Every #1 Country Single of the Nineties: Travis Tritt, “Here’s a Quarter (Call Someone Who Cares)”

“Here’s a Quarter (Call Someone Who Cares)”

Travis Tritt

Written by Travis Tritt

Radio & Records

#1 (1 week)

July 19, 1991

Travis Tritt launches his second major label album with an instant classic.

The Road to No. 1

Travis Tritt was already a rising star in 1991, having scored three No. 1 hits from his Warner Bros. debut, Country Club.  But he kicked things into a much higher gear with his second set for the label, aptly titled It’s All About to Change.   All four of the singles released from this set would top the charts, beginning with an uptempo hit that was an instant classic upon release.

The No. 1

For the young ones among us, there used to be these things called payphones.  At the time of this song’s release, it cost 25 cents to use one.

“Here’s a quarter, call someone who cares” resonated immediately as a fantastic new way to tell someone to get lost.  It’s used here in the context of a straying lover attempting to rekindle the relationship she threw away, and getting dismissed with this cutting reply.

It’s a perfect fit for Tritt, who was carefully crafting his image of being a rough country boy with a heart of gold.   Here, he’s able to balance in one record what he usually spread out among his rave ups and his tender ballads.  He shows his sensitivity as he recalls his heart being broken, but demonstrates his resilience with cool and casual dismissiveness.

It’s not even the best single from It’s All About to Change.   1991 is ridiculous.

The Road From No. 1

We’ll cover that best single soon, as Tritt reaches his creative and commercial peak.

“Here’s a Quarter (Call Someone Who Cares)” gets an A.

Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties

Previous: Billy Dean, “Somewhere in My Broken Heart” | Next: Trisha Yearwood, “She’s in Love With the Boy”

6 Comments

  1. Great song
    Loved this by KJC:

    “For the young ones among us, there used to be these things called payphones. At the time of this song’s release, it cost 25 cents to use one.”

    Since I’m probably a lot older, it made me think of Jim Croce’s “Operator” with its “You can keep the dime” line. (I also recall when a subway ride costs 15 cents.)

  2. …a terrific yet rather blunt precursor of today’s popular digital relationship status indication: complicated. love it – the song.

  3. My preacher referenced Operator in a sermon last week. He was trying to show the importance of context in the Bible and pointed out kids today would have no clue what the lyrics meant(What’s an operator, what’s this about a dime?). Anyway, have I mentioned Travis Tritt is the most underrated act in country music history?

  4. Still such a fun song today! It’s simply amazing how fresh this still sounds 30 years later, along much of Travis’ other work from around this time. Even when it’s being played on a classic country channel, it truly stands out just by how much more energetic and modern it still sounds. Like “Friends In Low Places,” it’s one of the all time greatest kiss off songs, though as Kevin pointed out, some younger folks today might not even know what the title means. And yeah, that kinda makes me feel old, lol.

    I also remember him saying before that in the earlier times that they would play this song live, it would get to be dangerous because all the fans would start throwing quarters on the stage, and it would sometimes end up injuring him and some of the band members.

    Btw, the It’s All About To Change album is one of my all time favorite Travis Tritt records, and I think it’s one of the ones that best displays who he is as an artist. From beginning to end, it’s fun, high energy honky tonkers and rockers mixed with beautiful tender ballads that show off his softer side very well.

  5. Back when I was getting into country music, I remember not liking this song very much, but somewhere along the way in the last 30 years, I’ve grown to love it.

  6. As evidence of how far reaching country music was at the time, my future high school sweetheart – who was decidedly not a country fan- stopped me in the hallway of Robbinsdale Armstrong High and asked my what this song was all about. The title of the song was enough to get her attention.

    And for good reason. This song sounded like a classic upon its release, like so many of the songs already covered in this feature.

    1991 was ridiculous. Country music mattered.

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