Celebrate the Heart of Country, Americana, and Roots Music!

Drop Us A Line, Y'all

Y'all interested in advertising, partnering up, contributing stories, joining our team, or just got a question? Well, don't be shy, drop us a line!

Follow Us

Here Are The Best Gary Stewart Songs That Once Dominated The Honky Tonks

Gary Stewart Songs
by

With his emotive vibrato along with a hard-hitting blend of honky tonk and Southern rock, Gary Stewart was often cast as a modern-day champion of the raw honky-tonk sound of such 1940s and ’50s country performers. Gary Stewart songs recounting an alcohol-drenched honky-tonk life that paralleled his own struggles have made many country fans laugh, cry, and fall in love.

Gary Stewart was born in Jenkins, Kentucky. In the late ’60s, he escaped a possible lifetime of working in an airplane factory by pitching some songs he’d written in Nashville – following the advice country singer Mel Tillis gave him, whom he met in a honky tonk.

Eventually, a demo tape he made in the early 1970s, with countrified versions of several Motown songs, caught the attention of a Nashville producer. Since then, Stewart’s trip to stardom has been unstoppable. However, success later took an enormous toll on his personal life. Stewart was found dead, reportedly shot himself at his home, a month after his wife of more than four decades died of pneumonia.

RELATED: Here Are Some Facts About Gary Stewart, The King of Honky Tonk

Today, let’s celebrate Stewart’s life and musical career by digging into some of his best hits. Check them out below.

1. She’s Actin’ Single (I’m Drinkin’ Doubles)

From: Out of Hand (1975)

In 1975, Stewart achieved his third top ten hit on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart, which was also his only song to hit No. 1. The honky tonk ballad – which tells the tale of a divorced man who is starting to see other women – stayed atop the chart for a single week. “She’s Actin’ Single” was also covered by several artists, with Ronnie Dunn of Brooks & Dunn being the most notable one.

2. Out of Hand

From: Out of Hand (1975)

This song about an extramarital affair is a great reminder of classic country songs released by the most celebrated artists like Dolly Parton and Merle Haggard. It was released as the title track of Stewart’s second album and peaked at No. 4 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart.

3. Whiskey Trip

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMQP5-lE_UM

From: Little Junior (1978)

Without a doubt, whiskey is the country music’s favorite drink. It has been the subject of countless songs and bad decisions. Stewart had his share with “Whiskey Trip,” which is about drinking your pain and sorrow away. Stewart’s distinctive vibrato voice, evident in this song, will definitely take you on a miles away trip.

4. Brand New Whiskey

From: Brand New (1989)

Stewart went through a hiatus in the early 1980s and decided to stop recording, but six years later, he came back stronger. He recorded the album Brand New, which included fan favorites like the minor hit “Brand New Whiskey.”

5. In Some Room Above the Street

From: Steppin’ Out (1976)

For the rest of the 1970s, Stewart continued playing the honky tonks with his road band. He recorded various albums that spawned several hit singles, including “In Some Room Above the Street,” which would remind you of Stewart’s strong ties to the South. It’s a bit outlaw and a bit lovesick, which makes it perhaps the most cinematic piece in Stewart’s catalog.

6. Your Place or Mine

From: Your Place or Mine (1976)

This untamed classic has charmed the pants off many listeners with Stewart’s blend of sincerity and nervous vibrato. It also featured guest artists Nicolette Larson, Emmylou Harris, and Rodney Crowell.

7. Drinkin’ Thing

From: Out of Hand (1975)

In 1973, Stewart came back to Nashville and recorded a cover version of the Allman Brothers’ “Ramblin’ Man.” However, it is only charted No. 63 on the country chart. A year later, he followed that up with “Drinkin’ Thing” – and that became Stewart’s first top ten hit. Many people relate to the song, which sings about a man battling to resist the temptation of alcohol.  

8. I See the Want To in Your Eyes

From: Out of Hand (1975)

Before this love ballad became a hit for Conway Twitty – whose version reached No. 1 on the country chart, where it stayed for two weeks – it was first recorded by Stewart. Twitty heard Stewart’s version on the radio in Oklahoma and cut it that same year.

9. Ten Years of This

From: Your Place or Mine (1977)

This ode to marital distress has been a favorite of Bob Dylan. Dylan even confessed to Stewart that he had played the honky tonk ballad over and over. Indeed, the record cast a spell over him.

10. You’re Not the Woman You Used to Be

From: You’re Not the Woman You Used to Be (1975)

Lastly, here we have another heartbreaking ballad by Stewart, which sings about a man watching the woman he loves to turn into somebody else he’s no longer familiar with.

More Gary Stewart Songs From The King of the Honky-Tonks

While Gary Stewart lived fast and died hard, he left us with so many beautiful songs that will truly endure the test of time. Here are some of his best tunes you need to know.

  • An Empty Glass (That’s the Way the Day Ends)
  • Flat Natural Born Good-Timin’ Man
  • Oh, Sweet Temptation
  • Quits
  • Single Again
  • She’s Got a Drinking Problem
  • Stone Wall (Around Your Heart)
  • Brotherly Love
  • Those Were the Days
  • Cactus and a Rose
  • Ramblin’ Man
  • I Got a Bad Attitude
  • Shady Streets
  • Smokin’ in the Rockies
  • Let’s Forget That We’re Married

How about you? What are your favorite Gary Stewart songs?

Latest Stories

Watch George Jones as He Pays Tribute To Conway Twitty With "Hello Darlin'"

George Jones Honors Conway Twitty with Powerful Rendition of ‘Hello Darlin’

Days after the world lost the legendary Conway Twitty, another country legend paid tribute to the late singer with an emotional rendition of his iconic “Hello Darlin’,” and it’s none ...

Merle Haggard’s “Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down” Says Alcohol Can’t Heal Wounds

Merle Haggard’s “Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down” Says Alcohol Can’t Heal Wounds

Still not feeling numb after five drinks? If you’re trying to move on from a heartbreak, we hate to break it to you, but Merle Haggard’s lyrics in “Tonight the ...

5 Ashley Cooke Facts You Need to Know

5 Ashley Cooke Facts You Need to Know

On the road to becoming a country breakout star, Ashley Cooke is an up-and-coming artist who is known for her smash hit “Your Place” in 2023. She brings down-to-earth vibes ...

Huercasa Country Festival 2024: What You Need To Know

Huercasa Country Festival 2024: What You Need To Know

Festival Title: Huercasa Country Festival 2024Festival Duration: July 5-7, 2024Venue: Las Delicias Municipal Soccer Field in Riaza, Segovia, SpainPerformers Include: Kaitlin Butts,  Myron Elkins, A Thousand Horses, The Wonder Women ...

Under The Big Sky 2024: What You Need To Know

Under The Big Sky 2024: What You Need To Know

Festival Title:Under The Big Sky 2024Festival Duration:July 12-14, 2024Venue:Big Mountain Ranch in Whitefish, MontanaPerformers Include:Billy Strings, Miranda Lambert, Turnpike Troubadours, and moreTicket Information: Get Your Tickets Here It’s that time ...

Country Jam USA 2024: What You Need To Know

Country Jam USA 2024: What You Need To Know

Festival Title: Country Jam USA 2024Festival Duration: July 18-20, 2024Venue:Eau Claire Event District in Eau Claire, WisconsinPerformers Include:HARDY, Brothers Osborne, Thomas Rhett, and moreTicket Information:Ticket Information: Get Your Tickets Here ...

Country Thunder Saskatchewan 2024: What You Need To Know

Country Thunder Saskatchewan 2024: What You Need To Know

Festival Title: Country Thunder Saskatchewan 2024Festival Duration:July 11-14, 2024Venue:Craven World Campground in Craven, Saskatchewan, CanadaPerformers Include:Luke Combs, Nickelback, Dallas Smith, and moreTicket Information:Get Your Tickets Here Country Thunder Saskatchewan is ...

Windy City Smokeout 2024: What You Need To Know

Windy City Smokeout 2024: What You Need To Know

Festival Title: Windy City Smokeout 2024Festival Duration: July 11-14, 2024Venue: United Centre Parking Lot in Chicago, IllinoisPerformers Include: Thomas Rhett, Parker McCollum, Cody Johnson, Carrie Underwood, and moreTicket Information: Get ...

Over 100,000 Fans Join George Strait As He Sang “Amarillo by Morning”

Over 100,000 Fans Join George Strait As He Sang “Amarillo by Morning”

George Strait bested both his indoor and outdoor record – and the fifty-year record of the largest attendance in the US – at his annual series of one-off performances during ...

Country Concert 2024: What You Need To Know

Country Concert 2024: What You Need To Know

Festival Title: Country Concert 2024Festival Duration: July 11-13, 2024Venue: Hickory Hill Lakes in Fort Laramie, OhioPerformers Include:Cody Johnson, Lainey Wilson, HARDY, and moreTicket Information: Get Your Tickets Here The Midwest’s ...