Max D. Barnes

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Max Duane Barnes (July 24, 1936 – January 11, 2004[1]) was a country music singer and songwriter.

As a songwriter, Barnes composed many familiar songs of the 1980s and 1990s, receiving 42 songwriter awards in his career. Artists like George Jones ("Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes"), Waylon Jennings ("Drinkin' and Dreamin'"), Conway Twitty ("Red Neckin' Love Makin' Night"), Keith Whitley ("Ten Feet Away"), Randy Travis ("I Won't Need You Anymore [Forever and Always]"), Vern Gosdin ("Way Down Deep," "Slow Burnin' Memory"), Pam Tillis ("Don't Tell Me What to Do"), and Vince Gill ("Look at Us") have recorded his songs, as have many others. He has had a couple of minor hits, most notably "Allegheny Lady" in the mid-1970s.

Barnes was a BMI Award-winning songwriter and a writing partner of Harlan Howard, Merle Haggard, Vince Gill, his son Max T. Barnes, and sister Ruthie Barnes Steele.

Other hits included "Look at Us" (Vince Gill), "Thank God For the Radio" (The Kendalls), "Joe Knows How To Live" (Eddy Raven), "Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes" (George Jones), "I Won't Need You Anymore" and "If I Didn't Have You" (Randy Travis), "Ten Feet Away" (Keith Whitley) "Don't Tell Me What to Do" (Pam Tillis), "I've Got It Made" (John Anderson), "Chiseled In Stone," "If You're Gonna Do Me Wrong (Do It Right)" and "This Ain't My First Rodeo" (Vern Gosdin).

Barnes was a two-time winner of the Country Music Association's prestigious Song of the Year prize: in 1988 for "Chiseled In Stone," co-written with Gosdin, and in 1992 for "Look At Us," co-written with Gill. He was inducted to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1992 and American Old Time Country Music Hall Of Fame along with his sister Ruthie Barnes Steele in 2006.

BMI Awards list[edit]

  • "Chiseled In Stone" - 1989 Country Award
  • "Don't Take It Away" - 1980 Country Award
  • "Don't Tell Me What To Do" - 1992 Country Award/Million-Air (2 million)
  • "Drinkin' And Dreamin'" - 1986 Country Award
  • "I Can't Love You Enough" - 1978 Country Award
  • "I've Got It Made" - 1995 Country Award/Million-Air
  • "I Won't Need You Anymore" - 1988 Country Award/Million-Air
  • "If I Didn't Have You" - 1993 Country Award/Million-Air (2 million)
  • "Joe Knows How To Live" - 1989 Country Award/Million-Air
  • "Let Go Of The Stone" - 1993 Country Award/Million-Air
  • "Look At Us"—1992 Country Award/Million-Air (2 million) - See Look at Us (song)
  • "Ten Feet Away" - 1987 Country Award
  • "Red Neckin' Love Makin' Night"—1982 Pop Award/1982 Country Award
  • "Thank God For The Radio" - 1985 Country Award
  • "That Just About Does It" - 1990 Country Award
  • "Way Down Deep" - 1984 Country Award
  • "Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes" - 1987 Country Award
  • "Do You Believe Me Now" - Million-Air

Chart singles[edit]

Year Title Chart Positions
US Country[2]
1977 "Allegheny Lady" 97
1980 "Dear Mr. President" 88
"Mean Woman Blues" 79
"Cowboys Are Common as Sin" 68
"Heaven on a Freight Train" 88
1981 "Don't Ever Leave Me Again" 84


  1. ^ Social Security Death Index Search
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. p. 44. ISBN 0-89820-177-2.