|Single by Zac Brown Band|
|from the album The Foundation|
|Released||June 16, 2008|
|Format||CD single, music download|
|Length||3:59 (album version)
3:38 (radio edit)
|Label||Live Nation/Home Grown/Atlantic|
|Certification||Gold (Music Canada)
2× Platinum (RIAA)
|Zac Brown Band singles chronology|
"Chicken Fried" is the title of a song which has been recorded by two different bands. The first version was recorded in 2003 by the Zac Brown Band, whose frontman Zac Brown wrote it, for the 2005 album Home Grown. A second version was then released in 2006 by The Lost Trailers, whose version was released as a single but withdrawn from radio. Two years later, the Zac Brown Band re-recorded the song and released it as the first single from their album The Foundation. In late 2008, it became their first chart single, as well as their first number-one hit on the Billboard country charts. The Zac Brown Band version was also featured in the 2008 movie Witless Protection, starring Larry the Cable Guy. The song has also been placed at number 39 for the Taste of Country's "Top 100 Country Songs of all Time" chart.
Brown began co-writing "Chicken Fried" with Wyatt Durrette several years before the song's release. The two met when Brown was playing at a tavern in Atlanta, Georgia. According to Country Weekly magazine, Brown had already started the song, when he and Durrette began listing off "things that are very southern or characteristic of the South to put into this song." The song was completed gradually over several years. After the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Brown decided to add the third verse, which has a patriotic theme ("I thank God for my life / For the stars and stripes…"). Although he had already begun performing the song, he still considered it unfinished until he added a line to the second verse.
The Zac Brown Band first recorded "Chicken Fried" in 2003 and later included this version on their self-released 2005 album Home Grown. Later on, in 2006, The Lost Trailers covered the song as their first release for the BNA Records label, with Blake Chancey serving as producer. Although The Lost Trailers' version had entered the country charts, it was soon withdrawn from radio and replaced with "Call Me Crazy", as Brown had changed his mind about licensing the song to BNA. "Call Me Crazy" then went on to peak at 43 in mid-2006.
In 2008, the Zac Brown Band re-recorded "Chicken Fried" for their fourth album, The Foundation, which Keith Stegall produced. This re-recording was then released in mid-2008 as the band's first single, reaching Number One on the country charts in late 2008. As of October 16, 2013, the song has sold 4,000,000 million copies in the United States.
In 2013, during the Long Beach, California auditions for the twelfth season of American Idol, Morrow, Georgia native Micah Johnson sang a soulful rendition of "Chicken Fried" after a botched tonsillectomy left him speech-impaired. All four judges passed him through to the next round with flying colors.
The Lost Trailers' version of the song reached as high as #52 on the Hot Country Songs chart in 2006 before being withdrawn as a single. The Zac Brown Band's version made its debut at #59 on the same chart for the week of June 28, 2008, peaking at #1 on the chart week of December 6. This song also made the Zac Brown Band the first country music group to reach Number One with a debut single since Heartland's 2006 Number One hit "I Loved Her First". As of October 2013, the song has sold over 4 million copies in the US, the sixth country song to reach this mark.
The Lost Trailers version
|US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)||52|
Zac Brown Band version
|Canada (Canadian Hot 100)||52|
|US Billboard Hot 100||20|
|US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)||1|
|US Country Songs (Billboard)||49|
|US Country Songs (Billboard)||60|
by Taylor Swift
|Billboard Hot Country Songs
December 6-December 13, 2008
"Roll with Me"
by Montgomery Gentry
Sales and certifications
|Canada||Music Canada||Gold ||40,000+|
|United States||RIAA||2× Platinum ||2,000,000+|
- Conaway, Alanna (2009-02-09). "Story Behind the Song: Making the South Universal". Country Weekly 16 (3): 14.
- Wynn, Ron (2008-08-01). "Short Takes". Nashville City Paper. Retrieved 2008-10-08.
- Tucker, Ken (2006-03-15). "BNA Forced To Swap Trailers' Single". Radio Monitor. Retrieved 2008-10-08.
- American Idol Season 12 Memorable Auditions - Micah Johnson. Retrieved February 6, 2013.
- "Beyonce's 'Fierce' Debut Leads Pre-Turkey Day Chart". Billboard. 2008-11-26. Retrieved 2008-11-27.
- Grein, Paul. "Week Ending Oct. 13, 2013. Songs: A New #1 (For The Year)". Chart Watch. Yahoo. Archived from the original on October 17, 2013. Retrieved October 17, 2013.
- "The Lost Trailers Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot Country Songs for The Lost Trailers.
- "Zac Brown Album & Song Chart History" Canadian Hot 100 for Zac Brown. Retrieved January 28, 2011.
- "Zac Brown Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for Zac Brown. Retrieved January 28, 2011.
- "Zac Brown Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Zac Brown. Retrieved January 28, 2011.
- "Best of 2008: Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2008. Retrieved December 13, 2008.
- "Best of 2009: Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2009. Retrieved December 13, 2009.
- "Canadian digital certifications – Zac Brown Band – Chicken Fried". Music Canada.
- RIAA Gold & Platinum Searchable Database - "Chicken Fried". Retrieved January 28, 2010.