August 8

The Accidental Success of Tracy Byrd’s “The Keeper of the Stars”

In 1993, the country music world was introduced to the incredibly talented Tracy Byrd. But did you know country music was just his backup plan? Byrd actually studied business at Texas State University and sang for fun in a band called Rimshot in Beaumont, Texas. 

One day, the twenty-year-old Byrd was persuaded by friends to cover Hank Williams’ “Your Cheatin’ Heart” in a mall recording studio. The owner was impressed and sent the recording into a talent contest. One thing led to another, and Byrd had found his real calling. He decided to pursue a career in music and signed to MCA Records in 1992.

Tracy Byrd became a household name on the Country Music Scene in 1993 when his third single, called “Holdin’ Heaven,” off his self-titled debut album, hit No. 1 on the Billboard Country Charts. The country star’s follow-up album, No Ordinary Man, was released just a year later, and it was a big success for Byrd. No Ordinary Man sold over two million copies and produced four Top 5 hit songs, including “The Keeper of the Stars.”

“The Keeper of the Stars” peaked at No. 2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart and was named Song of the Year at the CMA Awards a year after its release.

Surprisingly, “The Keeper of the Stars” Was An Accidental Success

Written by Dickey Lee, Danny Mayo, and Karen Staley, the narrator in the touching song addressed his lover, telling her that someone must have been responsible for bringing them together. That someone is defined as being “the keeper of the stars.”

“It was no accident me finding you. Someone had a hand in it, long before we ever knew. Now I just can’t believe you’re in my life. Heaven’s smilin’ down on me as I look at you tonight,” the song begins as he tipped his hat to the keeper of the stars.

However, much like Byrd’s music career, “The Keeper of the Stars” was an accidental success. The song was never intended to be a single but was released as one due to its popularity in live performances. 

And what’s even more interesting is that the song ended up with two versions. Byrd felt he sang the song better in a lower key, so he released one with semitone lower than the album version. The second version was also used in the song’s music video.

But whatever version you’ll listen to, guess we can all agree that “The Keeper of the Stars” is an all-time great love song. And Tracy Byrd will forever be known not only for his party hits and catchy sing-alongs but as well as his passionate ballads that have since become wedding day favorites. 

Fall in love with Tracy Byrd’s performance of “The Keeper of the Stars” in the video below.


Tracy Byrd

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