What Mattered Most (song)

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"What Mattered Most"
Ty Herndon - What Mattered Most single.png
Single by Ty Herndon
from the album What Mattered Most
B-side "You Don't Mess Around with Jim"[1]
Released February 6, 1995
Format CD Single
Genre Country
Length 3:41
Label Epic
Writer(s) Gary Burr
Vince Melamed
Producer(s) Doug Johnson
Ty Herndon singles chronology
"What Mattered Most"
"I Want My Goodbye Back"

"What Mattered Most" is a the title of a debut song written by Gary Burr and Vince Melamed, and recorded by American country music singer Ty Herndon. It was released in February 1995 the lead-off single and title track from his debut album What Mattered Most, as well as Herndon's first Number One single on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks (now Hot Country Songs) chart. Upon its release, the song was added to the playlists of 133 radio stations surveyed by Billboard, breaking a record set by Tracy Lawrence for the most adds in one week.[2]

The song was later included as the B-side to Herndon's early-1996 single "In Your Face," which peaked at 63 on the country charts.[1]

Critical reception[edit]

Deborah Evans Price, of Billboard magazine reviewed the song unfavorably saying that while Herndon turns in a "credible vocal performance", it is "a shame that this formulaic, by-the-numbers song, written by two Nashville pros, doesn't make much of an impression."[3] Michael McCall of New Country was more positive, calling it "a powerful, sensitive song about a man who realizes, too late, that he noticed everything about his lover except what was in her heart."[4]

Music video[edit]

The music video was directed by Steven Goldmann and premiered in early 1995.

Chart positions[edit]

"What Mattered Most" debuted at number 62 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks for the week of February 25, 1995.

Chart (1995) Peak
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[5] 1
US Billboard Hot 100[6] 90
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[7] 1

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1995) Position
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[8] 43
US Country Songs (Billboard)[9] 18
Preceded by
"Gonna Get a Life"
by Mark Chesnutt
Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks
number-one single

May 27, 1995
Succeeded by
"Summer's Comin'"
by Clint Black
Preceded by
"Don't Cry Little Angel"
by Prairie Oyster
RPM Top Country Tracks
number-one single

May 22, 1995
Succeeded by
"What Kind of Man"
by Joel Feeney


  1. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. p. 187. ISBN 0-89820-177-2. 
  2. ^ Wilonsky, Robert (1995-04-27). "Thank God he's a pretty boy". The Dallas Observer. Retrieved 2009-05-19. 
  3. ^ Billboard, February 18, 1995
  4. ^ McCall, Michael. "Ty Herndon — What Mattered Most". New Country. 2 (7): 62. 
  5. ^ "Top RPM Country Tracks: Issue 9245." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. May 22, 1995. Retrieved July 21, 2013.
  6. ^ "Ty Herndon – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Ty Herndon.
  7. ^ "Ty Herndon – Chart history" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Ty Herndon.
  8. ^ "RPM Top 100 Country Tracks of 1995". RPM. December 18, 1995. Retrieved July 21, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Best of 1995: Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 1995. Retrieved July 21, 2013.