“You’re the Reason God Made Oklahoma”
David Frizzell & Shelly West
Written by Larry Collins and Sandy Pinkard; Felice and Boudleaux Bryant
#1 (1 week)
April 11, 1981
It’s okay, folks. We’re going to get through this.
Clint Eastwood’s gotten himself involved in country music again, with this hit collaboration originally appearing on the soundtrack for Any Which Way You Can. It was a big career moment for both David Frizzell and Shelly West. Frizzell had struggled to get traction with his seventies singles, and this was West’s first appearance on any chart. Both of them had a solo No. 1 single after this, so we’ll delve into their biographies then, but they are both relatives of famous country stars.
I don’t buy into the nepo baby nonsense because Pam Tillis and Rosanne Cash exist, but I suppose if one wanted some ammunition, they could use this record. Both singers sound terrible here. This record isn’t representative of their best work as a duo, which improved over time as they grew in confidence and experience.
But “You’re the Reason God Made Oklahoma” really does sound like the product of country music nepotism, like Lefty’s brother and Dottie’s daughter needed work and they figured they’d just throw them on a Clint Eastwood soundtrack. I mean, Clint is singing on it too, so they can’t sound that bad in comparison, right?
Anyway, the songwriters got sued because they ripped off “Rocky Top.” I understand wanting compensation for what’s rightfully theirs, but God it stings to see Felice and Boudleaux Bryant attached to this disaster.
We won’t see this duo again in the feature, but they had a few more hits together. Just consider this their “Achy Breaky Heart” moment and know that they got better, and that both of their solo No. 1 hits are worthy of their chart-topping status.
For comedic value, check out the rest of the soundtrack. Its album cover actually overstates the quality of the music on it.
“You’re the Reason God Made Oklahoma” gets a D.
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