Carolyn Kruse

Carolyn Kruse

What’s the fascinaiton with 90s Country? It’s “hotter than a hoochie-coochie” right now, (to quote Kane Brown and his latest hit, “Like I Love Country Music” referring to Alan Jackson’s “Chattahoochee”). The fascination with 90s country music is real. You hear it in the subtle and not- so- subtle musical influences on radio, and you see it in titles. There was Walker Hayes “90s Country” from 2018, and Lauren Alaina’s “Ladies in the 90s” from 2019. Although not credited for their contriubution, that is Brooks and Dunn singing on Kane’s latest hit, “Like I Love Country Music,” provinding the “I’m a Brand New Man” line.

The love of 90s country is prevelant in what you are listening to now. There’s all kinds of buzz around Cole Swindell’s current single, “She Had Me At Head’s Carolina.” And no, Jo Dee Messina does not provide any vocals on this, but is featured in his video for the song. Holliston’s Jo Dee Messina scored her first big hit in 1996 with “Heads Carolina, Tails California” Cole put his spin on the original, with some help from Thomas Rhett, Ashley Gorley and Jesse Frasure. The original songwriters of Jo Dee Messina’s hit also get credit on the new version. From the looks of it, this could be Cole’s biggest hit yet.

Who’s obsessing over the vintage sounds? According to data, compiled by Spotify and shared with Taste of Country , it’s the Gen Zers who are fascinated with 90s country. And it all makes sense. They grew up listening to it. So, while Matthew and Emily (2 of the most popular names in the 90s) were bopping in playgroup to Shania Twain’s “Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under,” they were forming their future warm, fuzzy feelings toward the genre and era. Think of all the great music that defind the decade of the 1990s. What’s your favorite 90s country song? Let’s Dive into some of the biggest and best of country music in the 90s,  from the trendsetters to the record breakers. Check out a few favorites here, in no particular order.

  • "Boot Scootin' Boogie" by Brooks and Dunn

    What a way to kick off the 90s!  In 1991 this gem jumped out, made you want to move, inspired a dance movement and a lifestyle. I mean remember, those jeans, and those shirts? Brooks and Dunn released their 4th consecutive #1 from their debut album, Brand New Man, and it was fire. The # hits and awards flooded in for this hot duo.

  • "Should've Been A Cowboy"by Toby Keith

    Right around the same exact time as this radio station went on the air in Boston, early in 1993, Toby Keith released his debut single. “Should’ve Been A Cowboy” was an immediate hit, and went on to become the most played country song of the 1990s.

  • "You're Still The One" by Shania Twain

    In 1998, already 5 #1 singles in, Shania Twain released “You’re Still the One.” It was massively consumed by the public, to the point in which it spilled over into the pop world and became Shania’s first crossover hit. The song went on to win the Grammy Award for in 1999 for Best Country Song and Best Female Country Vocal.

  • "Strawberry Wine" by Deana Carter

    The debut single for the then new and unknown artist, Deana Carter, not only became one of the biggest hits of the 1990s, but also helped ignite a change in direction for country music. It was the lead off single from Did I Shave My Legs For This?  “Strawberry Wine,” which recently celebrated it’s 25th anniversary picked up the Single and Song of the Year Awards in 1997 at the Country Music Association Awards (CMA’s).

  • "Chattachochee" by Alan Jackson

    You couldn’t escape that opening guitar riff in “Chattachoochee;” it seemed to follow you whever you went, in 1993. It was the sound of summer, and became one of Alan’s 26 #1 hits. Who could forget the video for this jam? It featured Jackson water skiing, while wearing his signature faded, ripped blue jeans

  • "Wide Open Spaces"- The Chicks

    You never forget the first time you heard the Chicks on the radio. Natalie, Emily and Martie made country music cool. They looked cool, they played mulitple instruments. And they were a girl band!  They seemed smart and sassy. However, their sassy wasn’t pop, it was folk- rock- cool sass. The group earned legions of female fans almost immediately. “Wide Open Spaces” released in the summer of 1998, became the Chicks’ first platinum certified single. It was the title track of their debut album and went to #1.

  • "I Cross My Heart" by George Strait

    Even though the 1980s belonged to George Strait, millions of new fans discovered him in the 1990s. It was thanks in part to his starring role in a movie about a country singer, called Pure Country. The movie was accompanied by a George Strait soundtrack, including the monster- hit love song, “I Cross My Heart.”

  • "Friends In Low Places"by Garth Brooks

    You cannot even discuss 90s country without the mention of Garth Brooks. The man changed the face of country music forever. He made going to a country concert an experience, not just a concert. He was a showman, a pioneer, a singer, songwriter and trailblazer. And “Friends In Low Places” helped to define an error. It was 1990, and the world would never be the same again. (No official video was released for this song. Enjoy the live performance)

  • "Fast As You" by Dwight Yoakam

    When you are discovered playing traditional sounding country music in a Los Angeles punk club, you know you are edgy and cool beyond borders. I had Dwight Yoakam’s album “This Time” with me, pretty much wherever I went in the mid 90s. There were many great cuts, one of my favorites being the lead-off single, “Ain’t That Lonely Yet.” He was pure country, but also so modern in his approach. The song that really connected with fans was “Fast As You,” certainly in part from it’s sexy video. Dwight made up his own genre, really. Let’s call it Kentucky bluegrass rock ‘n roll.

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