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Rodney Crowell Teams up with Harlan Howard to Create Highway 101 Hit Song “Somewhere Tonight” 

Highway 101 + Somewhere Tonight

American country music group Highway 101’s “Somewhere Tonight” is one of their greatest hits that paved the way for slick 1980s country sound when it was released in September 1987. It is the third single from their debut album Highway 101 and became the band’s third country hit, making it their first of four times. 

Rodney Crowell and Harlan Howard were behind the success of the chart-topping single. The two tunesmiths’ lyrical genius combined with Highway 101’s pastoral sound became the group’s most popular song as it spent two weeks as No.1 on the Hot Country Songs. 

Highway 101 added another three No. 1s on the Billboard chart with “Cry, Cry, Cry”, “(Do You Love Me) Just Say Yes,” and “Who’s Lonely Now.” 

With Paulette Carlson as the band’s lead vocalist, Jack Daniels as guitarist, Curtis Stone as bass guitarist, and drummer Cactus Moser, the band recorded three successful albums.

Meaning of the Song

“Somewhere Tonight” was conceptualized by  Rodney Crowell. He then collaborated with respected tunesmith Harlan Howard. This was an attempt to incorporate Buck Owens’ classical country sound during the early 1960s into the song. 

Randy Travis initially recorded the song, but he was skeptical and removed it from his Storms of Life album. It was then given to Highway 101, and only then it was released.

The song is about the yearning to be loved by a man who left because they weren’t compatible. Describing the man as a “live wire” and the narrator as someone who preferred “better homes and garden parties” captures their dissimilarities, which leaves the narrator lonesome.

Backed with upbeat rhythms, Paulette Carlson’s effortless and expressive vocals added depth to the lyrics’ melancholic meaning.

Nod your head to the beat and sing along to Highway 101’s “Somewhere Tonight” with the link below.

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