Why Haven't I Heard From You

Album: Read My Mind (1994)
Charted: 101
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Songfacts®:

  • Before Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone in 1876, people relied on letters or the telegram to communicate with one another. Bell's "electric telephone" meant that for the first time a couple could instantly connect, even if they were in separate localities.

    Here, Reba McEntire wonders why her man hasn't rung her up.
  • Reba's guy has no excuse for not contacting her, as there are payphones everywhere.

    Now there's one on every corner, in the back of every bar

    Even if her lover hasn't any change, he can reverse the charges.

    Baby you can dial direct
    I got call forwarding and call waiting
    You can even call collect


    He could even use one of these new-fangled cell phones.

    You can get one in your briefcase, on a plane or in your car
  • Sandy Knox (Reba McEntire's "She Thinks His Name Was John" and "Does He Love You?") wrote "Why Haven't I Heard From You" with T.W. "T Dub" Hale.

    Knox took inspiration from a National Geographic magazine that devoted an entire issue to the contributions of Alexander Graham Bell. It got him thinking about how much the invention of the telephone had completely changed the habits of courting couples. "Before the telephone, if somebody wanted to call on somebody, they literally had to drop off their calling card, which was the precursor to business cards," he explained to The Tennessean. "And say, 'I would like to call on you at Friday at six o'clock,' The telephone changed that."

    Knox started thinking about the trajectory. "People could call from their cars, from the corner, from an airplane," he said. "From that he got the idea for the song that "there's no excuse not to hear from anyone."
  • Knox and T Dub used to meet at ASCAP for their writing sessions. Knox told him his idea and suggested "it should be kind of a fun up-tempo shuffle." They started from there.

    Knox already had some of the lyrics written. "I kind of knew the storyline and everything, but T Dub and I worked really well together," he recounted. "It was a pretty quick write, I believe."
  • Released as the first single from Read My Mind, "Why Haven't I Heard From You" reached #5 on the Country chart.
  • Peaking at #2 on the Billboard 200, Read My Mind was McEntire's highest charting album until she topped the chart with her Reba Duets collection in 2007.
  • Reba McEntire co-produced "Why Haven't I Heard From You" with Tony Brown. He was the country star's go-to producer throughout the 1990s.

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