Rodeo

Album: Ropin' The Wind (1991)

Songfacts®:

  • Originally titled "Miss Rodeo," songwriter Larry Bastian wrote the tune about "a gal lamenting the fact that her guy was in love with the rodeo rather than her." It gained a little traction in Canada with female singers but no one in Nashville would touch it. Garth Brooks loved it and tried to pitch it to every woman he knew on Music Row, including Trisha Yearwood, to no avail. Finally, he decided to record it himself and released it as the lead single from this third album, Ropin' The Wind.
  • Bastian told Brooks he couldn't cover this because it was written for a girl to sing. Brooks replied, "Watch me."

    Bastian, who also co-wrote Brooks' "Unanswered Prayers," was amazed at the transformation. "He'll take the song and he'll go in a direction that you wouldn't dream that anybody could take on of your songs," the songwriter explained in Brooks' 2017 book, The Anthology Part 1: The First Five Years: "He took that song and rocked the hell out of it."
  • Brooks: "The original demo was this California country feel, and, yeah, it was a girl singing, but through it all you could hear the muscle, you could hear the sport of rodeo trying to come out of the song."
  • Along with "The River," Brooks sang this on the March 14, 1992 episode of Saturday Night Live.
  • After this became a hit on the Country chart at #3, Bastian gifted Brooks' manager, Bob Doyle, a pair of chaps with the song's lyrics branded into the leather.
  • Brooks' "Wild Horses" shares a similar theme of a cowboy who can't give up the rodeo for his woman.
  • Chris LeDoux, the rodeo cowboy-turned-country singer who inspired Brooks' debut single, "Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)," was a big fan of the tune. He told Brooks, "Man, 'Rodeo' is what cowboy music is all about."
  • After reaching #3 in America with his previous album, No Fences, Brooks continued to lead country into the mainstream with Ropin' The Wind, which debuted at #1.
  • Brooks won his first Grammy Award when Ropin' The Wind was named Best Male Country Vocal Performance at the 1992 ceremony.

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