Sad Country Songs Make Me Happy: Wade Bowen’s Pick – “Holding Her And Loving You” By Earl Thomas Conley

Earl Thomas Conley Wade Bowen country Music

“Damn I love sad country songs!”

Wade Bowen pretty much summed it up perfectly.

Of course, if you follow Whiskey Riff in any capacity, then you know how much all of us here love a good old fashioned, sad country song.

And since some of my favorite artists in the genre right now wrote some of my all-time favorite sad songs that hurt so good, I wanted to know what some of their favorite’s were that inspired them to write soul-crushing music just like George, Willie, Merle, Waylon and all the other country greats.

A couple weeks ago, we kicked off our new Sad Country Songs series with Whiskey Myers frontman Cody Cannon, who chose Hank Williams Jr.’s “Weatherman” as one of his all-time favorite sad country songs.

And this week, his fellow Texan Wade selected another classic in Earl Thomas Conley’s “Holding Her and Loving You”:

“‘Holding Her and Loving You’ by Earl Thomas Conley.

Some of the ones I listen to all the time are ‘The Weekend’ by Steve Wariner, ‘Marina Del Rey’ by George Strait, ‘Everything That Glitters (Is Not Gold)’ by Dan Seals, ‘I’ll Think of Something’ by Mark Chestnut, and the list goes on and on and on…”

I think just about any country fan would agree that “Holding Her and Loving You” is a sad song standard.

It was written by Walt Aldridge and Tom Brasfield, and was released in August 1983 as the second single from Earl’s Don’t Make It Easy for Me album. It eventually became his fourth #1 country single.

Wade added that part of the reason loves sad songs, aside from the fact that they’ve always been there when he was brokenhearted, is that they really made him want to be a musician after hearing them at concerts growing up:

“I just remember growing up listening to these songs, of course when I’ve been brokenhearted, but also such a huge part of my life overall.

Going to concerts and hearing these sad songs made me want to do what I do. I love them.”

And like many of us, he agrees that you simply can’t be the depth, honesty, and vulnerability that go into the makings of a truly great sad song.

And if you’ve ever seen the artist that the song belongs to perform one of your favorite’s live, then you know there’s nothing else in the world that can hit you where it hurts quite like that:

“I love sad country songs. They have always been my favorites. I just love the depth they have, the honesty, the vulnerability, and the way an artist makes you feel every word when they sing it.

Yes, it’s the lyrics, but these lyrics would never see the light of day without a great performance!”

Gonna go turn this one up and cry now…

Wade is also gearing up to drop his new album, Somewhere Between the Secret and the Truththis Friday, and previously released two singles from the record, “Everything Has Your Memory,” and “A Guitar, A Singer And A Song” with Vince Gill.

And in the spirit of sad songs, I want to include one of my favorite’s from each artist and band I feature, so for Wade, this one came up on my playlist earlier and ya can’t beat a good, old fashioned breakup tune like “All That’s Left”:

For more of the best sad country songs, check out the Whiskey Riff Sad Country Songs Make Me Happy Playlist:

Listen on Spotify.

Listen on Apple Music.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock