Walker Hayes’ ’90’s Country': All 22 Song References, Explained
Walker Hayes takes listeners on a stroll down memory lane in his newest single, "90's Country." The song flashes back to some of the decade's most famous hits, telling a love story through song titles.
"I feel like, when we are young especially, while we are experiencing so many 'firsts,' when songs move us, we recall exactly where we were when we heard them. Also, the experience of hearing a song for the first time has so much to do with the emotions it will evoke in us for the rest of our lives," Hayes tells CMT. "So, “90’s Country” is my tribute to the musical time period that moved me the most. I listened to '90s country with my mother in the car driving to the beach, with my father on the Waffle House jukebox, and with my brother in his truck driving to baseball games. These songs are very nostalgic."
Hayes' tune is jam-packed with a total of 22 '90s country song titles -- but, he says, there could have been more in there.
"Unfortunately, I couldn’t fit all of my favorites in it," he admits. "It was important to me to make sure that, if a listener didn’t recognize the references, that there be a cool story inside the lyric as well."
Can you catch all of the '90s country song references in Hayes' "90's Country"? Press play above to hear the song, then read on as The Boot breaks it down for you.
In "90's Country": "Strawberry wine on your lips ..."
Written by Matraca Berg and Gary Harrison, "Strawberry Wine" was Carter's first No. 1 hit, following its release in 1996. The song was her debut single, from her debut album, Did I Shave My Legs for This?
In "90's Country": "...got me amazed.."
Written by Marv Green, Aimee Mayo and Chris Lindsey, "Amazed" was released in 1999 as the second single from Lonestar's third studio album, Lonely Grill. The tune would become the band's longest-running No. 1 hit, spending eight weeks at the top of the charts.
In "90's Country": "How 'bout you let this cowboy take you away?"
"Cowboy, Take Me Away" was written by one-third of the Dixie Chicks, Martie Seidel, with Marcus Hummon, for the Chicks' second album, Fly, released in 1999. The chart-topping song became one of the Dixie Chicks' signature tunes.
In "90's Country": "Gimme that wink, and I'll give it right back."
McCoy struck country gold with his 1994 hit "Wink," which spent four weeks at No. 1. The second single off McCoy's album No Doubt About It, the song was written by Bob DiPiero and Tom Shapiro.
In "90's Country": "You know you like it, you love it, you want some more of that."
McGraw's 1995 hit song "I Like It, I Love It," was written by Jeb Stuart Anderson, Steve Dukes and Mark Hall. The song was McGraw's third No. 1 single on the country charts.
In "90's Country": "Do you love me? / If you do, check yes, please."
Written by Danny Wells and Dana Hunt Black, "Check Yes or No" was the lead single from Strait's 1995 album Strait Out of the Box and hit No. 1 on both Canadian and U.S. charts.
In "90's Country": "Girl, you know you think my tractor's sexy."
Chesney's 1999 hit song "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy" became a fan favorite that established him as a fixture in country music in the '90s and beyond. It was written by Jim Collins and Paul Overstreet.
In "90's Country": "Got me spinnin' like a jukebox junkie."
Written by Mellons, Jerry Cupit and Janice Honeycutt, this 1994 tune was the second single from Mellons' eponymous debut album and hovered near the top of the charts in the fall of that year.
In "90's Country": "Shake it, Vidalia ..."
Kershaw's "Vidalia" dropped as the second single from his 1996 album Politics, Religion and Her. Written by Tim Nichols and Mark D. Sanders, the song peaked at No. 10 on the charts.
In "90's Country": "... queen of my double-wide trailer."
"Queen of My Double Wide Trailer" was written by Dennis Linde and recorded by Kershaw in 1993. It peaked at No. 7 in the U.S. and at No. 3 in Canada that year.
In "90's Country": "... But I'm just gonna shut up and kiss ya."
Carpenter's 1994 hit "Shut Up and Kiss Me" was the lead single off her album Stones in the Road. Her only No. 1 tune, the song also won Carpenter a Grammys trophy for Best Female Country Vocal Performance. It was written by Carpenter and features Lee Roy Parnell accompanying on slide guitar, Benmont Tench playing piano and Trisha Yearwood providing backing vocals.
In "90's Country": "You see that water tower? / Girl, we can drink on it / I'll paint your name in John Deere Green on it."
Diffie's 1993 hit was written by Dennis Linde and peaked at No. 5 on the country charts. It was the third single from Diffie's album Honky Tonk Attitude.
In "90's Country": "I cross my heart..."
Strait hit it out of the park with "I Cross My Heart," the lead single from his 1992 album Pure Country, which also happened to be the soundtrack for a movie of the same name. The song hit No. 1 on both U.S. and Canadian charts that year.
In "90's Country": "... I ain't no Walkaway Joe."
Written by Vince Melamed and Greg Barnhill, "Walkaway Joe" was recorded by Yearwood in late 1992. Featuring background vocals by the Eagles' Don Henley, the tune hit No. 2 on the charts. The sultry video stars a young Matthew McConaughey.
In "90's Country": "I'm gonna get you to the church on Cumberland Road."
Written by Bob DiPiero, John Scott Sherrill and Dennis Robbins, "Church on Cumberland Road" was recorded by Shenandoah in 1989 and hit the top of the charts.
In "90's Country": "Just like that bottle of wine / Might be a little dust on that bottle / Won't it taste so fine? / Just like you."
"Dust on the Bottle," written by Murphy, was the fourth single from the artist's 1995 album Out With a Bang. It was destined to be his only No. 1 hit for more than two decades, until his 2018 single "Everything's Gonna Be Alright" -- a collaboration with Kenny Chesney -- topped the charts.
In "90's Country": "I'm sold to the lady in the front seat."
Montgomery's tongue-twisting tune was written by Richard Fagan and Robb Royer and hit No. 1 on both Canadian and U.S. charts in 1995.
In "90's Country": "You know you're beautiful / Don't act like you don't."
"She Don't Know She's Beautiful" was Kershaw's first and only No. 1 hit in both the U.S. and Canada, in 1993. Written by Paul Harrison and Bob McDill, the song was the first single from Kershaw's album Haunted Heart.
In "90's Country": "Ain't settlin' for no burger and no grape Sno-Cone."
Jackson's iconic hit earned him CMA Single of the Year and Song of the Year in 1993. Written by Jackson with Jim McBride, "Chattahoochee" was the third single from his album A Lot About Livin' (And a Little 'bout Love).
In "90's Country": "I ain't in it for your daddy's money."
Recorded by Ricochet in 1996, "Daddy's Money" was written by Bob DiPiero, Mark D. Sanders and Steve Seskin. It was the second single from the band's eponymous debut album, and it topped the charts in July of '96.
In "90's Country": "Baby, don't be stupid / You know I love ya."
Written by Twain and her then-husband, Robert John "Mutt" Lange, "Don't Be Stupid (You Know I Love You)" was the second single from Twain's record-setting album Come on Over. It peaked at No. 6 on the country charts.
In "90's Country": "Blame it all on my roots..."
Brooks kicked off the '90s with this hit, written by Dewayne Blackwell and Earl Bud Lee. It was the lead single from his album No Fences, spent four weeks at No. 1 and earned the artist a CMA for Single of the Year in 1990.