HomeEntertainmentMusicGarth Brooks, Charley Pride Duet ‘Where the Cross Don’t Burn’: Story Behind the Song on New ‘Fun’ Album

Garth Brooks, Charley Pride Duet ‘Where the Cross Don’t Burn’: Story Behind the Song on New ‘Fun’ Album

by Josh Lanier
(Photo by: Todd Williamson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

An internet death rumor got Garth Brooks to finally record one of the songs on his new album Fun. He revealed recently how he was inspired to finish a song with Charley Pride after a decade because of a mistaken report.

Brooks released Fun, his first new studio album in four years, and the live album Triple Live Deluxe on Friday.

Brooks has a duet with Pride on Fun titled Where the Cross Don’t Burn. It was a song Brooks had in his back pocket for about a decade, he told CMT. But he always assumed he would have the time to record it. That notion was cruelly ripped away after a false report said Pride was dead.

“I’m embarrassed to tell you this story,” Brooks told CMT. “But there was something on the internet that said that Charley Pride has passed away. I kicked the table, and Miss Yearwood said, ’What is wrong?!’

“And I said, ‘I (expletive) it up again.’ Another thing in my life that I’ve wanted to do — a song I’ve been holding onto for ten years — and I waited,” Brooks continued. “I just waited too long for my big a– to get it done. But then the next day, it came out that that was a false report. So I called Charley and (his wife) Miss Rozene that day. I said, ‘Hey can we just get this done?’ So I don’t know how karma works. I don’t know how signs are. But my silver lining in the misinformation highway was that it got me to do what I should’ve done ten years ago. And I thought Charley was fantastic.”

Brooks has duets with a number of other major country music performers on Fun including his wife Trisha Yearwood and Blake Shelton.

CMA Honors Charley Pride With Lifetime Achievement

Charley Pride is a pioneer of country music and credited with a number of firsts in the genre. He had another one earlier this month when he became the first Black recipient of the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award at the CMA Awards.

The 86-year-old is considered country’s first Black superstar who released several No. 1 hits during his career, including the one he sang at the show. He performed Kiss an Angel Good Mornin’ with Jimmie Allen before accepting the award.

Pride was humble and thanked those who influenced him and inspired him during his career, including legendary producer Jack Clement who produced Pride’s first 13 albums, NBC reported.

Brooks said it’s easy to see the reverence the industry has for Pride at the award show.

“When people ask me what my favorite part of the CMAs was, it was the fact that when Charley got the Lifetime Achievement Award, they did not play him off,” Brooks said. “He broke out the sheet of paper and they were not gonna go to commercial or anything to stop him.”