On This Day: Reba McEntire Releases Her Debut Studio Album ‘Reba’ in 1977

by Katie Maloney

Even country music legend Reba McEntire started out as an unknown, aspiring musician.

In fact, Reba got her start at the National Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City while she was still enrolled in college. At the time, Reba sang the National Anthem at the event. Well, her fellow rodeo friends weren’t the only ones listening that night. Turns out, country singer Red Stegall attended the event and was very impressed by Reba’s performance. So, he offered to help Reba secure a recording contract. While on spring break in 1975, Reba recorded her first demo tape and Stegall shared it with several labels in Nashville.

Soon after, Reba McEntire officially signed with Mercury. She cut her first song in 1976 with “I Don’t Want to Be a One-Night Stand.” The song became Reba’s first single from her debut album, Reba. She released the album on August 17th, 1977. The album included two additional singles, “There’s Nothing Like the Love (Between a Woman and a Man)” and “Glad I Waited Just For You.” However, the record never produced any hits. Nevertheless, Mercury saw something in Reba McEntire and decided to release her second album as well, Out of a Dream. This album landed Reba her first Top 30 single with “Last Night, Ev’ry Night” and her first Top 20 single, “Sweet Dreams.”

McEntire ended up releasing six albums on Mercury Records before switching to another label.

What’s The Story Behind Reba McEntire’s First Single?

There’s something about an artist’s first single. Even if the song isn’t an initial hit, fans definitely considered the song to be a part of history once the artist hits it big. This is certainly the case for Reba McEntire’s very first single, “I Don’t Want to Be a One-Night Stand.”

The song is about a woman who simply wants to be loved the right way. A part of her wants to give in to the temptation of behind with a man she recently met. However, she wants to let him know that she’d like more than just a one-night stand. During the song, Reba sings, “It been so long since I’ve had some loving. And your kisses make me wish that you were mine. Now it’d be so easy for me to fall for you. And let myself have a good time. Well, I don’t want to be a one-night stand. So if that’s what you got planned, baby before we go you better let me know. I don’t want to be a one-night stand.”

We never actually find out how the man responds to Reba McEntire’s questions. We hope the conservation didn’t end with a broken heart. But even if it did, we know Reba would be able to get through it. In fact, she’s used music to get through lots of heartbreak, including losing bandmembers and divorces. During an interview in 2018, Reba shared why she often records songs about heartbreak.

“The world doesn’t stop for a broken heart, and that’s the truth. You’ve got to go on, but you’ve got to express your pain, and the way I did it was through my music,” said Reba. “The songs I choose, 99 percent of them, are about heartache, and that’s what makes country music so popular. It’s relatable. When a person is sad, they don’t listen to happy songs. I guess misery loves company.”