Kent Blazy: 5 Songs That Shaped the Songwriter

by Jim Casey

Garth Brooks’ “If Tomorrow Never Comes.” If that’s the only song Kent Blazy ever co-penned, he would still be considered a songwriting legend.

Fortunately, Blazy’s catalog is much deeper. After Garth scored his first career No. 1 hit with “If Tomorrow Never Comes” in 1989, the G-man teamed with Blazy for Top 5 hits “Ain’t Goin’ Down (’Til the Sun Comes Up),” “It’s Midnight Cinderella,” “She’s Gonna Make It,” and “Somewhere Other Than the Night.” In addition, Blazy has penned hits for Chris Young (“Gettin’ You Home”), Diamond Rio (“That’s What I Get for Lovin’ You”), and more.

In 2020, Blazy was elected to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. In addition, Kent released his new album, Me & My Guitar, on May 24, 2021. The 12-track offering features “The Future Ain’t What It Used to Be,” which Kent penned with—you guessed it—Garth Brooks.

Kent Blazy sat down with Outsider to talk about 5 Songs That Shaped the Songwriter.

1. ‘Mr. Tambourine Man’ – The Byrds

Kent Blazy: “Written by Bob Dylan, as done by the Byrds. It was the first Dylan song I ever heard with a Roger McGuinn’s 12-string. This made me want to play guitar. I started researching who this Bob Dylan was on all the singles I was buying. And I joined the Columbia Record Club, where you got 10 records free and the next ones were 20 cents apiece [laughing]. I ordered every Dylan record there was. Bring It All Back Home and Highway 61 Revisited fried my young teenage mind and set me on my songwriting path.”

2. ‘The Heart Of The Matter’ – Don Henley

Kent Blazy: “It was such a well-written song with a mature outlook about the ending of a relationship. No other breakup song I know carries the depth of the pain, yet the freedom that comes when a person can find forgiveness for the other person and themselves.”

3. ‘Same Old Lang Syne’ – Dan Fogelberg

Kent Blazy: “This is another great song and story about an old love. Dan paints the picture so vividly of the couple talking about where they are in their lives, while remembering the past they had together. For anyone wanting to write songs, this is a must-listen and must-learn song from a very underrated and overlooked, phenomenal songwriter and performer.” 

4. ‘Imagine’ – John Lennon

Kent Blazy: “If only this world could embrace even a little of what John Lennon is saying, things would change for the better. John Lennon and this song are way beyond the realm of what most writers will write or can write. It makes the listener ponder big questions without preaching. This is another one-of-a-kind song.”

5. ‘Unanswered Prayers’ – Garth Brooks

Kent Blazy: “Written by Garth Brooks, Pat Alger, and Larry Bastian, what a great story song. The other cool thing is they put a bridge after the second verse before the second chorus! This was unheard of! Talk about thinking outside the box. It may be the only No. 1 country song to ever do that. So simple, yet so complex at the same time. The singer makes everyone in the song look good, which is the art of great songwriting, no villains, just people moving on. It’s one of those you hear and say, ‘Man, I wish I’d thought of that!'”