Tennessee Whiskey

Album: Traveller (2015)
Charted: 20
Play Video


  • This Dean Dillon and Linda Hargrove penned song was originally recorded by American country music artist David Allan Coe. His version peaked at #77 on the country chart in 1981.

    The track was covered two years later by George Jones, whose version reached #2 on the country chart in November 1983 and became a mainstay in his live set.
  • Chris Stapleton recorded a bluesy cover for his debut solo album, Traveller, in 2015 at the suggestion of his producer, Dave Robb. He recalled to Billboard magazine: "The guys in the band and I were in Charlottesville, Virginia, waiting to set up microphones and started playing in that groove. I just was really enjoying it and started singing 'Tennessee Whiskey' on top of it, trying to make it something new."

    "We liked it so much, we played it that night - and every night since. When we started to record, we used it as a warm-up song. Dave said, 'We need to do that right now.' That's what you hear."
  • Chris Stapleton and Justin Timberlake sang a medley of this track and Timberlake's "Drink You Away" at the 2015 CMAs. It proved to be a breakthrough night for Stapleton as he won the CMA trophies for Male Vocalist of the Year, New Artist of the Year and Album of the Year (for Traveller). The interest generated from his performance resulted in "Tennessee Whiskey" ranking as the second-largest selling digital song the following week, with 131,000 downloads sold.

    The Stapleton-Timberlake double act wasn't something the CMA producers just threw together. Stapleton told Billboard magazine: "We've known each other for a couple of years. His wife had called me to fly out for his birthday party and wanted me to play. That was our first meeting, and we kept up with each other after that."
  • Dean Dillon, who was just about to begin his longtime collaboration with George Strait with the hit "Unwound," met Linda Hargrove when she was performing at a dive in Nashville. The pair hit it off (only professionally, Dillon assured us) and stayed up until 4 o'clock in the morning writing what became "Tennessee Whiskey."
  • Dean Dillon came to George Strait with "Tennessee Whiskey" soon after he'd written it, but Strait wasn't feeling the song and passed up the opportunity to record it.
  • The song appears prominently during George Clooney's 2020 American science fiction film, The Midnight Sky.


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Billy Gould of Faith No More

Billy Gould of Faith No MoreSongwriter Interviews

Faith No More's bassist, Billy Gould, chats to us about his two new experimental projects, The Talking Book and House of Hayduk, and also shares some stories from the FNM days.

Weird Al Yankovic

Weird Al YankovicFact or Fiction

Did Al play on a Beach Boys record? Did he have beef with George Lucas and Coolio? See if you can spot weird but true stories.

Al Jourgensen of Ministry

Al Jourgensen of MinistrySongwriter Interviews

In the name of song explanation, Al talks about scoring heroin for William Burroughs, and that's not even the most shocking story in this one.

Jack Tempchin - "Peaceful Easy Feeling"

Jack Tempchin - "Peaceful Easy Feeling"They're Playing My Song

When a waitress wouldn't take him home, Jack wrote what would become one of the Eagles most enduring hits.

Michael Bolton

Michael BoltonSongwriter Interviews

Into the vaults for this talk with Bolton from the '80s when he was a focused on writing songs for other artists.

Amy Grant

Amy GrantSongwriter Interviews

The top Contemporary Christian artist of all time on song inspirations and what she learned from Johnny Carson.