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January 15

Come and Groove with Billy Ray Cyrus’ “Achy Breaky Heart”

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The song won’t break your heart, no worries

It wasn’t Billy Ray Cyrus‘s original songwriting, but rather, a lucky break that came at a crucial point for the 31-year-old Kentucky native. Don Von Tress who was a member of the United States Army, is the song’s actual writer. He, however, did not become very active in the music industry and chose to live privately with his family in Tennessee.

This song best represents the country music craze in the early ’90s. As the audience for “Old Country” artists like Willie Nelson and George Strait waned, younger listeners turned to “New Country,” which had slick production and countrified pop melodies.

“Achy Breaky Heart” led the charge, crossing over to Top 40 radio and becoming a huge hit. This song became the most popular and prominent of the United States line-dancing craze of the early ’90s. It spawned a dance called “The Achy Breaky,” which became prevalent in country dance bars.

Line dancing is mostly practiced in western country dance bars, social clubs, dance clubs, and ballrooms.

Maybe it was really meant for Billy Ray

The Oak Ridge Boys should have recorded the song in the early 1990’s. However, Duane Allen, the lead singer decided against recording it after said he did not like the words “achy breaky”. The Marcy Brothers then recorded it under the title “Don’t Tell My Heart” in 1991, although their version changed some lyrics.

Billy Ray Cyrus heard Von Tress’s version of the song and chose to include it on his debut album Some Gave All in 1992.

The song reached number 23 on Country Music Television’s (CMT’s) 100 Greatest Videos in 2008. Further, a review from Cash Box magazine was positive, stating that:

“The song is good, but it’s his performance that will keep you wired.”

Cyrus claims he was too bashful to get on the floor at high school dances. His “Achy Breaky Heart” performance is a clear proof that he bravely came out of his shell. Well, I guess that’s what passion with country do, it transforms you into someone you can best possibly be.

Come and Groove with Billy Ray Cyrus’ “Achy Breaky Heart” 1

Just an additional information, in August 2017, the Cyrus family made an “Achy Breaky Heart” Carpool karaoke reunion.


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achy breaky heart, billy ray cyrus


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