Ol' Red

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"Ol' Red"
Single by Blake Shelton
from the album Blake Shelton
Released March 18, 2002
Recorded 2001
Genre Country
Length 3:42
Label Warner Bros.
Writer(s) James "Bo" Bohan
Don Goodman
Mark Sherrill
Producer(s) Bobby Braddock
Blake Shelton singles chronology
"All Over Me"
"Ol' Red"
"The Baby"

"Ol' Red" is a song written by James "Bo" Bohan, Don Goodman and Mark Sherrill. The song was originally recorded by George Jones on his 1990 album You Oughta Be Here with Me and covered by Kenny Rogers on his 1993 album If Only My Heart Had a Voice, although neither artist released it as a single. It was recorded most recently by artist Blake Shelton, and released in 2002 as the third and final single released from his self-titled debut album.


The song's narrator is a prisoner serving time for committing a crime of passion when he murdered a man whom his wife was having an affair with. He is offered a job tending the prison dog named Ol' Red, a Bloodhound (or possibly a Redbone Coonhound) who is well-known among the inmates for his skill at tracking escaped prisoners. So much so in fact (according to the song's chorus), that the warden dares the prisoners to try to escape so Ol' Red "can have a little fun", bragging that no prisoner ever escaped on Ol' Red's watch.

The narrator writes a letter to his cousin, who delivers an unnamed female Bluetick Coonhound to the prison. The Bluetick befriends Ol' Red and the dogs presumably engage in sexual intercourse as well. After a while, the narrator keeps Ol' Red separated from the Bluetick for several days, deliberately making Red anxious to see her. The narrator then makes his escape attempt, knowing that Red will track down the Bluetick instead. The final lyrics of the song reveal that the escape was successful with Red and the Bluetick having a litter of puppies to boot.

Although it did not reach the Top Ten, "Ol' Red" is one of Shelton's most commonly requested songs in concert (as well as one of his best-known hits), and he considers it his signature song.[1]

Shelton's version of the song includes a backing vocal from Rachel Proctor.[2]

Music video[edit]

The music video was directed by Peter Zavadil. It also features a cameo by NASCAR driver Elliot Sadler.

Chart performance[edit]

"Ol' Red" debuted at number 60 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks for the week of March 30, 2002.[3]

Chart (2002) Peak
US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles (Billboard)[4] 1
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[5] 14

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2002) Position
US Country Songs (Billboard)[6] 49


Region Certification Sales/shipments
United States (RIAA)[7] Gold 500,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ "Blake Shelton: Celebrating Country Life". Ada Evening News. 2009-04-25. Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
  2. ^ Blake Shelton (CD insert). Blake Shelton. Warner Bros. Records. 2001. 24731. 
  3. ^ "Billboard Chart Search: Artist=Blake Shelton / Title=Ol' Red / Chart=Hot Country Songs". Retrieved April 25, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Blake Shelton Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 for Blake Shelton. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
  5. ^ "Blake Shelton Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Blake Shelton. Retrieved January 29, 2011.
  6. ^ "Best of 2002: Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2002. Retrieved August 13, 2012. 
  7. ^ "American single certifications – Blake Shelton – Ol%27 Red". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved March 17, 2013.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH

External links[edit]