Marv Green: 5 Songs That Shaped the Songwriter

by Jim Casey

Marv Green’s songwriting career has been nothing short of amazing.

If all you glean from this article is that Marv is one of the songwriters behind Lonestar’s 1999 smash hit, “Amazed,” that’s fine. The tune spent a record eight weeks atop the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, while also reaching No. 1 on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 chart.

But if you’d like more Marv material, he’s also the tunesmith behind George Strait’s “It Just Comes Natural” and “True,” Reba McEntire’s “Consider Me Gone,” Carrie Underwood’s “Wasted,” and Eric Church’s “Creepin’,” among many others.

“My mom and dad and pretty much most of my dad’s side of the family were big country music fans,” said Marv to Outsider. “I remember riding in my dad’s truck with The Best of the Best of Merle Haggard and Hank Williams Sr.’s Greatest Hits on repeat. My brother and I had a little blue suitcase record player, and we’d sit for hours and listen to hand-me-down LPs and 45s of artists like Johnny Cash, Don Gibson, Marty Robbins, Glen Campbell, and Buck Owens. I was 8 or 9 years old when I spent my own money on my first record. It was Waylon Jennings’ Honky Tonk Heroes.”

Marv sat down with Outsider to talk about the 5, er, 6 Songs That Shaped the Songwriter. That’s right, Marv Green gets 6.

1. ‘Honky Tonk Heroes’ – Waylon Jennings  

Marv Green: The title track is undeniably country, but it has a rock and roll element that really pulled me in. This album was one of the first that I noticed songwriter credits on . . . then I wanted to know who Billy Joe Shaver was and what else he had written.

2 & 3. ‘Lyin’ Eyes’ – Eagles & ‘Rocky Mountain High’ – John Denver

Marv Green: I remember both the Eagles Greatest Hits and An Evening With John Denver being reasons why my brother and I bought acoustic guitars and learned how to play and sing. Through John Denver, we discovered singer/songwriters like John Prine. Through the Eagles, we discovered artists like Jackson Browne.

4. ‘Refugee’ – Tom Petty

Marv Green: I bought two copies of this . . . one for myself and one for a girl I liked in high school. I love “Refugee,” but the whole Damn The Torpedoes album made me want to be in a band and write songs. 

5. ‘Someday’ – Steve Earle

Marv Green: This is one of the songs that made me want to leave my small town and go check out Nashville. My brother and I had a country cover band, and we wore out the Guitar Town album on the way to gigs. Through Steve Earle, I discovered singer/songwriters like Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, and Rodney Crowell.

6. ‘Here I Am’ – Patty Loveless

Marv Green: This song was written by Tony Arata. It was on the radio and a hit not long after I moved to Nashville. I instantly picked up Patty’s When Fallen Angels Fly album. I was lucky enough to hear Tony sing it live at The Bluebird Cafe around this time as well. It all seemed close enough to touch, but I knew I still had some work to do. Songs and albums like this reassured me that I was in the right town.