“Blue Clear Sky“
Written by Bob DiPiero, John Jarrard, and Mark D. Sanders
#1 (2 weeks)
June 8 – June 15, 1996
Radio & Records
#1 (2 weeks)
May 24 – May 31, 1996
George Strait’s resurgence continues.
The Road to No. 1
After “Check Yes or No” spent multiple weeks at No. 1, Strait Out of the Box produced an additional top five hit: “I Know She Still Loves Me.” Strait then launched the title track of his next studio album, which would become his best-performing set at radio in years.
The No. 1
“Blue Clear Sky” is a simple love song with a slightly awkward lyric. Rhett Akins passed on recording it because of that.
But Rhett Akins is no George Strait, who can knock out an idiosyncratic song better than anyone, being such a stylist.
It’s still radio filler, but he sounds great and the record still sounds fresh and entertaining all of these years later.
The Road From No. 1
The second single from Blue Clear Sky is an even bigger hit, and we’ll cover it soon.
“Blue Clear Sky” gets a B+.
Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties
Previous: Brooks & Dunn, “My Maria” |
I’m surprised Rhett Akins didn’t take the opportunity to sing this song, since it was inspired by Forest Gump, which was a popular movie around that time.
I’m also surprised he didn’t like the lyric considering the atrocious lyrics he was responsible for a decade later as part of the Peach Pickers, as well as some of his other co-writes.
Ha! That actually crossed my mind too.
Hearing Rhett’s 90’s albums and then looking at much of the stuff he’s co-written in the last several years is almost like looking at two different artists.
Technically, it’s not exactly one of his strongest records, but it’s still very enjoyable for what it is, and Strait’s delivery and Tony Brown’s production make it very likeable. I especially love Paul Franklin’s steel on it and Eddie Bayers’ energetic drumming. This is actually another sign of the modern George Strait having arrived, with him having hits with quite a few more simple, likeable mid tempo songs like this in the upcoming years. I still enjoy it after all these years even after tons of recurrent airplay, so that’s definitely saying something. The “walkin’, talkin’ true love” line still makes me smile. :)
I remember also liking this song when it was new. I specifically remember realizing how much I liked it when I heard it playing on the car radio one night just when my dad and I had left my grandparents’ house after visiting them and we were still parked in front of their place. I even remember enjoying it one time shortly after that when it was playing in the car after my parents had taken me to the doctor because I had a sore throat and was coughing like crazy, lol. I was still really enjoying it on the radio as late as 2001.
I actually didn’t know Rhett Akins had passed on it, which is pretty neat to learn. I recall reading somewhere that it was also pitched to Kenny Chesney but he also decided not to record it. It’s kind of ironic, since it definitely sounds more like something that either one of those guys would’ve done in the mid 90’s than it does a typical George Strait song.
I also love the story behind the Forest Gump inspiration of the song. From what I’ve read/heard George liked the song when he first heard it, but didn’t like the saying “blue clear sky” and thought it should’ve been changed to “clear blue sky.” He called up the writers and asked them about it, and they replied that it can’t be changed because the saying came from one of Forest’s lines in the movie. George then called them back and said ” Okay, I guess we’ll be Gumpsters then!” lol.
Still my favourite single from George. It’s so infectious and joyful!
This song has an appeal and staying power that puts it into legitimate contention as one of Strait’s signature songs. This song is sticky as all hell. He sounds so confident, relaxed, and smooth singing it, a vocal stylist in total control of what he is doing.
I remember the first time I heard this song. “Oh, new music from George Strait! So he’s not retiring? Awesome.”
Really, though, that didn’t even scratch the surface of how excited I was for this. I called the music store in the local mall (remember those?) every day from that point asking if they’d gotten a release date for the album. (April 23, 1996, for the record. Day one buy, as has been every Strait album since,)