Let The Cowboy Rock

Album: Ronnie Dunn (2011)

Songfacts®:

  • The third single from Ronnie Dunn's self-titled debut solo album was penned by the singer with Dallas Davidson. The Nashville songwriter previously co-wrote Brooks & Dunn's 2008 single, "Put a Little Girl in It."
  • Initially, Dunn planned to title the album after this song and release it as its lead single. He told The Boot: "I was going to let it out as a single, keep rocking and just blow on through everything. I didn't want to get too deep with things." However Dunn's label and management had other ideas. He explained: "They were really trying to distance what I was going to do, initially, from anything that sounded even close to Brooks & Dunn product, which is almost impossible. In fact, to me, it is. ... They chose 'Bleed Red.'"
  • Ronnie surprised a lot of people, including his wife, by getting a tattoo of the word "COWBOY" on his forearm in the middle of working on Ronnie Dunn.
  • The song's music video finds Dunn paying tribute to all things cowboy, from a scene in a bar to horseback riding. "I've been [including cowboy footage] for years, with 'Hard Working Man' and things like that," Dunn said to The Boot. "I come from that west Texas, Oklahoma environment, and then in between is stuff that is very much me. I don't walk around with a cowboy hat. I did get a tattoo that says 'cowboy' that's a bit of an over-compensation, probably."
  • It was Sony BMG Nashville chairman Joe Galante who persuaded Dunn to write with Dallas Davidson. Dunn recalled to American Songwriter: "I didn't know Dallas. I knew he was doing really well, but I just didn't pay that much attention. Finally one day Joe texted me and said 'here's Dallas' number, just call him.' I was getting ready to pull onto I-65, going into town. This title popped into my head called 'Let The Cowboy Rock.' Cause I wanted that rock and The Stones mixture kind of thing going on, and we'd just come off the road with ZZ Top. So I said, "I've got a title for us, 'Let the Cowboy Rock.'" Just this quick he goes, 'Let the good times roll!' I thought 'man, we're done! Let's go. Just fill in the blanks. We're good.' So we met out here, and we plowed through the verses and the chorus. That was it. It was nothing heavy. It was just supposed to be a rocker."

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