Dixie Chicks, Dierks Bentley Couldn’t Hold Their ‘Whiskey’
Songs may be a dime a dozen, but hit songs are hard to come by. Still, some of country music's biggest gems go a long time before seeing the light of day. Take, for instance, the 2005 CMA Song of the Year, 'Whiskey Lullaby' – co-written by Jon Randall and Country Music Hall of Famer "Whisperin'" Bill Anderson.
"The interesting thing about 'Whiskey Lullaby' is it sat on the shelf for well over three years before Brad (Paisley) recorded it," Bill tells The Boot. "Actually, the Dixie Chicks put it on hold first. This was before they had all their problems, so when their act kind of imploded, Brad had heard the song and told me he'd like to put a secondary hold on the song in case the Dixie Chicks don't do it."
In the meantime, Dierks Bentley took a listen to the song but decided to pass on it. "I turned down 'Whiskey Lullaby' (because) I never heard it as a duet," Dierks explains to the Boot. "The guy who co-wrote that song is one of my good friends – Jon Randall. I thought, 'It's a great song, but it's pretty dang depressing.' I write plenty of songs like that. It was just not for me. That's why I end up writing most of my music ... every line has to be right for me because I'm singing these songs for the rest of my life. But, I love 'Whiskey Lullaby.' It's one of my favorite songs that Brad sings."
Once Brad could officially stake claim to the song, he called Bill to ask his opinion on making it a duet. Bill says he loved the idea.
"I said, 'Who are you going to get to do it?'" the country legend recalls of their phone conversation. "He said, 'Well, I'm going to ask Alison Krauss ... I don't know if we can work out all the legal problems because she's on a different record label, but that's what I'm going to try.' And I said, 'Man, go for it. I think that's a brilliant idea.' And looking back on it, it was a brilliant idea!"