Trisha Yearwood Reveals Smash Hit ‘Walkaway Joe’ Was Nearly Recorded by Another Female Country Star

by Kati Michelle

Since the release of smash hit “Walkaway Joe” all those years ago, Trisha Yearwood remains a top dog in the country world. However, according to the country superstar, that breakthrough moment almost never happened.

In an interesting new interview on an Apple podcast, Trisha Yearwood revealed that the trajectory of her career almost looked very different. In fact, “Walkaway Joe” almost landed in the lap of another female country star instead of Yearwood’s. We’ve got the grand reveal right below, Outsiders.

Trisha Yearwood on the Making of ‘Walkaway Joe’

If you haven’t heard of Trisha Yearwood’s smash hit, “Walkaway Joe,” you might be living under a rock. The song finds itself as the second single from her ’92 sophomore album Hearts in Armor. After its release, it soared up the charts in the United States. More specifically, it rose to the second slot on Billboard‘s Hot Country Songs chart.

Her video for the song also gained notoriety by featuring none other than Matthew McConaughey in one of his first major roles.

Still, during the “I Miss… 90s Country with Nick Hoffman” podcast on Apple, Yearwood divulges a pretty big secret. “Walkaway Joe” almost found another owner, but who could it be? If you guessed the Judds, you are correct! Here’s what she said:

“Walkaway Joe’ was one of those songs that the Judds actually had on hold. And then the Judds went through that breakup because Naomi was ill and they disbanded, basically, and Wynonna was getting ready to embark on a solo career. So all of the songs the Judds had on hold went back into the pool, and ‘Walkaway Joe’ is one of those songs.”

In other words, you can look at this one of two ways: either Trisha Yearwood fell into a happy accident out of sheer luck or things were simply meant to be. Give their conversation a listen here.

Staying Humble

Despite the major success that found Trisha Yearwood after the release of “Walkaway Joe,” the country star still attributes a big chunk of that success to others. It really speaks volumes to the humility she has carried through decades of country stardom.

She says the hit song would be nowhere if it weren’t for Eagles singer Don Henley. Now, he provided harmony vocals on the track beside Yearwood. However, just like the fact that the Judds just so happened to release the song into an open pool, Yearwood’s meeting with Henley came about unusually as well. She remembers it this way:

“I ended up meeting him, and I am not a bold person, but I boldly asked him if he would… because he said he liked my music. I’m like, ‘Cool. Would you like to come sing on my record?’ And he did, and that kind of was… I think that was the thing that made it… you know, kind of took it over the top.”