Only in America (song)

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Jay and the Americans performed a Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil song of the same name in 1963.
"Only in America"
Single by Brooks & Dunn
from the album Steers & Stripes
B-side "The Long Goodbye"
Released June 18, 2001
Format CD single, 7"
Genre Country
Length 3:41 (single version)
4:29 (album version)
Label Arista Nashville 69130
Writer(s) Kix Brooks
Don Cook
Ronnie Rogers
Producer(s) Kix Brooks
Ronnie Dunn
Mark Wright
Brooks & Dunn singles chronology
"Ain't Nothing 'bout You"
(2001)
"Only in America"
(2001)
"The Long Goodbye"
(2001)

"Only in America" is a song recorded by American country music duo Brooks & Dunn. It was released in June 2001 as the second single from the album Steers & Stripes. Kix Brooks, one-half of the duo, co-wrote the song with Don Cook and Ronnie Rogers, although it features Ronnie Dunn on lead vocals. "Only in America" was also the second of three consecutive Number One hits from that album, reaching its peak on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks (now Hot Country Songs) charts for the week of October 27, 2001.

Content[edit]

"Only in America" is an up-tempo in the keys of E and F major (the song transposes upward before the final chorus), accompanied largely by electric guitar. Its lyrics outline the lives of various people across the United States — a school bus driver and her bus full of children in the first verse, and a pair of newlyweds (a 'welder's son and a banker's daughter') in their limousine in the second verse — before observing in the chorus that "only in America" do such people "get to dream as big as [they] want to".

Music video[edit]

The music video was filmed on June 12, 2001 and was directed by Michael Merriman. It was filmed at The Gorge Amphitheatre in George, Washington. It also features a shot of New York City and the former World Trade Center towers.

Reception[edit]

Although the song was recorded and released several months before the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Brooks feels that the song got grouped in with other, similarly patriotic songs which were released in response to the attacks.[1] The song was also featured in the beginning of the Oliver Stone film World Trade Center. Rolling Stone reviewer Andrew Dansby described the song was an "advertisement waiting to happen".[2] Chris Neal of Country Weekly called the song a "flag-waving opener" to Steers & Stripes, but nonetheless made note of the song's "rock-solid riff".[3]

"Only in America" was used extensively during president George W. Bush's successful 2004 re-election campaign.[4][5][6] It has been used extensively on the Campaign trail, John Kerry also had it played at the Democratic National Convention in 2004. The song also played when Obama announced Joe Biden as his vice president in Springfield, Illinois in 2008. It was also featured after Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's acceptance speech in Denver on August 28, 2008 and has been used at campaign events in Obama's 2012 reelection campaign. "Only in America" has been used often in campaign events for Newt Gingrich in his bid to receive the 2012 Republican Presidential Nomination. Scott Walker (R-WI) also used the song after his first speech when he survived a Gubernatorial recall on June 5, 2012. Mitt Romney also uses the song in many of his political rallies.

"Only in America" was the first song to be heard on KKGO in Los Angeles when that station launched its current country music format on February 26, 2007.

Chart positions[edit]

"Only in America" debuted at number 54 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart for the week of June 23, 2001.

Chart (2001) Peak
position
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[7] 1
US Billboard Hot 100[8] 33

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2001) Position
US Country Songs (Billboard)[9] 14
Preceded by
"Where I Come From"
by Alan Jackson
Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks
number one single

October 27, 2001
Succeeded by
"Where I Come From"
by Alan Jackson

Parodies[edit]

  • American country music parody artist Cledus T. Judd released a parody of "Only in America" titled "Don't Mess With America" on his 2002 album Cledus Envy.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Remz, Jeffrey B. (January 2004). "Brooks & Dunn ride along the red dirt road". Country Standard Time. Retrieved 2008-07-21. 
  2. ^ Dansby, Andrew. "Brooks & Dunn - Steers & Stripes". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2008-07-21. 
  3. ^ Neal, Chris. "Brooks & Dunn - Steers & Stripes". Country Weekly. Retrieved 2008-07-21. 
  4. ^ http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalradar/2008/08/turning-up-the.html
  5. ^ Bumiller, Elisabeth (September 6, 2004). "Fuzzy and Out of Focus? This Time, It's Intentional". The New York Times. Retrieved May 20, 2010. 
  6. ^ http://abcnews.go.com/Business/News/Story?id=199180&page=1
  7. ^ "Brooks & Dunn Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Brooks & Dunn.
  8. ^ "Brooks & Dunn Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for Brooks & Dunn.
  9. ^ "Best of 2001: Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2001. Retrieved August 14, 2012. 

External links[edit]