A Country Music Conversation, Day 2: “Another Lonely Song” to “Baby’s Gotten Good at Goodbye”

A Country Music Conversation: Introduction and Index.

Previous Entry: Day 1: “Aces” to “Already Gone”

Day 2 features tracks from the following five artists: Tammy Wynette, Travis Tritt, Kenny Chesney, Zac Brown Band (with Alan Jackson), and George Strait.


“Another Lonely Song”
Tammy Wynette

Written by Billy Sherill, Norro Wilson, and Tammy Wynette

“Another Lonely Song” is Tammy Wynette at her dramatic best. It’s a rambling conversation with God, as she confronts her knowledge of her husband’s infidelity and wrestles with the thought of doing some cheating of her own. The only thing that stops her from doing so is the maker she’s having that conversation with: “Lord, don’t look down on me. Don’t frown on me. Let’s just keep talkin’…”

Other Favorites: “‘Til I Can Make it On My Own,” “I Don’t Wanna Play House,” “Justified and Ancient” (with The KLF)


Travis Tritt

Written by Jill Colucci and Travis Tritt

Its Vietnam-themed music video garnered so much attention that it was easy to overlook the gorgeous simplicity of “Anymore.”  Travis Tritt’s rockin’ side defined his public image, but for me, it was always his ballads that showcased his talent the best. “Anymore” is a flawless demonstration of his ability to tug the heartstrings.

Other Favorites: “Sometimes She Forgets,” “The Whiskey Ain’t Workin'” (with Marty Stuart), “Lord Have Mercy on the Working Man”


“Anything But Mine”
Kenny Chesney

Written by Scooter Carusoe

I was a fan of Kenny Chesney from day one. We’re talking the Capricorn days, when I played the fire out of my “Whatever it Takes” cassette single. I was always rooting for him, but when he found superstardom by embracing the college/beach bum anthem, I took a few steps back, enjoying the ballads scattered among those stadium hits. Interestingly, “Anything But Mine” manages to give the best of both worlds. It’s a bittersweet song about summer coming to an end, and a temporary love affair along with it, and it finds the melancholy lurking underneath all that charming seaside pavilion imagery.

Other Favorites: “The Road and the Radio,” “Beer in Mexico,” “Who You’d Be Today”


“As She’s Walking Away” (with Alan Jackson)
Zac Brown Band

Written by Zac Brown and Wyatt Durette

Zac Brown Band never sounded better to me than they did on their second album, brimming with confidence and still having a lot of great ideas in them. “As She’s Walking Away” would’ve been a great song even if they hadn’t invited Alan Jackson on to the track, but his presence as an elder statesman elevates the entire proceedings. He adds some gravitas to what is, at its heart, a youthful record.

Other Favorites: “Let it Go,” “Colder Weather,” “Chicken Fried”


“Baby’s Gotten Good at Goodbye”
George Strait

Written by Tony Martin and Troy Martin

It took me a while to get George Strait. My parents played “Ocean Front Property” and “All My Ex’s Live in Texas” in the car when I was very young, and when I got into country music in 1991, it seemed like George Strait was slowing down in relevance, much like Randy Travis and Ricky Van Shelton seemed to be.  Strait also made very few music videos, which was where I was getting my education. Perhaps that’s why “Baby’s Gotten Good at Goodbye” still resonates with me so much, as it was the only clip I remember seeing a lot of. I started to get George Strait once I heard mid-nineties albums like Easy Come Easy Go and Lead On, and he became one of my all-time favorites. But I always go back to this track – one of many hits, easily forgotten – but I can still see the video play in my mind every time I hear it. And it’s a great song sung well, four little words that sum up George Strait’s very big career.

Other Favorites: “Meanwhile,” “You’ll Be There,” “We Really Shouldn’t Be Doing This”

Up Next: Day 3: “Best Days of Your Life” to “Blood Red and Goin’ Down”


  1. I’m in no way a fan of Chesney. In fact I’m amazed he’s still charting #1 songs.

    But Anything But Mine brought me to my knees. To this day when I hear it, I stop dead in my tracks.

    The video had a lot to do with me liking it so much. That whole summer love/fling where you have the time of your life and then say goodbye – usually forever. It’s a special song for me.

  2. When people talk badly about Chesney, I always thinking about Anything but Mine, which I think is the best song he’s ever done. Yeah there’s a lot of beach stuff and he’s probably gotten overly infatuated with it over the years, but he is so capable of singing well written songs and the emotion he has to them are what makes him great.

  3. While I usually lean more towards ballads, with Tritt I prefer his rockers – “You Never Take Me Dancing”, “TROUBLE”, “Bible Belt’, etc. Favorite Tritt ballad: “Helping Me Get Over You”, duet w Lari White.

    Re ZBB, “As She’s Walking Away” is one of my favorites along with “Let It go”, “Goodbye in Her Eyes” and “Highway 20 Ride” but I’ll take “Toes” over “Chicken Fried”.

  4. Anymore was the first video I thought that came out and actually challenged Reba on music videos production (outside of garth) And the tell me I was dreaming video blew me away

  5. I think I said in the comment thread for “Setting the World on Fire” that I’ve always found Chesney’s success baffling. He’s an incredibly poor vocalist– and not even in the Tim McGraw sense where he can sometimes compensate for his lack of range and missed notes with his phrasing and interpretive skill. I’ve always found Chesney unpleasant to listen to.

    Except for “Anything But Mine,” which is the one time that his boozy, off-pitch delivery is in-service to the writing of a legitimately great song (less so: “You and Tequila” and his not-quite-good cover of “El Cerrito Place,” the only other singles of his I own). It’s a terrific single.

    My most played iPod tracks for this group, with a couple of ties in the play counts:
    – Tammy Wynette, “Apartment Number 9”
    – Travis Tritt, “Anymore.” For whatever reason, I don’t own much of his music, though he has a ton of singles that I like. Definitely something to rectify!
    – Chesney, “Anything But Mine”
    – Zac Brown Band, “Colder Weather” and “As She’s Walking Away”
    – Alan Jackson (though I assume he’ll turn up solo later in this feature), “Like Red on a Rose” and “Monday Morning Church” with Patty Loveless.
    – George Strait, “Amarillo By Morning” and “Troubadour”

    Loving this feature!

  6. I like a fairly good number of Chesney’s songs.

    “Amarillo by Morning” is my favorite George Strait song.

    “Between an Old Memory and Me” is my most played Tritt track.

    I would swap out “Highway 20 Ride” for any of the other ZBB songs on your list except “Colder Weather”.

  7. “Country Club” remains my favorite Travis Tritt, although I rate his duet with Marty Stuart on “The Whiskey Ain’t Working Anymore”

    I like a lot of George Strait songs, in fact the only two Strait singles I didn’t like were “The Fireman” and “The Chair”

    I’m kind of blah on Chesney in that I neither hate nor love anything he’s done. If I had to pick favorites it might be “Tin Man” and “How Forever Feels”

    I liked a lot of Tammy’s songs but D-I-V-O-R-C-E is probably my favorite. As for Zac Brown, I must confess that I’m partial to “Chicken Fried”, but then I have fried chicken at least once a week

  8. Tammy Wynette – “Suddenly Single” (I’m shocked by this but then again I always loved Terri’s version so I guess I fell for Tammy’s too!)

    Travis Tritt – “It’s A Great Day To Be Alive”

    Kenny Chesney – “Wild Child (Feat. Grace Potter)”

    Zac Brown Band – “Sweet Annie”

    Alan Jackson – “(Who Says) You Can’t Have It All”

    George Strait – “I Got A Car”

  9. Help me here, please. How does one pick one’s favorite George Strait song? I would have said Amarillo by Morning or Troubadour as well. Yet, I was experimenting last night with our new Amazon Echo and asked it to play George Strait songs. Every one it played suddenly became my favorite. And when I saw him perform in Philadelphia for his farewell tour, I heard him sing 31 sets. 31! And that’s not even half of his hits and only half of his No. 1 hits. That does not even include the two he sang with Martina McBride, both of which still have me melting through the floor. So I honestly ask, how do you pick the top George Strait song?

  10. “Another Lonely Song” by Tammy Wynette always amazes me. She may not have been the best singer ever but the emotion and how she makes you feel these lyrics is just amazing.

  11. Tammy: Til I Can Make It On My Own
    Tritt: probably Anymore but I’m also very fond of Help Me Hold On
    Chesney: Big Star
    Zac Brown Band: Highway 20 Ride, followed by The Wind
    Strait: not sure I can pick out a favourite

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