“Next to You, Next to Me”
Written by Robert Ellis Orrall and Curtis Wright
#1 (3 weeks)
August 18 – September 1, 1990
Radio & Records
#1 (1 week)
August 17, 1990
Shenandoah’s biggest hit is also their best.
The Road to No. 1
Shenandoah got its start as a house band in Muscle Schoals, Alabama, with drummer Mark McGuire instrumental in getting the band on the radar of the Nashville music industry. Their first studio album was released by Columbia in 1987, with the singles from that self-titled set making little impact.
However, the band broke through with their sophomore effort, The Road Not Taken, a gold-selling effort that produced the major hit singles “Mama Knows” and “See if I Care,” as well as their first three No. 1 hits: “The Church on Cumberland Road,” “Sunday in the South,” and “Two Dozen Roses.”
Columbia chose “Next to You, Next to Me” as the lead single of their third album, Extra Mile.
The No. 1
“Next to You, Next to Me” is one of the most charming records in country music history. A lovely celebration of simple domestic bliss, the little details add up to a beautiful portrait of one specific relationship.
I’ll change the station if the news comes on
When the signal ain’t comin’ in too strong
We’ll make our own music honey all night long
The kids are grown up and moved away
We’ll be rockin’ there side by side
With barbeque chicken and the TV Guide
It’s so country, and also so corny in the very best way that only country music can be. Diamond Rio would take this ball and run with it in the nineties on hits like “Norma Jean Riley,” but I don’t think that this particular variety of bluegrass-flavored country has ever sounded better on the radio than it does here.