Guess we can all agree that Rodney Crowell songs are some of the best in country music, proving how talented this country star is in multiple ways.
In addition to his charismatic voice, Crowell is an accomplished songwriter and producer. In fact, several other artists, such as Emmylou Harris, Rosanne Cash, Merle Haggard, and so much more, have benefited from his talent.
But Crowell made a name for himself too. He had his own taste of success as a solo artist. So today, we’re going to look back at some of our favorite songs by Crowell.
1. “I Walk the Line (Revisited)”
Rodney Crowell has been a big country fan ever since he was a kid, and Johnny Cash’s 1956 hit “I Walk the Line” is one of the songs that changed his life.
So, in 1998, Crowell covered the song as a duet with the country legend himself. Crowell released it as a single from his 2001 album, The Houston Kid, with the title “I Walk the Line (Revisited).” Though it did not use the song’s original melody – Cash sang the same original lyrics but with a different melody, and they were added into Crowell’s version.
2. “Shelter from the Storm”
Written and recorded by Bob Dylan in 1974, “Shelter from the Storm” was renowned as the soundtrack to the romantic-comedy drama Jerry Maguire. It sings about the misery of not knowing what you have until it’s gone.
Over three decades later, Crowell recorded the song as a duet with Emmylou Harris, transforming it into something completely different than what it once was. Their splendid vocal chemistry is absolutely undeniable.
3. “She’s Crazy for Leaving”
“She’s Crazy for Leaving” was written by Crowell with country singer-songwriter Guy Clark, who originally released his version in 1981 for his album The South Coast of Texas that Crowell has produced.
Seven years later, Crowell recorded the song and released it as the third single from his 1988 album Diamonds & Dirt. His version went to the No. 1 spot on the Billboard’s US Country Songs chart, where it stayed for a week, spending a total of fourteen weeks on that chart.
4. “Making Memories of Us”
This is one of Crowell’s songs that has been recorded by several artists, with Keith Urban’s version being the most popular one, reaching No. 1 on Billboard’s US Country Songs chart.
Crowell revealed he wrote the song as a last-minute Valentine’s gift to his wife, Claudia Church – “pledging the better parts of myself to her,” the singer explained. He finished the song within just two hours, which Crowell said is rare for him.
He recorded the song in 2004, the same day Urban did.
5. “Please Remember Me”
Crowell teamed up with Will Jennings to write “Please Remember Me,” and Crowell released it as the lead and only single off his 1995 album Jewel of the South. However, it only peaked at No. 69 on the country chart.
For years later, Tim McGraw covered the country ballad. And it quickly snagged the country chart’s top spot and was a crossover success, peaking at No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100.
6. “Many a Long and Lonesome Highway”
Here’s another timeless and classic song written by Crowell and Jennings.
Crowell released the song as the first single off his 1989 album Keys to the Highway, and it peaked at No. 3 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart.
7. “It’s Such a Small World”
“It’s Such a Small World” is one of the many songs Crowell recorded as a duet with his ex-wife Rosanne Cash.
It sings about two former lovers who ran into each other by chance in New York City, after not seeing each other for so many years. They started reminiscing about their old relationship, which eventually led to spending an evening together.
8. “I Ain’t Living Long Like This”
Before Crowell released his version in 1978, it was first recorded by Gary Stewart and subsequently by Emmylou Harris.
In 1979, Jennings recorded the song, and it turned out to be another country No. 1 hit for the legend.
9. “Til I Gain Control Again”
Crowell wrote the “Til I Gain Control Again” to show off his own writing skill while still working for Jerry Reed’s publishing company and hanging out with several notable songwriters in Nashville.
It was then covered by multiple high-profile artists, including Emmylou Harris, Crystal Gayle, and Waylon Jennings.
10. “Above and Beyond”
When Crowell released his fifth studio album, Diamonds & Dirt, it yielded five country No. 1 hits – “Above and Beyond” was the fifth and final No. 1, not only on the album but also on his entire career.
So, did one of your favorite Rodney Crowell Songs make it to the list?