Music

'Meet Me In Montana': How Merle Haggard Inspired Marie Osmond & Dan Seals' Smash Hit

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Some of the greatest songs in country music have been duets. Songs like "You're The Reason God Made Oklahoma," "Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man", "Islands in the Stream," and "Meet Me In Montana" live on our country hits playlists.

The Story Behind 'Meet Me In Montana':

Just after her 14th birthday, Marie Osmond had her first No. 1 hit with a remake of Anita Bryant's "Paper Roses." She was on track to being country music's next big thing, but her two follow-up singles, "My Little Corner of the World" and "Who's Sorry Now," did not perform as well as expected.

After nearly a 12 year break from the Billboard country charts, Osmond found her way back to the No. 1 spot on the 1985 charts with a new smash hit, "Meet Me In Montana," a song written by Paul Davis. The song also helped restart the career of Dan Seals, who had a decently successful career in his '70s duet group "England Dan and John Ford Coley."

Paul Worley, Osmond's producer, heard the Davis song and knew it would make a great duet. He took the idea to Kyle Lehning, a former producer of Seals, and the two agreed that the song needed to be made into a duet.

According to Classic Country Music Stories, Davis, who had already written a few Top 10 pop hits, wrote "Meet Me In Montana" while on tour in Montana. On the tour, he listened to Merle Haggard's album Big City and noticed the title track of the record mentioned Montana. This made him stop and reflect on the beauty of the state around him. Davis' record label rejected his recording of the song, so he sent it to Capitol Records, hoping it would get picked up. Label exec. Lynn Shults sent the track onto Worley.

After several months of trying to coordinate schedules, Osmond and Seals set in the studio to record the country song. The tune was finished while both the artists were working on the road. "Meet Me In Montana" appeared on two records: Marie's There's No Stopping Your Heart, and Dan's Won't Be Blue Anymore. The Country Music Association named the group Vocal Duo of the Year in 1886.

The success they found did not result in the pursuit of a career together; in fact, they never collaborated again. In her career, Osmond had only one other No. 1 duet. The duet was with Davis on his song called "You're Still New To Me."

'Meet Me In Montana' Lyrics:

Wrote my whole life down in an old book,
Songs about you and me
Been singing to every soul in Tennessee
Nobody seems to listen,
No one ever smiles the way that you do
So I guess you never hear me on the radio,
And I'd give up this crazy dream of mine to hold you once more

Won't you meet me in Montana
I want to see the mountains in your eyes
Woah, woah, I had all of this life I can handle
Meet me underneath that big Montana sky

I left home for Hollywood
Lookin' for a part to play
Well you always said I had such a pretty face
But, I guess I'm not that pretty,
'Cause no one looks at me the way you do
Well you'll always be a movie star to me
Darlin' now I guess it's time that I let go of that dream

Won't you meet me in Montana
I want to see the mountains your eyes
Woah, Woah I had all of this life I can handle
Meet me underneath that big Montana sky

Well were stuck here in these hills that they call mountains.
Darlin' back home in your arms is right where I want to be
Won't you meet me in Montana
I want to see the mountains your eyes.
Woah, Woah I had all of this life I can handle
Meet me underneath that big Montana sky

In Montana
I want to see the mountains in your eyes
Woah, woah, I had all of this life that I can handle
Meet me underneath that big Montana sky

 

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'Meet Me In Montana': How Merle Haggard Inspired Marie Osmond & Dan Seals' Smash Hit