Story Behind the Song: Zac Brown Band, ‘Chicken Fried’
Zac Brown and Wyatt Durrette co-wrote "Chicken Fried" in the early 2000s. The Zac Brown Band first recorded the song in 2003, then re-recorded it later in the decade and released it as the first single off of their album The Foundation in 2008. That year, the tune earned the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and a Top 20 spot on the Hot 100 (No. 20). It has since been certified quadruple platinum.
Below, Brown tells The Boot about how the song came to be.
Wyatt was a bartender in a club that I used to play at all the time in Atlanta, Dixie Tavern. We were hanging out one night, and he was like, "Well, I kind of write music and write some songs."
The first time we ever sat down to write some songs, we wrote "Whatever It Is." We knew we had something special.
He had a piece called "Chicken Fried" that he had written a long time ago. He sang it to me, and I thought it could be a really good song. We made a list of things that mattered to us and then things that are characteristic of the South. We put every one of those things on that list in the song.
It was right around September 11; I was living with a Marine friend of mine. I was realizing how fortunate we are to be free, travel and to play music or whatever it is that you do as an American that there is a cost that other people have paid for us to be able to do those things and enjoy all the simple things. That's where the patriotic line of the song came from. Sometimes all of the little things get taken for granted, and you forget about them. They're the most important things in life. It was a reminder to myself and a reminder to everybody else to not take the little things for granted or the simple pleasures that really matter.
This story was originally written by Alanna Conaway, and revised by Angela Stefano.
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