“I Didn’t Know My Own Strength“
Written by Rick Bowles and Robert Byrne
#1 (2 weeks)
August 12, 1995
Lorrie Morgan rebounds at radio with her final No. 1 hit to date.
The Road to No. 1
After “What Part of No” topped the charts, Watch Me produced the top twenty hit “I Guess You Had to Be There” and the top ten hit “Half Enough.” After three platinum albums, Morgan released the gold-selling War Paint, which was ignored by country radio despite its strong sales. Two of it singles – “My Night to Howl” and “Heart Over Mind” – went top forty. Morgan then released her Greatest Hits collection, led off by her final No. 1 single to date.
The No. 1
“I Didn’t Know My Own Strength” is a bright and sprightly pop-country number, merging Morgan’s Nashville Sound vocals with flavors of sixties pop. It serves as an effective bridge to where women were in the genre by the mid-nineties, moving away from the heartbreak queen framework of her earlier hits and asserting her independence and resilience.
“Then the times got tough,” she proclaims, “and I knew what I was made of.”
Because it taps into those classic sounds, the record has a timeless feel while embracing a contemporary point of view. It’s one of her most effective and enduring hits.
The Road From No. 1
Greatest Hits eventually became her top-selling album, reaching double platinum by the end of the decade. Radio ran hot and cold with her during those years, but her next two albums each went gold: Greater Need produced the top ten hit “Good as I Was to You,” and Shakin’ Things Up produced her final top five single, “Go Away.” She went top twenty with “One of Those Nights Tonight” from the latter set, and had her final top twenty hit with “Maybe Not Tonight,” a duet with Sammy Kershaw.
Morgan has remained prolific in the studio since leaving the major label world, releasing several solo sets and two duet albums with her frequent tour mate Pam Tillis.
“I Didn’t Know My Own Strength” gets an A.