Country Music Memories: Garth Brooks Gets First No. 1


Thirty-one years ago today (Dec. 9, 1989) is a day that Garth Brooks will undoubtedly never forget. It was on that date that the country music hitmaker earned his first No. 1 song with “If Tomorrow Never Comes,” a tune that he co-wrote with Kent Blazy for his self-titled freshman album.

“There are a lot of great writers in Nashville, and Kent Blazy and his wife Sharon, who are wonderful people, had been trying to make a living from Kent’s songwriting. Kent had had some stuff recorded by Gary Morris, but he hadn’t had a No. 1,” Brooks recalls. “I thought we had something when we completed the song, but I didn’t really know it would be a hit until I heard it by chance on the radio in my truck, and I knew we had something. There was something in it that moved me, and I could feel the tears come to my eyes.”

“If Tomorrow Never Comes” was the first of several successful collaborations between Brooks and Blazy, including “Ain’t Goin’ Down (‘Til the Sun Comes Up),” “It’s Midnight, Cinderella,” “Somewhere Other Than the Night” and the George Jones duet “Beer Run (B Double E Double Are You In?).” However, “If Tomorrow Never Comes” remains one of Brooks’ favorites.

“”If Tomorrow Never Comes” will probably always be my signature song,” the artist explains. “I ran the idea for this song by what seemed like a thousand writers, and no one really seemed to understand what I was looking for. On the day that Bob Doyle, my co-manager, introduced me to Kent Blazy, I passed this idea by Kent, and he had the first verse down within 15 seconds. I could tell he just felt it.”

Still, the song almost became a hit for someone else.

“A lot of times, you’re not really sure about a song, but Garth and I were really pumped about this,” Blazy recalls to Country Weekly. “We pitched it to several artists right away, and George Jones actually had it on hold.”

“If Tomorrow Never Comes” earned Brooks an American Music Award for Favorite Country Single; it also helped him win Top Male Vocalist and Entertainer of the Year at the ACM Awards, as well as the CMA Awards Horizon Award (now New Artist of the Year).

“If Tomorrow Never Comes” was the second single released from Brooks’ debut album. It was followed by “Not Counting on You,” which peaked at No. 2, and “The Dance,” which stayed at No. 1 for three consecutive weeks.

WATCH: How Well Do You REALLY Know Garth Brooks?

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