During a recent appearance on Apple Music Country's I Miss...90s Country Radio With Nick Hoffman, Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn admitted that label executive Tim Dubois' suggestion that they join forces as Brooks & Dunn didn't make a heck of a lot of sense.
"We were both pretty skeptical of the idea," Brooks tells Hoffman (as quoted by Taste of Country). "We were both grown men, had kind of been around the Nashville block more than once. We both had kind of record deals that didn't pan out to be much and so when he suggested we write some songs together, we both know enough about how things go around that you got nothing to lose."
Both Brooks and Dunn won huge right out the gate as songwriters, jumpstarting their trek to the Country Music Hall of Fame.
"We screwed up that week and wrote what became our first two No. 1 songs," says Brooks. "Next thing we know we're like, 'This didn't make any sense at all, just never should have worked.' A duo, we still don't sing harmonies very good."
Those songs would've been the title track of Brand New Man (Arista Nashville) and it follow-up, "My Next Broken Heart." The next two singles, "Neon Moon" and "Boot Scootin' Boogie" (a Dunn original that'd already been recorded by Texas swing greats Asleep at the Wheel), were additional chart-topping country hits that help define a decade for the duo and its peers.
"From day one, if there's one thing you want to, years from now, look back and say, and we always said it, was that music would be timeless. The music would define it. And that's all you can ask for," Dunn adds. "If that music can hang around and do its job, then you made your mark."
Brooks & Dunn's future successes beyond those early writing appointments range from a No. 1 country cover of B.W. Stevenson's "My Maria" (1996) to a pair of popular duets with Reba McEntire: "If You See Him/If You See Her" (1998) and "Cowgirls Don't Cry" (2008).