Daily Top Five: Should’ve Been Hits

42 YearwoodToday’s Daily Top Five is loosely inspired by reader PSUMucci.

What are five singles that should’ve been hits?

They could be songs that ended up signature tunes for their act despite not being hits, or could not have made any impact at all.

For my top five, I stuck to artists who were having some radio success at the time these songs were released.

Here’s my list:

  1. Trisha Yearwood, “Where are You Now”
  2. David Nail, “The Sound of a Million Dreams”
  3. Sawyer Brown, “Another Side”
  4. Faith Hill, “Stealing Kisses”
  5. Lorrie Morgan, “I Just Might Be”


  1. 1. Cost of Livin’: Ronnie Dunn
    2. Another Try: Josh Turner with Trisha Yearwood
    3. Gentle On My Mind: Glen Campbell (Only charted at #30)
    4. Anything Goes: Randy Houser
    5. Drinkin’ Man: George Strait

  2. 1. Gloriana Trouble
    2. Eric Paslay She Don’t Love You
    3. Jana Kramer Love
    4. Carrie Underwood Something In The Water (I know it was popular but it didn’t get #1 on radio so by that I’m putting it here
    5. Katie Armiger Best Song Ever

  3. Excellent choices, Kevin. I appreciate that you’ve listed David Nail’s “The Sound of a Million Dreams” in two lists so far. It’s an incredible song, and Nail is an underrated vocalist and artist overall.

  4. 1. Alan Jackson, “So You Don’t Have To Love Me Anymore”
    2. Patty Loveless, “Last Thing On My Mind”
    3. Lee Ann Womack, “Stronger Then I Am”
    4. Pistol Annies, “Takin’ Pills”
    5. Trisha Yearwood, “This Is Me You’re Talkin’ To”

  5. 1. I’m About To Come Alive – David Nail (#47)
    2. I Say A Little Prayer/By The Time I Get To Phoenix – Glen Campbell & Anne Murray (#40)
    3. Take It Easy – Crystal Gayle (#17)
    4. You Were A Good Friend – Kenny Rogers (#20)
    5. What We Really Want – Rosanne Cash (#39)

  6. My five:

    1. WALK ON–Linda Ronstadt (#61)
    2. THEY CALL IT FALLING FOR A REASON–Trisha Yearwood (#54)
    3. LAY DOWN SALLY–Eric Clapton (#26)
    4. SALLY G–Paul McCartney and Wings (#51)
    5. JAGGED EDGE OF A BROKEN HEART–Gail Davies (#20)

    Yes, both Sir Paul and Slow Hand (Eric Clapton) did chart in the country listings in the 70s, even though they are English.

  7. Jagged Edge of a Broken Heart turned me onto Gail Davis. Being a child of the 90s I only discovered her thanks to bloggs like this! Here are my

    1. Emmylou Harris- I Still Miss Someone
    2. Pam Tillis- It’s Lonely Out There
    3. Reba- Every Other Weekend
    4. Gail Davies – Breakaway
    5. Patty Loveless- Nothin but The Wheel.

  8. 1. “Sound Of A Million Dreams”: David Nail
    2. “Sound Of A Million Dreams”: David Nail
    3. “Sound Of A Million Dreams”: David Nail
    4. “Sound Of A Million Dreams”: David Nail
    5. “Sound Of A Million Dreams”: David Nail
    6. “Sound Of A Million…

    Yeah, I was pretty upset when that didn’t get above the top 30.

    An honest list: (aside from David Nail)
    1. “Stealing Kisses”: Faith Hill
    2. “Looking Back Now”: Maggie Rose
    3. “Don’t Miss Your Life”: Phil Vassar
    4. “Sober”: Little Big Town
    5. “Coalmine”: Sara Evans

  9. 1. Alabama – “My Home’s In Alabama” (17)
    2. Little Big Town – “Sober” (31)
    3. Diamond Rio – “Sawmill Road” (21)
    4. LeeAnn Womack – “Twenty Years and Two Husbands Ago” (32)
    5. Rachel Procter – “Me and Emily” (18)

  10. Alan Jackson – “You Go Your Way”
    George Strait – “Drinkin’ Man”
    Jamey Johnson – “Heartache”
    Gary Allan – “It Ain’t The Whiskey”
    Mark Chesnutt – “A Hard Secret to Keep”

  11. “Long Slow Kisses” by Jeff Bates – it spent many weeks in the charts after being released in September 2004 eventually crawling to #17 in 2005. Prior to the single version being released, the album track received some airplay

  12. 1. Gary Allan- Songs About Rain (This is by far my favorite Allan single & for my money the best country single in the last 20 years, I cant believe it peaked a #12.)

    2. Miranda Lambert- Famous in a Small Town (My favorite Miranda Single, should have been a multi-week #1 but peaked at #14 thanks in part to the labels mismanagement of the Crazy-Ex Girlfriend single before it .)

    3. Luke Bryan- We Rode in Trucks (As I said in another post I firmly believe this is 0ne of the best singles of the last decade, its shocking that this peaked at #33.)

    4. Ashton Shepherd- Sound So Good ( Underrated song from an underrated album that peaked at #21.)

    5 . Joe Nichols- She Only Smokes When She Drinks (phenomenal single from early in his career that didn’t break the top 15 topping out at #17.)

  13. 1. If You’re Not Gonna Love Me (also: Break These Chains) – Deborah Allen

    2. I Wanna Remember This – Linda Davis

    3. Heart Over Mind – Lorrie Morgan

    4. Sounds So Good – Ashton Shepherd

    5. He Would Be Sixteen – Michelle Wright

    6. The Things You Left Undone – Matraca Berg

    7. Big Time – Big & Rich

    8. Just My Luck – Kim Richey

    9. Summer Wind – Darryl Worley

    I’m gonna think about this all day now.

  14. 10. Absence of the Heart – Deana Carter

    11. She’s a Natural – Rob Crosby

    12. As Simple As That – Mike Reid

    13. Breaking New Ground (also: Straight and Narrow) – Wild Rose

    14. Don’t Cross Your Heart – Shelby Lynn

    15. What the World Needs – Wynonna

    16. Not with My Heart You Don’t – Paulette Carlson

    17. Pour Me – Trick Pony

  15. 1. “Arlington” -Trace Adkins (even though it was pulled from radio)
    2. “Raymond” -Brett Eldredge
    3. “Neon” -Chris Young
    4. “Drugs or Jesus” -Tim McGraw
    5. “Middle of America” -Will Hoge (the only one of my many requests to get played on major market country radio)

  16. I could probably sit here all day and rattle off songs that should have been hits.
    Five that come to mind:
    1. Alan Jackson – So You Don’t Have to Love Me Anymore
    2. Lee Ann Womack – Never Again, Again
    3. Eric Paslay – She Don’t Love You
    4. George Strait – King of the Mountain
    5. Chris Young – Neon

  17. More Where That Came From – Dolly

    She’s Got a Man on Her Mind – Conway Twitty

    To Have You Back Again – Patty Loveless

    Something Already Gone – Carlene Carter

    She Said, He Heard – Suzy Bogguss

    Maybe That’s All it Takes – Don Williams

    Too Little Too Much – Nikki Nelson

    It’s Too Late to Worry – JoDee Messina

  18. Great topic! I’d include “Drinkin’ Man” and “So You Don’t Have to Love Me Anymore”, but those have already been said several times.

    Most of these were minor hits that charted in the top 20 (except for Drake White), but I think they deserved to be smashes.

    1. My Last Name – Dierks Bentley (remains my favorite from Dierks)
    2. Next Big Thing – Vince Gill
    3. Cold Day in July – Dixie Chicks
    4. The Dollar – Jamey Johnson
    5. The Simple Life – Drake White (I really thought this one would be a big breakout hit for him. Hopefully he’ll break out eventually).

    I thought about Josh Turner’s “Long Black Train”, which only peaked at #13, but since it is so well known and one of his signature songs, I left it out.

    Props to Todd for mentioning Songs About Rain. That deserved to be a number 1. And to SRM for “Looking Back Now.” An underrated song that would have been a big hit in a different era.

  19. Bonus five

    1. Sunny Sweeney- Staying’s Worse Than Leaving (My 3rd favorite chart single of the 2010’s, behind Sunny’s From a Table Away & Eric Church’s Give Me Back My Hometown, only barely cracked the top 40 at #38)

    2.Eric Church- Guys Like Me (Until recently this was my Favorite single by Eric, peaked outside the top 15 at #17)

    3. Neal McCoy- Every Man For Himself (A beautiful ballad that was a stylistic departure for Neal , unfortunately radio didn’t do anything with this & it peaked at #37)

    4. Trent Willmon- On Again Tonight ( This is my favorite country booty call single, peaked at #27)

    5 Halfway to Hazard- Daisy ( I know this song got ripped in the review on this site but this remains my favorite song that deals with a loved ones death, I was disappointed when this song topped out at #39 and this group faded away a short time later.)

  20. 1. David Nail – Sound of a Million Dreams
    2. Hal Ketchum w Leann Rimes – In Front of the Alamo
    3. Emily West w Keith Urban – Blue Sky
    4. Suzy Bogguss – Goodnight
    5. Brandy Clark – Stripes

  21. George Strait – “Drinkin’ Man”
    Alan Jackson- “Long Way to Go” and “You Go Your Way”
    Eric Church- “Cold One”
    Josh Turner- “Find Me a Baby” (Proved that a traditional family love song has zero chance on the radio today. The biggest screw job in modern country history.)
    Josh Turner-“Lay Low” (Its slow climb has delayed his new album.)

    Josh Turner-“Whatcha Reckon” should have been the next big hit for Turner, “Find Me a Baby” killed any more singles from “Punching Bag.”

  22. 1. Travis Tritt, “I See Me”
    2. Miranda Lambert, “More Like Her”
    3. Dierks Bentley, “Bourbon in Kentucky”
    4. Brandy Clark, Twelve Stories (album)
    5. LeAnn Rimes, Spitfire (album)

    I agree with these mentioned above as well:
    1. Diamond Rio, “Sawmill Road”
    2. Mark Chesnutt, “A Hard Secret to Keep”
    3. Josh Turner, “Another Try”
    4. Miranda Lambert, , “Famous in a Small Town”

  23. And from the record stacks they store at the AM transmitter site:

    Hank Wilson – Rollin In My Sweet Baby’s Arms
    Steve Wariner – Sails
    Danny O’Keefe – The Road

    …and the overlooked ones,
    Kenny Chesney – To Get To You (55th and Third)
    Dierks Bentley – Bad Angel (w Jamey Johnson and Miranda Lambert)
    K.D. Lang – Down To My Last Cigarette

  24. Miranda Lambert – All Kinds of Kinds
    Eli Young Band – Dust
    Lauren Alaina – Eighteen Inches
    The Band Perry – Gentle on My Mind
    Lady Antebellum – Goodbye Town
    Tim McGraw – If You’re Reading This
    Tim McGraw and Gwyneth Paltrow – Me and Tennessee
    Kacey Musgraves – Keep It to Yourself
    David Nail – Turning Home

    Also agree with these:
    Miranda Lambert – Famous in a Small Town
    David Nail – I’m About To Come Alive
    Chris Young – Neon
    Brett Eldredge – Raymond
    Little Big Town – Sober
    Faith Hill – Stealing Kisses
    David Nail – The Sound Of A Million Dreams

  25. 01 The Sound of a Million Dreams – David Nail (#38)
    100% should have been a huge hit.
    02 Heartache – Jamey Johnson (#51)
    Why will radio NOT play Jamey Johnson?
    03 It Ain’t The Whiskey – Gary Allan (#40)
    Gary Allan’s sincerity can’t be beat
    04 So You Don’t Have to Love Me Anymore – Alan Jackson (#25)
    Why could this not be a hit? We need more Alan Jackson on the radio!
    05 I Got a Car – George Strait (#23)
    The end of an era! 2014 is the year George Strait didn’t get a top 10 hit, and this one deserved it.
    I Still blame the 60 for 60 movement

  26. Hyc, thanks for reminding me of the existence of Lady A’s “Goodbye Town.” Loved that one when it was out on radio, but I forgot all about it until I saw it on your list. Giving it an0ther listen now.

    Suffice to say I think every song Eli Young Band has ever released should’ve been a hit. It frustrates me to no end that something like “Burnin’ It Down” can shoot up to #1 in about eleven minutes, but EYB (who I think is one of the highest-quality country acts out there) struggles to get a foot in the door. “Dust” should’ve been THE summer song of 2014.

  27. Lots of great songs mentioned so far! I’ll add to the mix:

    1. Travis Tritt – Between an Old Memory and Me
    2. Sawyer Brown – Outskirts of Town
    3. Alan Jackson – The Blues Man
    4. K.T. Oslin – Silver Tongue & Gold Plated Lies
    5. Joe Diffie – My Own Backyard
    6. Randy Travis – Are We in Trouble Now?
    7. McBride & The Ride – No More Cryin’
    8. Tracy Lawrence – The Coast Is Clear
    9. Mark Chesnutt – This Heartache Never Sleeps & Down in Tennessee
    10. Michelle Wright – One Good Man & Nobody’s Girl

    Like Kevin’s list, these are singles released by artists who were experiencing at least some success at the time. I’ve also omitted a lot of favorites that have already been mentioned (Trisha Yearwood’s “Where Are You Now”, “I Don’t Paint Myself into Corners” and “On a Bus to St. Cloud”, Lorrie Morgan’s “I Just Might Be”, Carlene Carter’s “Something Already Gone”, etc.) and singles by artists who never experienced a lot of success at all (Keith Stegall’s “1969”, Danni Leigh’s “29 Nights”, BR5-49’s “Cherokee Boogie”, Mandy Barnett’s “Now That’s Alright with Me”, Cross Canadian Ragweed’s “Sick and Tired”, Keith Harling’s “Coming Back for You”, Sherrie Austin’s “Lucky in Love”, etc.)

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