Another month of 2020, another kick in the nuts for the country music world.
We’ve already lost Kenny Rogers, Joe Diffie, Jerry Jeff Walker, John Prine, Billy Joe Shaver and of course the great Charlie Daniels. And just this past weekend, we lost one of the first country singers I ever remember listening to: the great Doug Supernaw.
In 2019, Doug announced that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 lung and bladder cancer. His wife Cissy announced that he had entered hospice care in October 2020, and on November 13 it was announced that Supernaw had passed from his cancer.
After his passing, several 90’s country legends took to social media to pay tribute to Supernaw.
You probably remember Doug for his biggest hit (and his only #1), “I Don’t Call Him Daddy.”
The poignant song (originally recorded by none other than Kenny Rogers) tells the story of a conversation between a divorced father and a son who promises his dad that his new stepfather will never take his place.
And if you grew up watching CMT like I did, you probably remember this heart wrenching video.
Or you may remember “Red and Rio Grande,” Supernaw’s tribute to his native Texas.
But for me, my favorite Doug Supernaw song has always been “Reno.”
This song is everything that made 90’s country music great: heartbreak and a healthy dose of steel guitar. The lyrics are a masterful comparison of a love interest to the ruthless casinos of Reno – but “either one I choose, lady or Reno, either way I lose.”
Supernaw faced a number of personal and legal challenges later in life, but began performing live again within the last few years and even returned to the studio to re-record some of his biggest songs for a greatest hits album.
His comeback was cut short by his cancer diagnosis, but Supernaw ultimately went out the way he wanted: In Texas, somewhere between the Red and Rio Grande.