Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties: Tracy Lawrence, “Stars Over Texas”

“Stars Over Texas

Tracy Lawrence

Written by Larry Boone, Tracy Lawrence, and Paul Nelson

Radio & Records

#1 (1 week)

September 27, 1996

Tracy Lawrence again demonstrates the difference between a singer and a stylist.

The Road to No. 1

“Time Marches On” was Tracy Lawrence’s biggest chart hit, and he kept the momentum going with two additional No. 1 singles from the album of the same name.  Up first is “Stars Over Texas.”

The No. 1

“Stars Over Texas” doesn’t break any new ground lyrically, relying heavily on frequently used metaphors of unconditional love.  The most creative thing about it is how it pairs the idea of hanging the moon for someone with the eternity of the heavens: “As long as there’s stars over Texas, I’ll hang the moon for you.”

So why does it sound so much better than the string of love songs we’ve been covering lately?

Simply because Tracy Lawrence is more than a singer. He’s a stylist.  His distinctive vocal signature, coupled with his gift for interpreting a lyric, gives “Stars Over Texas” the special sauce it needs to stand out among the glut of slow, traditional ballads being engineered in every Music Row studio during that time.

Among Lawrence’s own output, it’s one of his least memorable No. 1 singles.  But it’s a stone cold classic when put up against the rest of the ballads topping the charts by other male acts at the time.

The Road From No. 1

A much more interesting No. 1 single from this album is up next, and we’ll cover it in early 1997.

“Stars Over Texas” gets a B+.

Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties

Previous: Ty Herndon, “Living in a Moment” |

Next: Trisha Yearwood, “Believe Me Baby (I Lied)”

2 Comments

  1. Surely, I can’t be the only one who thinks of Walker, Texas Ranger every time I hear this one? In the early 00’s, after not having heard it in a while, I suddenly heard this song playing on TV one night while my step dad was watching the episode where Tracy performed this song at Walker and Alex’s wedding. Ever since then, that’s what I’ve always associated this song with, lol.

    The song itself is simply gorgeous, and it’s definitely one of the more standout love ballads from the mid 90’s, imo. This wasn’t a pop/AC leaning love ballad being sung by an otherwise neo-traditional leaning artist, which is what many mid 90’s country love ballads were. It was a neo-traditional flavored love song being sung by a neo-traditional artist. It’s also beautifully produced by Tracy and Flip Anderson. I especially love the fiddle and steel parts that open and close the song, and I always thought it had such a beautiful melody. The “As long as there’s stars over Texas” line always puts a nice image in my mind, as well. And of course, Tracy puts his own unique stamp on it with his unmistakable baritone and believable, sincere performance. It’s overall another one of my favorites of Tracy’s waltzes that continued my love for his music in the 90’s, and I always loved hearing it on the radio as a kid during its chart run.

    Unfortunately, as you mentioned, it tends to be one of his more forgotten/overlooked hits when discussing Tracy’s 90’s music, and I believe that it’s simply because it’s one of those songs that, for whatever reason, most stations just quit playing after its chart run was over. I know I don’t recall ever hearing it after 1996 until that time my step dad was watching Walker, Texas Ranger, as I mentioned earlier. Even when my dad got Sirius put into his car in 2004, I think I only heard “Stars Over Texas” maybe once or twice on Prime Country, but you could always count on hearing “Time Marches On,” “Alibis,” and “Sticks And Stones” regularly. Heck, I think I even heard “I See It Now” more than this one. While I’m sure Prime Country has improved its playlist since then, back then I found them to be too repetitive and limited in song selection, and it was always very refreshing to once in a while hear them play a “deeper” cut like “Stars Over Texas” or The Kinleys’ “Please” (which I only heard once). I guess that’s just one more thing that encouraged me to build up a good sized cd collection, lol.

  2. And along comes a singer with style, bravado, and personality. Jamie mentioned sincerity; I do believe Tracy Lawrence when he sings. Damn, this feature needed a song and a performance like this to help us keep the faith! Songs like this from Lawrence kept me wanting more from him whereas the previous ballads from the latest generation of male star had me hoping many of never released another single to radio again.

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