Every #1 Single of the Nineties: Brooks & Dunn, “Little Miss Honky Tonk”

“Little Miss Honky Tonk”

Brooks & Dunn

Written by Ronnie Dunn


#1 (1 week)

April 29, 1995

Radio & Records

#1 (1 week)

April 21, 1995

Brooks & Dunn top the charts with their latest “Boot Scootin’ Boogie” rewrite.

The Road to No. 1

Brooks & Dunn followed the No. 1 hit “She’s Not the Cheatin’ Kind” with the honky tonk weeper “I’ll Never Forgive My Heart,” which went top ten.  The third single from Waitin’ On Sundown returned them to the top.

The No. 1

Look, as “Boot Scootin’ Boogie” retreads go, this one’s pretty good.

The lyrics are ridiculous, of course, and the woman they’re singing about is a barroom fantasy.

But the song has some clever turns of phrase and Dunn does a great job selling the storyline.  This is no small feat, given the conceit here is “I’m her big cat daddy, she’s my little miss honky tonk.”

As noted above, “I’ll Never Forgive My Heart” was the single more tailored to a honky tonk, unless all of them had replaced their sad song jukeboxes with line dancefloors by 1995.

They pull this one off well enough, but this streak of No. 1 songs is indicating how worn the nineties country formula was getting.  Shania Twain can’t get here fast enough.

The Road From No. 1

They’ve got one more No. 1 on deck from Waitin’ On Sundown, and it features Kix Brooks on lead vocals. We’ll cover it later in 1995.

“Little Miss Honky Tonk” gets a C+.

Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties

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Next: John Michael Montgomery, “I Can Love You Like That”



  1. It’s like there are 2 different Brooks & Dunns- you have the B&D that has records like “He’s Got You,” “Why Would I Say Goodbye,” “Neon Moon,” and “My Maria,” which are some of my favorite country singles of all time.

    Then you have the B&D who recorded this song, “Hard Workin Man,” and “Rock My World Little Country Girl” which seem completely interchangable with a dozen other far less successful country artists from the 90s- and clearly those songs all did well, but when I hear them the only thing I can think is “man, these guys are so much better than this.”

    • This is a pretty good assessment of B&D, overall. A lot of their ballads and mid-tempo cuts are some of my favorite 90’s country songs of all time, while a lot of the uptempo songs haven’t aged quite as well and the ones I still like are more like guilty pleasures now (such as this song). I believe this “split personality” of theirs started with the Hard Workin’ Man album (though, I personally like that album) and had continued from that point on. Although it wasn’t as well received by radio or by critics, I personally love 1999’s Tight Rope because it includes a lot more great ballads and mid-tempos and less Boot Scootin’ retreads. But really, on most of their 90’s albums, you can at least find a few gems that never made it to radio.

      Still, as cringey as some of their 90’s ditties might be today, I’ll still take them over the awful stuff they released in the following decade like “Play Something Country,” “Hillbilly Deluxe,” “Put A Girl In It,” etc.

      Btw, thanks for mentioning “Why Would I Say Goodbye.” I still love that song so much! “He’s Got You” is also really great. I’d also like to add “A Man This Lonely,” “Whiskey Under The Bridge,” “Husbands And Wives,” “Honky Tonk Truth,” and “How Long Gone” to the list of 90’s B&D songs I still really love. The next B&D song coming up next in this feature is definitely a good one, too, imo!

  2. I always enjoyed this song not for the content but for the musicianship. The piano work on here is great and I like the fiddle too. Not a great song lyrically but a fun listen nonetheless.

  3. I actually used to like this song quite a bit, especially after I got B&D’s Greatest Hits Collection for Christmas in 1997, and it’s one of the tracks I’d repeat. It’s kind of more of a guilty pleasure now, but like CJ said, it’s still pretty enjoyable because of the musicianship (especially the telecasters and Bruce Bouton’s always great steel playing) and the overall energy and fun vibes of it. I also like Ronnie Dunn’s playful performance. This is also back when you could still hear traces of 50’s Rock & Roll influences in mainstream country songs. I hear some touches of Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis for this particular song.

    The video for this song is also cute and has that 90’s charm to it. You especially gotta love the magical powers in Kix’s guitar. :)

    “I’ll Never Forgive My Heart” is another one of their very best ballads, imo. And yes, I can picture couples slow dancing to it in a dimly lit honky tonk, while others try to drown out their sorrows as it’s playing on the jukebox. You do make a pretty good point, though, on a lot of bars and clubs likely catering more to the line dancing crowds by the mid 90’s though.

  4. Brooks & Dunn is noteworthy if for no other reasons than the consistency with which the duo brought drive, energy, and intensity to their music. As much as Dunn is the celebrated vocalist, a lot of the punch and playfulness in their performances come from Kix Brooks.

    The two of them certainly know how to play to their audience.

  5. Every one is a music critic. Just enjoy the song for what it is. A fun tune by the greatest country duo ever. Period

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