In 1989, Garth Brooks earned his first number one single on the Billboard Country Singles chart with “If Tomorrow Never Comes”. The sweeping love song won the hearts of country fans and sparked the beginning of the Oklahoma-native’s incredible career. But the song almost went to an artist who had already become a legend in country music.
The track was written by Brooks and producer Kent Blazy, who had never written a song before. Although they didn’t know it, the pair would become longtime writing partners who would go on to pen a number of hits, including “Somewhere Other Than The Night” and “Ain’t Going Down (‘Til The Sun Comes Up)”.
Brooks approached Kent with the idea for the song, which had been dismissed by dozens of other writers. Kent was intrigued by the idea, and the two began bouncing ideas off each other until the song came together.
“A lot of times, you’re not really sure about a song, but Garth and I were really pumped about this,” Kent said. “We pitched it to several artists right away, and George Jones actually had it on hold.”
Before Jones could head into the recording studio, Kent and Brooks’ team urged the future superstar to cut it himself. “It was right for him,” Kent explained. “One of the keys to his success is that he is a strong interpreter of songs, and no one could convey this song’s emotion like Garth.”
The choice to cut the song was a life-changing one for Brooks. The track was featured on his debut, self-titled album that began a career that has now spanned over 25 years. Even now, “If Tomorrow Never Comes” is known as a fan-favorite and an example of Brooks’ incredible songwriting skills.