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Kenny Chesney, ‘The Good Stuff’ — Story Behind the Song

Celebrated songwriter Craig Wiseman talks to The Boot about ‘The Good Stuff,’ which he and Jim Collins wrote together. Kenny Chesney took the song to No. 1 in 2002.

The security guard where we were writing that day, Rusty Martin, was a friend of ours. He had lost his wife to cancer. In fact, he had moved up [to Nashville] because of that. Jim and I were just about to write another song. We were talking about, what if you just sat there and watched your wife die. We both just sat there and were sort of stunned for a minute. We said, ” OK, let’s get a cup of coffee and write a song!”

That [thought] was obviously still in the room. It was not [Martin’s] story or anything, but we definitely had the wisdom of somebody there in that song, that person being the bartender, knowing a relationship like that. I actually played Rusty the song. I told him the song was inspired by him in some ways, so I want to make sure he was OK with it. He went home and played it for his daughter.

I had gotten in touch with the funeral home where he had buried his wife and had a matching foot stone made for her that was engraved with ‘The Good Stuff.’ I went and gave it to him at the No. 1 party. Everybody was crying. I always say this song came about because of three long, happy marriages, and two of them are still going.

NEXT: The Top 10 Kenny Chesney Songs

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