No U in Oklahoma

Album: Stronger than the Truth (2019)
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Songfacts®:

  • Reba McEntire co-wrote this downtrodden Western swing song with Ronnie Dunn and Donna McSpadden. Along with "In His Mind," it is one of two tracks on Stronger Than the Truth that she co-penned.
  • McEntire told Billboard she crafted "No U in Oklahoma" with Brooks & Dunn member Ronnie Dunn based on an idea a friend from Oklahoma, Donna McSpadden, had suggested to her years ago: "There's no U in Oklahoma, and that's O.K. with me."

    McEntire thought it was a good idea but was unsure how to develop the tune, so she sent it to Kelly Clarkson, singer-songwriter Autumn McEntire (Reba's niece) and Ronnie Dunn. Still, nothing came from it. However, when Dunn and her ended up in Mexico together on vacation they "started playing around with the song" and Dunn came up with the version we hear on Stronger Than the Truth.
  • McEntire also came up with her own version of the song, but when she played it to her producer, Buddy Cannon, he shot it down.

    "I didn't tell him that it was me that wrote it by myself," she told The Boot. "But I fixed some of the lines that made it easier for me to sing on the Ronnie version."

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