There might not be a bigger star in country music Garth Brooks.
And although he’s received all of the accolades imaginable, during last year’s NSAI Songwriter Awards, he was honored with one more – the Kris Kristofferson Lifetime Achievement Award.
According to the Nashville Songwriters Association, the award is only granted to those who have made significant contributions to the American songbook while simultaneously impacting the careers of others.
G now stands alongside what Kris Kristofferson calls the “Mount Rushmore” of recipients: Loretta Lynn, Willie Nelson and Bill Anderson.
Oddly enough though, Garth Brooks commented after the award show last night that he has never considered himself a songwriter until he watched Luke Combs perform one of his hit songs at the awards.
“I never felt like a songwriter until tonight when Luke Combs sang the sh*t out of Beaches of Cheyenne!
Thank you NSAI for yet another unforgettable moment in my life and career. Love, g.”
I never felt like a songwriter until tonight when @lukecombs sang the sh$@t out of Beaches of Cheyenne! Thank you @NSAIofficial for yet another unforgettable moment in my life and career!! love, g
Written by Brooks, Dan Roberts and Bryan Kennedy, he released the original “The Beaches of Cheyenne” in 1995, the third single from his Fresh Horses album.
And on The Garth Brooks Story TV Special, he revealed that the completed song was much different that his original intention.
“It was supposed to be real funny. Kind of like cowboys on the beach, kind of, swingin’ kind of thing.
Then it went to a guy on the beach that would come home from a suit and tie job. He never had any cowboy talents, but he always wanted to be one.
So he just comes home, slips off his shoes and goes out and walks on the beach and dreams of Wyoming and stuff…”
He then shared that they were just playing around with the lyrics when the line “every night she walks the beaches of Cheyenne” appeared. And that’s the moment they knew that the song wasn’t going to be humorous anymore.
Instead the completed version was about a widow who loses her husband in a rodeo event in Cheyenne, Wyoming; a decision she never supported in the first place. And although the ending isn’t clearly narrated, she may or may not have taken her own life as a consequence of losing him, so yeah… definitely NOT laughing material.
But the song made an impression on listeners, reaching the top of the Billboard Charts and becoming one of Garth’s most notable songs.
After Luke’s NSAI performance ended, Garth jumped out of his seat shouting his approval for the cover and showing his admiration, and in that moment you can definitely see that he finally feels like the award-worthy songwriter he is.