Tracy Byrd on 10/2/93 in Chicago,Il. (Photo by Paul Natkin/WireImage)
Photo by Paul Natkin/WireImage

7 Essential Tracy Byrd Songs, From 'The Keeper of the Stars' to 'Watermelon Crawl'


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Tracy Byrd is an unforgettable country artist who found most of his success in the 1990s and early 2000s. With multiple hit songs to his name, Byrd takes his place in country music history alongside other 90s stars like Rhett Akins, Tracy Lawrence, Tim McGraw and many more. Not only did Byrd release country hits, but a few of his songs could be called iconic tunes that many country fans still listen to today. The music from this Texas native is forever sewn into the fabric of the country music genre. Here are 7 of the best Tracy Byrd songs.

7. "Holdin' Heaven"

"Holdin' Heaven" might have been released as Byrd's third single, but it became his first-ever hit. Byrd released this tune from his debut, self-titled album in 1993. The tune starts off with that ever-recognizable '90s country guitar riff, as Byrd launches into the tune. In the song, he sings about dancing with a blue-eyed "angel" that he just met. The chorus describes how the song's character feels about dancing with this newfound love interest, and as Bryd sings, it's like "Holdin' Heaven." "I'm holdin' heaven in my arms tonight / Everything about you is so perfectly right / I've never been there but I think I might / Be holdin' heaven in my arms tonight." The song is simple, but it features a fun, contagious rhythm that's perfect for line dancing. This fiddle-filled tune became Byrd's first No. 1.

6. "Lifestyles of the Not So Rich and Famous"

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Country music is known for celebrating the simple things in life, and Tracy Bryd's "Lifestyles of the Not So Rich and Famous" falls into that category. The song's title comes from the phrase (and '80s-90s TV show) Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, but of course, the song centers on the opposite perspective. Throughout the tune, Byrd celebrates the simple, happy aspects of the country life like "beans and BBQ," "sittin' on the porch," and "RC cola and a moon pie." This tune was another success for Byrd, landing at No. 4.

5. "The Keeper of the Stars"

Although many of Byrd's songs are fun and upbeat, he did release a few love ballads through his career, and "The Keeper of the Stars" is one of them. In this acoustic guitar-driven tune, Byrd reflects on his relationship with a partner and thanks "The Keeper of the Stars," or God, for bringing her to him. The tune showcases Bryd's range as he sings the soaring chorus, and fiddle, steel guitar and background vocals accompany him.

4. "Drinkin' Bone"

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Bryd's country music success extended into the 2000s, and one of his most successful (and fun) tunes from the early aughts was "Drinkin' Bone." In this party tune, Byrd explains some "basic honkytonk anatomy," which includes the party bone, the lonely bone, but most importantly, the drinkin' bone. The song is a fun party tune that is welcome at any honky tonk, and it became Byrd's last Top 10 hit on country radio. 

3. "Ten Rounds with Jose Cuervo"

Bryd's music contributed greatly to '90s country, but he had a few hits in the early 2000s as well. Another song from Byrd that is still remembered by country fans today is "Ten Rounds with Jose Cuervo." In this classic drinking song, Bryd counts rounds of Jose Cuervo during a wild night at the bar. With each round, the night gets a bit more wild, and when it makes it to ten, he starts it all over again.

2. "I'm From the Country"

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There's many country tunes that serve as odes to the country lifestyle, but Tracy Bryd's "I'm From the Country" might take the cake. Released in 1998 from his album of the same name, the song is about what it sounds like: loving the country life. Beginning with a classic '90s guitar riff, Bryd jumps into all the reasons why the country life is the best, and he concludes that it's the only kind of life for him. "Everybody knows everybody / Everybody calls you friend / You don't need an invitation / Oh, kick off your shoes, come on in / Yeah, we know how to work and we know how to play / We're from the country and we like it that way," he sings.

1. "Watermelon Crawl"

Byrd released "Watermelon Crawl," which is undoubtedly one of his most iconic tunes, in 1994. In this song, Bryd sings from the perspective of a man just driving along when he sees a sign for the "Rhine County Watermelon Festival," so he pulls off and decides to check it out. When he gets there, a mass of people are partying and drinking watermelon wine, and the mayor announces some important safety information which becomes the center of the song. "If you drink, don't drive / Do the watermelon crawl." The song features quintessential honkytonk instrumentation, and it even started its own dance craze.

READ MORE: 12 Country Songs About Home That Will Make You Nostalgic For Where You Grew Up

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