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A Look Back At Sammy Kershaw's Sensitive Chart-Topper, 'She Don't Know She's Beautiful'

Country music star Sammy Kershaw had an exceptional career ever since his first single, "Cadillac Style." His lone number one hit in the United States and Canada, 1993's "She Don't Know She's Beautiful," fits right in with the catchy yet meaningful hits of the time. Its opening pointed to the future, borrowing from John Mellencamp before current singers ranging from "bro-country" to Americana admitted to keeping Scarecrow in heavy rotation.

The song from writers Bob McDill and Paul Harrison celebrates the inner and outer beauty of the narrator's lover. She don't know what the fuss is all about, "though time and time I've told her so." The lyrics of this song give a quick reminder to guys that women walking down the street never, ever derive this sort of positive feedback when catcallers obnoxiously whistle out from a distance.

The only better musical statement of a man's appreciation for the woman in his life, "National Working Woman's Holiday," came a year later from Kershaw. Pair those songs with "I Buy Her Roses" and the harmless fun of "Queen of My Double Wide Trailer," and you've got one of the best and most varied love song repertoires of the '90s this side of Alan Jackson, Kenny Chesney and George Strait. And don't forget "When You Love Someone" and "Anywhere But Here."

Read More: The 10 Best Sammy Kershaw Songs, Ranked

Kershaw's Haunted Heart became the singer's second straight platinum album. Producers Buddy Cannon and Norro Wilson got the most out of the singer's instantly recognizable voice and song interpreter talents on the first of four singles off the album to crack the Billboard Hot Country Songs top 10. The other popular singles were the title track, "Queen of My Double Wide Trailer" and "I Can't Reach Her Anymore." Those singles were among a run of seven straight top 10 hits. He also hit it big with "Love of My Life" and Maybe Not Tonight.

Listening to the song over 25 years later, those opening riffs stick out as much as the sweet lyrics about a tender-hearted lover who "can't take my eyes off" a "girl like her." A minor crossover hit on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 singles chart accidentally predicted a future — and in most cases forgivable — trend in American country and roots music.


This post was originally published on September 20, 2018. 

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