Murder on Music Row
|"Murder on Music Row"|
|Song by George Strait with Alan Jackson from the album Latest Greatest Straitest Hits|
|Released||March 7, 2000|
|Recorded||October 27, 1999|
|Writer(s)||Larry Cordle, Larry Shell|
|Latest Greatest Straitest Hits track listing|
"Murder on Music Row" is a song released in 2000 made popular as a duet between country music artists George Strait and Alan Jackson. Although not released officially as a single, it gained attention for its criticism of mainstream country music trends at the time, and received enough unsolicited airplay to chart at number 38 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks (now Hot Country Songs) charts.
"Murder on Music Row" is a lament and criticism of the ongoing trend of country pop crossover acts and pop influences on country music, a trend that has pushed traditional and neotraditional country music (and those who perform it) to the periphery. The lyrics metaphorically compare the pop trend to a horrible act — "an awful murder down on Music Row" — and how "The steel guitar no longer cries and you can't hear fiddles play / But drums and rock and roll guitars are mixed up in your face." In addition, the song states that older traditional country artists "wouldn't stand a chance on today's radio," citing by nickname Hank Williams ("Old Hank"), Merle Haggard ("The Hag"), and George Jones ("The Possum").
American bluegrass group Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time originally recorded the song as the title track of their 1999 album Murder on Music Row. Their version was awarded the Song of the Year award at the 2000 International Bluegrass Music Awards.
George Strait/Alan Jackson version
The song was later covered by Country music artists George Strait and Alan Jackson. Originally, the two singers performed the song together at the 1999 CMA awards show; Strait and Jackson later recorded it for 2000's Latest Greatest Straitest Hits album. The studio version, although never released officially as a single, reached number 38 on the Hot Country Songs chart from unsolicited play and served as the b-side to Strait's late-2000 single "Go On." In 2000, it also received the Country Music Association's award for Vocal Event of the Year, as well as the CMA's Song of the Year award a year later.
|Chart (2000)|| Peak|
|Canada Country Tracks (RPM)||47|
|US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)||38|
Dierks Bentley/George Jones version
- Alan Jackson gives Nashville the finger
- "Murder On Music Row" lyrics from LyricsFreak.com
- Larry Cordle signs with Lonesome Day Records
- “Murder On Music Row” and McCourys Rake In Bluegrass Hardware
- It Don't Matter Who's in Nashville, George Strait Is Still the King
- Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. p. 407. ISBN 0-89820-177-2.
- Alan Jackson Facts
- CMA World
- "Top RPM Country Tracks: Issue 9826." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. May 1, 2000. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
- "George Strait – Chart history" Billboard Hot Country Songs for George Strait.