Reba’s 1991 ‘For My Broken Heart’ Album Is Full Of Timeless, Sad Songs Inspired By Immense Personal Tragedy

Reba country music

There’s nothing that hits harder than a beautifully sad, heartbreaking, gut-wrenching classic country song.

And Reba McEntire’s seventeenth studio album For My Broken Heart is a masterpiece of an album that’s full of heartbreaking tunes that’s are as relevant and timeless now as they were upon release in 1991, over 30 years ago now.

The album was Reba’s first project recorded and released after the tragic airplane crash that killed most of the members of her touring band, as well as her tour manager, Jim Hammon. In addition to Jim, her keyboardist and bandleader Kirk Cappello, fellow keyboardist Joey Cigainero, drummer Tony Saputo, guitarists Michael Thomas and Chris Austin, bassist Terry Jackson and backup singer Paula Kaye Evans, as well as the two pilots, Donald Holmes and Christopher Hollinger, were all killed that day.

In the liner notes for the record, Reba wrote that the project was “a form of healing for all our broken hearts” following that unspeakable tragedy, so it makes sense as to why they’re all so sad.

In fact, during the recording process, session bass player Leland Sklar asked Reba if they were going to do any happy songs… but that just wasn’t where she was at that time, she recalled in an interview with Vinyl Me, Please:

“‘For My Broken Heart’ came to me right after the plane crash. Instead of it being a couple’s separation or a breakup, to me that song was, that world didn’t stop for my broken heart because I lost so many loved ones in the plane crash.

The loss of my band and tour manager got channeled into this album with every song, every lyric. Leland Sklar was the bass player in that session and he came in after about the fourth song that we recorded and he said, ‘Reba, are we gonna do any happy songs?’

And I looked up and I said, ‘Leland, not on this one.’ And he said, ‘I understand.'”

The tracklist of course included #1 hits like the title track, “Is There Life Out There” and “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia,” which was originally recorded by Vicki Lawrence in 1972.

For My Broken Heart became Reba’s highest-charting album on the Billboard 200 chart at that time (it peaked at #13), and is still one of her best selling albums after moving four million copies. Impressively, it also became the first album by a female country artist to be certified 2× platinum by the RIAA.

And if you’re as much of a vinyl lover and collector as I am, Vinyl Me, Please has an absolutely gorgeous pink pressing of For My Broken Heart that you can check it out here… of course, I am completely obsessed with the color and need to get my hands on it ASAP.

You can also watch Reba’s full interview with them surrounding the 30th anniversary of the album a couple years ago below.

Going to turn these up and have a good cry today…

“The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia”

“For My Broken Heart”

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock