Released on February 15, 1993, “The Heart Won’t Lie” was recorded and popularized as a duet between Oklahoma native and country music stars Reba McEntire and Vince Gill. Country music songwriters Kim Carnes and Donna Terry Weiss conceived this wonderful song. Meanwhile, Reba co-produced it with friend and record producer Tony Brown. It was the second single from Reba’s 17th album, It’s Your Call. In addition, it was the A-side of her solo single “Will He Ever Go Away.”
Furthermore, “The Heart Won’t Lie” has been well-received by fans not only in the U. S. but also across the world. Just after its release, it immediately charted at no. 51 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks. After two months in the chart, it then peaked at no. 1 on the Hot Country Songs. Similarly, it also reached the no. 1 spot on the RPM Country Tracks in Canada. Overall, it stayed in the charts for a total of 20 weeks in 1993.
For the year-end charts in 1993, “The Heart Won’t Lie” placed at no. 34 on the Billboard Country Songs while no. 44 on the RPM Country Tracks.
A Song Originally for Reba and Kenny Rogers
Initially, the songwriters and the production intended the song as a duet for Reba McEntire and Kenny Rogers. However, they could not get the sound right and harmonizing was difficult because of their different vocal range. Totally, Rogers gave up the song and Reba took it for herself.
In an interview, Reba reveals the story of the song and how it got to Vince Gill. She says,
“Originally Kenny Rogers and I were looking at doing this song as a duet but we could never get it to sound just right because of the different ranges of our voices. Unfortunately, it just didn’t work out. Later when I was working on a new CD, I remembered that song and called Kenny to see if he was recording it and if not, could I have it and he passed it along to me. We asked Vince Gill to sing the background harmonies on the song. Tony Brown, who was co-producing the CD with me, suggested letting Vince do more than just sing harmony on the song, so he took a couple of verses, and we decided to turn it into a duet.”
As Reba and Vince did the music video for the song, it went everything well for everyone, except for Vince. Here, she tells why,
“He [Vince] doesn’t really care for videos and this one turned into a four-day shoot. It was great to spend time with Vince and get to watch him do what he called his Gomer Pyle imitation for his character. But I had to promise him that if he ever does another song with me, he will never have to suffer through a four-day video shoot again!”
Reba & Vince’s Live Duet in 1994
On February 19, 1994, McEntire and Gill performed this song during the Hot Country Jam held at the Roy Acuff Theater. Both singers delivered a passionate duet and it was poignantly sung. McEntire started out on stage alone before Gill came out and joined her, taking her hand in his. So much to the crowd’s delight, the two country stars satisfied every eye and ear in the theater. The crowd gave both McEntire and Gill a standing ovation at the end of the performance.
WATCH Reba and Vince powerfully sing the best duet song ever, “The Heart Won’t Lie:”
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