Many of you would easily recognize that when the hit “Friends in Low Places” plays on the radio, Garth Brooks would probably be in your mind. But, did you know that the song was originally for George Strait to record? Well, truth be known, he was expected to record it but had it slip off him and just gave a pass.
Unbeknownst to country music fans, this hit almost became a Strait song. But thanks to the King of Country himself, he gave it a pass and now the song is known as one of Garth Brooks’ biggest hits.
This story was narrated in Garth Brooks – The Anthology Part 1. It is the first part of Brooks’ written book that details the first five albums of the country star. In addition, he revealed that the two biggest songs of his career almost did not get to him.
Garth was inspired by George
With the incredible success of George Strait in the ‘70s up until the ‘90s, Garth Brooks got inspired by him and wanted to be just like the former. In fact, gaining the title “The King of Country” is of no easy task at all.
In one of his interviews, Brooks said that he wanted to be just like Strait for years before he signed a recording contract. As always, he has looked up to him. Had he done his way, The King of Country would have recorded “Friends in Low Places” instead of Brooks. But, fate has done its work and everything fell into the right place.
Turning on page 82 of his Anthology, Brooks wrote that Strait had the opportunity to record his song but gave it a pass.
Admittedly, Strait rejecting Brooks song challenged the latter and recorded it his own. And, during the demo of the song, he tried and sang a pretty good imitation of the king.
“Friends in Low Places:” Brooks’ Mega Hit
Following his interview, Brooks recalled:
“I did my best George Strait on it years before I ever had a record deal…”
After hearing the song and performing it, he continued to make good music. He even made “Friends in Low Places” a regular performance on his pre-fame tours.
In 1990, Brooks signed a contract to make the song really his own. He then released his second album, No Fences, in that same year. Fortunately, the album sold over 17 million units. And, his singles, “Friends in Low Places,” reached no. 1 on its eighth week and remained on top for four more weeks.
Moreover, the song then became known as Garth Brooks’ biggest hit, which was hailed as the 1990 Single of the Year by both the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association.
Watch Garth Brooks singing the song that was almost not his:
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