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Tony Arata

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Anthony Michael Arata (born October 10, 1957[1]) is an American singer-songwriter. His best known song is "The Dance", a number-one U.S. country hit for Garth Brooks in 1990 which was nominated at the 33rd Grammy Awards for Best Country Song. He also wrote the 1994 No. 1 U.S. country hit "Dreaming with My Eyes Open" recorded by Clay Walker. Other artists who have recorded his songs include Suzy Bogguss, Lee Roy Parnell, Patty Loveless, Trisha Yearwood and Emmylou Harris[2] Arata was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2012.[3]

Arata was born and grew up in Savannah, Georgia, attended the Georgia Southern University, and moved to Nashville in 1986.[2] During that time, he released an album called Changes for MCA Records and Noble Vision.

He recorded for Noble Vision Records in 1984, charting two singles on the Hot Country Songs charts.[1] He also released an album, The Change. In 2000, Arata released his album, Way Back Then.[4] He released a further album Such Is Life, in 2005.

Other top-20 U.S. country hits written or co-written by Arata include "I'm Holding My Own", a No. 3 hit for Lee Roy Parnell in 1994, "Here I Am", a No. 4 hit for Patty Loveless, released in 1994, "The Man in the Mirror" (#17, Jim Glaser, 1983), and "The Change" (#19, Garth Brooks, 1995).



Title Album details
  • Release date: February 24, 1986
  • Label: MCA/Noble Vision Records
Way Back When
  • Release date: 2000
  • Label: Little Tybee
Such Is Life
  • Release date: October 8, 2005
  • Label: Little Tybee


Year Single Peak positions Album
US Country
1984 "Come On Home" 76
1985 "Sure Thing" 65
1986 "Same Old Story"[6] Changes
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Song Writing Catalog[edit]

Title Written by Notable Releases Release Date Chart Peak
The Man In The Mirror Tony Arata Jim Glaser 1983 Billboard Hot Country #17
The Dance Tony Arata Garth Brooks Apr 30, 1990 Billboard Hot Country #1
Same Old Story Tony Arata Tony Arata February 10, 1986
Garth Brooks Aug 27, 1990 (No Fences Album)
Ronna Reeves 1991 (Only The Heart Album)
Tanya Tucker (Recorded Dec 2, 1987) Oct 18, 1994 (Self-Titled Box Set)
Face To Face Tony Arata Garth Brooks Sep 14, 1992 (The Chase Album)
Kickin' and Screamin' Tony Arata Garth Brooks Aug 31, 1993 (In Pieces Album)
Anonymous Tony Arata, Jon Schwabe Garth Brooks Aug 31, 1993 (In Pieces Album)
I'm Holding My Own Tony Arata Lee Roy Parnell Jan 3, 1994 Billboard Hot Country #3
A Handful of Dust Tony Arata Michael James Feb 15, 1994
Patty Loveless Aug 17, 1994
Don Williams Oct 27, 1998
Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris (Recorded 1993) Sep 9, 2016 (Complete Trio Album)
Dreaming with My Eyes Open Tony Arata Clay Walker May 27, 1994 Billboard Hot Country #1
Here I Am Tony Arata Patty Loveless Nov 12, 1994 Billboard Hot Country #4
What Else Can I Do Tony Arata, Scott Miller Patricia Conroy Jan 1995
The Change Tony Arata, Wayne Tester Garth Brooks Mar 30, 1996 Billboard Hot Country #19
Satisfied Mind Tony Arata Hal Ketchum May 7, 1996 (The Hits Album)
Nothing but Love Tony Arata Patty Loveless May 21, 1996 (Compilation Album)
Ty England Mar 31, 2006 (Alive & Well Album)
You Can't Get There From Here Tony Arata Lee Roy Parnell Feb 18, 1997 (Every Night's... Album) Billboard Hot Country #39
Long Stretch of Lonesome Tony Arata, Gary Scruggs Patty Loveless Sep 30, 1997 (Album; title track)
That's The Way I Remember It Tony Arata, Tony Sims Garth Brooks Sep 28, 1999 (Chris Gaines Album)
Why Ain't I Running Tony Arata, Garth Brooks, Kent Blazy Garth Brooks Mar 8, 2003 Billboard Hot Country #24

Awards and nominations[edit]

Grammy Awards[edit]

Year Nominee / work Award Result
1991 "The Dance" Best Country Song Nominated

Academy of Country Music Awards[edit]

Year Nominee / work Award Result
1991 "The Dance" Song of the Year Won

Country Music Association Awards[edit]

Year Nominee / work Award Result
1991 "The Dance" Song of the Year Nominated


  1. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. p. 30. ISBN 978-0-89820-177-2.
  2. ^ a b Tony Arata biography on CountryMusic.About.com
  3. ^ Tony Arata, Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.
  4. ^ Information at AllMusic
  5. ^ "Album Reviews" (PDF). Billboard. March 22, 1986. p. 78.
  6. ^ "Single Reviews" (PDF). Billboard. February 22, 1986. p. 71.

External links[edit]