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
Producer(s) Doug Johnson
Ty Herndon singles chronology
"What Mattered Most"
"I Want My Goodbye Back"
"What Mattered Most"
"I Want My Goodbye Back"

"What Mattered Most" is 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 as Herndon's debut single, and was served as 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]


From What Mattered Most liner notes.[5]

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)[6] 1
US Billboard Hot 100[7] 90
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[8] 1

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1995) Position
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[9] 43
US Country Songs (Billboard)[10] 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. ^ What Mattered Most (Media notes). Ty Herndon. Epic Records. 1995. 66397. 
  6. ^ "Top RPM Country Tracks: Issue 9245." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. May 22, 1995. Retrieved July 21, 2013.
  7. ^ "Ty Herndon Chart History (Hot 100)" Billboard.
  8. ^ "Ty Herndon Chart History (Hot Country Songs)" Billboard.
  9. ^ "RPM Top 100 Country Tracks of 1995". RPM. December 18, 1995. Retrieved July 21, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Best of 1995: Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 1995. Retrieved July 21, 2013.