The song was released as the third and final single off McEntire’s album Reba: Duets. However, for the song’s radio release, Chesney’s vocals were replaced by one of the song’s writers, Skip Ewing.
The single peaked at No. 15 on the Billboard country singles charts, while No. 4 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100. And for most of its chart run, “Every Other Weekend” was not credited to any duet partner.
The Heart-Tugging Story Of A Divorced Couple
Written by Skip Ewing and Connie Harrington, “Every Other Weekend” tells the tale of a divorced couple who share their children’s custody. Every other weekend, they would then trade off the kids.
Despite being divorced, the former couple is still in love with each other and wishes to be together, but they don’t have the courage to tell each other, especially in front of their kids. And within the few moments they were together every other weekend, they feel like a family again.
“I can’t tell her I love her. I can’t tell him I love him. Cause there’s too many questions and ears in the car. So, I don’t tell him I miss him. I don’t tell her I need her. She’s over me, that’s where we are. He’s over me, that’s where we are. We’re as close as we might ever be again. Every other weekend,” the two singers alternately sing, backed by a string section and a piano.
“Every Other Weekend” is absolutely dripping with vulnerability and hurt. Songs with such emotional elements have always been McEntire’s sweet spot. So, it was no longer a surprise when it changed Jim Malec’s mind, author of then-country music blog The 9513.
Malec often criticizes the current state of country radio, saying “it’s too homogeneous, too fluffy, too commercial.” However, he finds “Every Other Weekend” as “the .0001% that makes me proud of country music. I hope radio plays the hell out of this.”
The song was also accompanied by a music video which stars Steve Howey and Joanna García as the two troubled parents. The two also played husband and wife Van and Cheyenne Montgomery on the hit TV sitcom, Reba – which also starred McEntire. Though both Chesney and Ewing did not appear in the video, they used Chesney’s recording. You can watch it below.
Kenny Chesney, Reba McEntire