Every #1 Single of the Nineties: Sammy Kershaw, “I Can’t Reach Her Anymore”

“I Can’t Reach Her Anymore”

Sammy Kershaw

Written by Mark Petersen and Bruce Theien

Radio & Records

#1 (1 week)

April 15, 1994

Sammy Kershaw channels George Jones.

The Road to No. 1

After scoring his first No. 1 hit with the lead-off single from Haunted Heart, “She Don’t Know She’s Beautiful,” Sammy Kershaw took the title track and “Queen of My Double-Wide Trailer” to the top ten.  The fourth and final single from the platinum-selling album became his second No. 1 hit.

The No. 1

Kershaw always sounded like a Cajun-flavored George Jones, but on “I Can’t Reach Her Anymore,” he truly channeled the legendary singer.

Between his pure lonesome wail and the countrypolitan production, this record feels like a long lost hit from the Possum’s Musicor days.  “I’ve still got her number, but I can’t reach her anymore” is one of those lyrics that could only work in country music, and it’s just sad enough to keep the lyrical wordplay from coming off as corny.

Kershaw’s rarely sounded better than he does on the chorus, as he tears into the line, “If she could only see me walk the floor.”

I’m not sure why this particular hit seems to have gone down the memory hole, but it’s a long lost classic.

The Road From No. 1

Kershaw has another No. 1 single on deck that we’ll get to later in 1994.

“I Can’t Reach Her Anymore” gets an A.


Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties

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  1. I found Kershaw’s consistency so impressive throughout this era. His singles – like this one- always suited him. He is another artist who was able to have fun and be silly, without ever fully falling into full-blown novelty, while simultaneously killing ballads and up-tempo songs.

    I think it odd that “Third Rate Romance” seems to be one single of his that radio re-visits the most often when there are so many other strong performances to choose from, this one included, particularly from his first few albums. Which is not to say his later works are not worth checking out. It’s hard to beleive country radio missed providing a platform for “Better Than I Used to Be” in 2010, and, staying south of the year 2000, I have always adored “Maybe Not Tonight,” the title track duet with Lorrie Morgan, from his 1999 album.

    I thinks a retrospective collection of his hit singles and best album deep cuts would open a lot of people’s ears as to how good he was in his day.

    This song leans so hard into it’s country-ness, from the vocals to the lyrics to the production. It is a pure joy to listen to.

    Obviously, I am a Sammy Kershaw fan.

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