to slow down a lot in ’25 ’cause ’24’s going to be busier than ’23!”

He told us of his Vegas shows, “What I love about the Vegas dates is the crowd you’re playing for and the family that you’re playing for. They’ve been very sweet to us out there. And if you look on the stage anywhere in Vegas, you’ll never see a set list.”

As Garth celebrates his 62nd birthday today (2/7), we look at the five songs that made him a household name and a country music icon.

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  • "Callin' Baton Rouge" (1994)

    Garth Brooks smiling in a black cowboy hat and suit.
    Chris Weeks/Liaison/Getty Images
    Garth was not the first artist to record it. In an album liner notes, he said, “I have always been a fan of ‘Baton Rouge.’ I was, still am and always will be a fan of the members of New Grass Revival, four guys well ahead of their time (even if they came out thirty years from now). ‘Baton Rouge’ was a single for them about the time my first album was released.”

    He continued, “This song did not even break the top thirty, and I believe it did not get a fair shot. When we recorded it, it seemed only natural to bring in the guys from New Grass Revival – Pat Flynn, Bela Fleck, John Cowan, and Sam Bush, teamed with Jerry Douglas. This was the first time the New Grass Revival had been together since their breakup over a year prior to the recording of this song. It was a very good day and an extremely proud moment, and I think this is reflected in the cut itself.”

  • "The Thunder Rolls" (1991)

    Garth Brooks wearing a black and white shirt and a black cowboy hat
    Adele Starr/Getty Images

    Garth co-wrote this dark number-one song. He said of the song, “There is no doubt that the toughest song in the GB catalog has to be ‘The Thunder Rolls.’ This song came out fighting the day it was released. It was originally cut by Tanya Tucker in 1988 but was never put on an album. It came back to us in time for No Fences. My hat’s off to Pat Alger, a great writer and friend, and to music itself because only music could withstand what this song has gone through.”

    The lyrics include, “The thunder rolls / And the lightnin’ strikes / Another love grows cold / On a sleepless night / As the storm blows on / Out of control / Deep in her heart / The thunder rolls.”

  • "If Tomorrow Never Comes" (1989)

    Garth Brooks holding an award in a black suit and black cowboy hat.
    Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

    Garth’s second radio single and his first number-one single on the US Billboard Hot Country Singles chart. “If Tomorrow Never Comes” was named Favorite Country Single in the American Music Awards of 1991. Brooks noted that the song “will probably always be my signature song.” Garth also said that the song is about the love of a father to his daughter, not to his lover. He co-wrote the song with Kent Blazy.

  • "Friends In Low Places" (1990)

    Garth Brooks on stage in a b;ack suit and cowboy hat holding an award.
    Kevin Winter/Getty Images

    One of the biggest songs in his career and the name of his new downtown Nashville bar. During a press conference when the bar opened, Garth said that when it came out and succeeded (four weeks at number-one) so much, nobody knew his name, but “everyone” knows “Friend In Low Places.” The song won both the Academy of Country Music and Country Music Association awards for 1990 Single of the Year.

  • "The Dance" (1990)

    Garth Brooks in a black suit and black cowbiy hat.
    Stephen Chernin/Getty Images

    “The Dance” was the single released before “Friends in Low Places,” and also shot to number one on the country charts. In 1990, it was named both Song of the Year and Video of the Year by the Academy of Country Music. It was awarded the number 14 position in the CMT 100 Greatest Songs of Country Music broadcast in 2003. It also is in the number 5 position on the network’s The Greatest: 100 Greatest Music Videos special in 2004.

    In 2001, after the death of Dale Earnhardt, Brooks was invited to the NASCAR Awards ceremony honoring Earnhardt to play the song as a tribute.

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