Bless the Broken Road

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"Bless the Broken Road"
Song by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band from the album Acoustic
Released 1994
Genre Country
Length 3:50
Label Liberty
Writer Marcus Hummon
Bobby Boyd
Jeff Hanna
Producer Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
"Bless the Broken Road"
Song by Marcus Hummon from the album All in Good Time
Released 1995
Genre Country
Length 4:09
Label Columbia
Producer Monroe Jones

"Bless the Broken Road" is a song that has been recorded by several American country music artists. It was co-written by Marcus Hummon, Bobby Boyd and Jeff Hanna in 1994. It was first recorded by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band in 1994, followed by Hummon on his 1995 album All in Good Time.

Since then, many artists have recorded the song with Rascal Flatts's version being the highest-charting, becoming a number 1 hit on the Billboard country music charts in 2005 and earning the songwriters a Grammy Award for Best Country Song.

History[edit]

Singer-songwriter Marcus Hummon co-wrote the song with Jeff Hanna (of Nitty Gritty Dirt Band) and Bobby Boyd. Nitty Gritty Dirt Band recorded it for the 1994 album Acoustic. One year later, Hummon covered the song for his debut album All in Good Time for Columbia Records.[1] His rendition includes backing vocals from Hanna and Matraca Berg.[2] Michael McCall of New Country magazine thought that Hummon's rendition was the best track on the album.[3]

Sons of the Desert recorded its own version of the song, for a planned second album on Epic Records that would have been released in 1998. This album was not released, due to a dispute between the band and its label.[4]

Since then, many artists have recorded the song including Melodie Crittenden, Geoff Moore, Selah, Jamie Slocum, Carrie Underwood, Buddy Greene, and Rascal Flatts.

Melodie Crittenden version[edit]

"Broken Road"
Single by Melodie Crittenden
from the album Melodie Crittenden
Released January 1998
Format CD Single
Genre Country
Length 3:52
Label Asylum #9945
Producer(s) Byron Gallimore
Stephony Smith[5]
Melodie Crittenden singles chronology
"Broken Road"
(1998)
"I Should've Known"
(1998)

Also in 1998, Melodie Crittenden recorded the song under the title "Broken Road," and included it on her self-titled debut album for Asylum Records. Released as the first of two singles from it, this version was a number 42 single on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks (now Hot Country Songs) charts.[6]

This version was featured on an episode of Dawson's Creek.

Critical reception[edit]

Billboard gave Crittenden's version a positive review in the January 17, 1998, issue, calling it "sheer poetry with a moving message."[5]

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1998) Peak
position
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[7] 48
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[8] 42


Rascal Flatts version[edit]

"Bless the Broken Road"
Single by Rascal Flatts
from the album Feels Like Today
Released November 1, 2004
Format CD single, music download
Genre Country, Christian country
Length 3:47 (Album Version)
3:38 (Single Version)
Label Lyric Street
Producer(s) Mark Bright
Marty Williams
Certification Platinum (RIAA)
Rascal Flatts singles chronology
"Feels Like Today"
(2004)
"Bless the Broken Road"
(2004)
"Fast Cars and Freedom"
(2005)

The highest-charting rendition is by the country music group Rascal Flatts, who cut the song for the Feels Like Today album. Released in November 2004, this version spent five weeks at number one on the Hot Country Singles & Tracks charts. It also won a Grammy Award for Best Country Song[9] and earned a platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of America. The song topped the 2 million mark in paid downloads on September 18, 2010. It's Rascal Flatts' third song to reach that mark, following "Life Is a Highway" and "What Hurts the Most".[10] As of the chart dated September 14, 2013, the song has sold 3.027 million in the US.[11]

On May 25, 2005, during a live performance on American Idol by Carrie Underwood and Rascal Flatts,[12] an additional version was recorded. While not in wide release, and never included on an album, the version received enough radio airplay to enter the country music charts at number 50.[9]

In 2009, a second version recorded by Rascal Flatts was included in the soundtrack of Hannah Montana: The Movie.

On May 19, 2012, "Bless the Broken Road" debuted at number 76 and went to number 41 next week on the UK Singles chart (The Official Charts Company), the band's first and only appearance on the chart.

Song information[edit]

Rascal Flatts' version of the song is in the key of C major, with a vocal range from C4 (Middle C) to A5.[13]

Charts[edit]

Chart (2004–2005) Peak
position
UK Singles (The Official Charts Company)[14] 41
Ireland (IRMA)[15] 35
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[16] 58
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[17] 1
US Billboard Hot 100[18] 29
US Billboard Pop 100 40
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[19] 20
Chart (2005) Peak
position
US Country Songs (Billboard)[A] 50
Notes
  • A^ Carrie Underwood/Rascal Flatts version.


Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2005) Position
US Country Songs (Billboard)[20] 3

Selah version[edit]

"Bless the Broken Road"
Single by Selah with Melodie Crittenden
from the album Bless the Broken Road: The Duets Album
Released 2006
Format CD Single
Genre Contemporary Christian music
Length 4:10
Label Curb
Producer(s) Allan Hall, Jason Kyle, Todd D. Smith
Selah chronology
"Bless the Broken Road"
(2006)
"Hosanna"
(2009)

Selah, a contemporary Christian music band, covered the song in 2006 on the album Bless the Broken Road: The Duets Album featuring a duet vocal from Crittenden.[21] Also released as a single, Selah's version peaked at number five on the Hot Christian Songs charts.

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (2006) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Hot Christian Songs[22] 5

Awards[edit]

In 2007, this version of the song was nominated for a Dove Award for Song of the Year at the 38th GMA Dove Awards.[23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Morris, Edward (10 March 2005). "Rascal Flatts Takes Bow for "Broken Road"". CMT. Retrieved 24 September 2010. 
  2. ^ All in Good Time (CD booklet). Marcus Hummon. Columbia Records. 1995. 66124. 
  3. ^ McCall, New Country (November 1995). "Album reviews". New Country 2 (14): 57–58. ISSN 1074-536X. 
  4. ^ Bjorke, Matt. "Matt's Songwriter Spotlight - Marcus Hummon". About.com. Retrieved 24 September 2010. 
  5. ^ a b "Singles". Billboard: 66. 17 January 1998. 
  6. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. p. 107. ISBN 0-89820-177-2. 
  7. ^ "RPM Country Tracks. RPM. March 30, 1998. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
  8. ^ "Melodie Crittenden Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Melodie Crittenden.
  9. ^ a b Whitburn, p. 339
  10. ^ "Week Ending Sept. 5, 2010: Rihanna Leads The Pack". Chart Watch. Retrieved 6 August 2012. 
  11. ^ "Country Chart News - The Top 30 Digital Singles - September 4, 2013:". Roughstock. Retrieved 7 October 2013. 
  12. ^ USA Today Underwood Wins Idol
  13. ^ ""Bless the Broken Road" sheet music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  14. ^ "Singles Top 40 from the Official UK Charts Company". UK Singles Chart. The Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on May 19, 2012. Retrieved May 15, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Chart Track". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 2012-09-23.
  16. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Rascal Flatts – Bless The Broken Road". Singles Top 60. Retrieved 2012-09-23.
  17. ^ "Rascal Flatts Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Rascal Flatts.
  18. ^ "Rascal Flatts Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for Rascal Flatts.
  19. ^ "Rascal Flatts Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Adult Contemporary for Rascal Flatts.
  20. ^ "Best of 2005: Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2005. Retrieved June 16, 2012. 
  21. ^ "Bless the Broken Road: The Duets Album". Allmusic. Retrieved 24 September 2010. 
  22. ^ "Chart history for Selah". Billboard. Retrieved 24 September 2010. 
  23. ^ 38th Annual GMA Awards on About.com
Preceded by
"Mud on the Tires" by Brad Paisley
Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks number-one single
(Rascal Flatts version)

February 12-March 12, 2005
Succeeded by
"Nothin' to Lose" by Josh Gracin