Did you know that a Garth Brooks classic single was originally intended for George Strait?
The Back Story
It’s no secret that Brooks originally wanted “Friends In Low Places” to be recorded by Strait. He made the big reveal in his 2017 book, Garth Brooks: The Anthology Part 1. In the book portion, Brooks revealed that Strait was actually officially offered the song but unfortunately passed on it.
However, that wasn’t the only song that Garth Brooks pitched George Strait. Brooks was such a massive fan of The King that his career goal was to get a song cut by him. The second song that he wanted Strait to record was “Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old).”
Although he didn’t record the song, it was Brooks’ debut single that kickstarted his music career in 1989. Brooks co-wrote the song with his friend Randy Taylor while he was still living in Oklahoma. The song peaked at No. 8 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.
All About The Hit
According to Taylor, Brooks already had a portion of the song completed before he presented it to him. “It was originally written about a music artist,” he recalled to American Songwriter. “Sort of the same story of life on the road, that type of thing – and I said, ‘Why don’t you make it about a rodeo cowboy?’ So we got together later and wrote it with a rodeo rider in mind.”
The song not only launched the career of Garth Brooks but also musician and rodeo legend Chris LeDoux. The song featured the lyric: “The worn out tape of Chris LeDoux, lonely women and bad booze.” After the song’s release LeDoux, the bareback champion got a record deal with Capitol Records.
Brooks wrote about the song’s impact and what it means to him in the album booklet of The Hits. “‘Much Too Young’ will always be my sentimental favorite because it was my very first single,” he shared. “It was a baby that I watched grow up. Whenever I hear it today, I have a smile on my face. I want to give a big thanks to Randy Taylor and Chris LeDoux. Randy was the writer and Chris was probably the reason that it was played. Hey Chris, Randy and I decided that we owe you a beer, pal.”
What Garth Brooks Had to Say
During Country Radio Seminar in 2020, Brooks addressed the song and his hope that Strait would cut it. “I moved to this town to hear George Strait sing ‘Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old),’” Garth Brooks said according to Classic Country Music. “So, long story short, I was lucky enough to get into the Hall of Fame.” Garth Brooks’ dream came true and George Strait performed “Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old).”
According to USA Today, finally, The King later responded to Brooks. “You just didn’t try hard enough. I need songs like this,” he joked.