It eventually won the CMA compensation for song of the Year, but the roadway wasn"t basic for bill Anderson and also Jon Randall"s "Whiskey Lullaby." "It wasn"t specifically like human being were running up and also down Music row looking for double suicide drinking songs," Anderson recalls with a laugh. Anderson said Bart Herbison that Nashville Songwriters association International how the track sprung native a friend"s couch to a fight duet in between Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss, by way of The Dixie Chicks.

You are watching: He put that bottle to his head


You created (this song) through your girlfriend Jon Randall, that was going v a rough time, and that"s how the song evolved. Ns think he was resting on a friend"s couch, who said one of the lines to him. Tell us that story.

Jon was telling me around some of points he"d been with lately, and then the asked me, "Whatcha got? What are we going to write?" ns said, "Well, I"ve gained an idea to create a song dubbed "Midnight Cigarette." have the right to you imagine a tobacco in one ashtray at midnight, and also this guy"s sitting over there in his lonely apartment, and also his far-ranging other is gone. He"s sitting over there watching that flame just burn the end on the cigarette, and also you liken it to the flame of love, or everything that went out in between him and also his special person." Jon said, "I love that. I really prefer it." ... That said, "Let me litter a line the end at you." together you said, he"d been over on a friend"s couch and crashed. That said, "As i was coming to, i was apologizing to mine friend. Ns said, "I understand I"ve been an inconvenience come you. I"ve to be an intruder, really, in your life and your home. I give thanks to you."" The friend said to him, "That"s all appropriate Jon. I"ve placed the bottle to mine head and pulled the trigger a few times myself." i said, "Forget the "midnight cigarette!" " (laughs) and yet, we were able to take my line and use it as the opening line the the song.

I think any type of artist could have cut that song. Yet man, to have Brad (Paisley) and also Alison (Krauss) carry out it?

Have you ever before heard the story of how that all came about? The track was written in 2000. The wasn"t specifically like people were to run up and also down Music row looking for twin suicide drinking song (laughs). They weren"t! In fact I had actually to pretty lot twist Jon"s arm to even get him come come in and cut a demo on it. ... This was in 2000. The song simply kind of set there because that a while, and also then we got word sooner or later that it had actually been placed on hold. Execute you understand who put it on hold? The Dixie Chicks.

(That) doesn"t surprise me.

Well, yes. They would certainly be the sort of act, and also at the time, they would have actually gone external the lines and colored a little bit. But then prior to they can get back in the studio and also record it, their career kind of imploded, and also they went in various directions. Throughout the time the (it to be on hold), Brad Paisley heard it in ~ his posting house. He and also I were creating over in ~ Sea Gayle Music, and also a girl called Liz O"Sullivan that functions over over there ran the company for him. Us walked out right into the lobby, and also she said, "Have you ever before heard a tune Bill co-wrote called "Whiskey Lullaby?" " Brad said, "No." therefore she opened up her desk drawer — now, exactly how in the world she had actually a copy of that in her desk drawer ... Bless her heart. I was so floored. She take it it out and played it because that Brad, and Brad said, "Can I put a an additional hold on it?" ns thought, "Yeah, second hold, sure. It"ll acquire recorded." ns said, "Of food you can gain a secondary. You have the right to put a third or 4th hold ~ above it. Ns don"t care." however I never ever really put lot stock in that. Well, climate when whatever happened v the Dixie Chicks, the remembered the song.

He said, "What would you think if I had a woman singer sing that 2nd verse?" We had actually not created it the way. We composed it because that one human to sing all the way through and tell the story. I said, "Wow, that"s a quite cool idea. Who are you reasoning about?" the said, "There"s just two world I think that might do it. One of two people Alison Krauss or Dolly Parton." therefore I"m walking around the house, saying, "Oh, i hope they deserve to work it out, please, v somebody." A few days later on I acquired word the Alison"s firm and Brad"s firm had worked things out.

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— Compiled by Dave Paulson, dnpaulson

About the series

In partnership with Nashville Songwriters association International, every week we will certainly release a video clip interview v a songwriter about his or she work. See the complete interview through Bill Anderson at together with past installments.

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