Why Ronnie Dunn Was ‘Hesitant’ to Cut ‘My Maria’ at First
Ronnie Dunn gave one of his career-defining vocal performances on Brooks & Dunn's "My Maria," but in a new interview, he admits that he was not particularly interested in cutting the song when the idea was first presented to him.
Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn both recently spoke to I Miss … '90s Country Radio With Nick Hoffman on Apple Music Country, giving a wide-ranging interview about their career in which Dunn admits that he was "afraid" to sing "My Maria." B.W Stevenson had previously taken the song to No. 9 on the pop charts after he released it in 1973.
"I was hesitant to do it because I thought, 'Oh man, it's just that falsetto thing,'" Dunn observes. "It's a rock song, in my opinion. And I was very much wrong."
"Ronnie did not want to cut that song, and I did not see that as a cover song," Brooks adds. "It was a regional hit, but I can't tell you how many people to this day think we wrote that song."
Dunn finally relented and cut the song, but Brooks was convinced that he could do it better than the first session turned out.
“I’ve heard him sing probably more than anybody at this point and I knew, man, if I could just convince him, can we please cut it one more time?" Brooks recalls. "And it was weeks after that that it took, because he didn't want to cut it in the first place, and to his credit, he went back and did it again. Man, I was so excited to hear that record the second time.”
Brooks & Dunn's recording of "My Maria" served as the first single from their Borderline album in 1996. Not only did the song reach No. 1, it became the most successful song of the year in country music, and won the pair a Grammy for Best Country Performance By a Vocal Group or Duo.
“I read some article the other day that said, 'It was Brooks & Dunn's probably most defining song,' and that's probably one of the few that we did not write," Brooks shares. "So it kind of hurt my feelings, but I'm over it."
Here Are the Best '90s Country Songs, Including Brooks & Dunn: