Jim Lauderdale was, without doubt, one of country music’s most sought after songwriters in the ’90s and early ’00s.
While he label-hopped and faced many challenges at country radio with his own releases, Lauderdale was a go-to-guy for many of country’s biggest stars.
The likes of George Strait, the Dixie Chicks, Patty Loveless and Gary Allan achieved huge success with Lauderdale-written tunes during this period.
With his Australian tour starting tomorrow, here are 10 hit songs written by Jim Lauderdale and recorded by country’s biggest names.
1. ‘The King of Broken Hearts’
George Strait, Mark Chesnutt and Lee Ann Womack
This is probably Lauderdale’s most celebrated song and it’s been recorded by three different artists (that we know of!).
It’s also the title of the acclaimed 2013 documentary about his life and career.
‘The King of Broken Hearts’ was first recorded by George Strait for the Pure Country soundtrack in 1992.
Several years later Mark Chesnutt released his version on his Wings album.
Lee Ann Womack then gave it a stunning female re-imagination on her 2008 album, Call Me Crazy.
Watch Lee Ann Womack perform ‘The King of Broken Hearts’ live
2. ‘Where the Sidewalk Ends’
Lauderdale got a second cut on the Pure Country soundtrack with ‘Where The Sidewalk Ends.’
While the film, released in 1992, wasn’t a critical and commercial success, the soundtrack considered by many to be Strait’s most commercially successful album, having sold over six million copies.
Stream ‘Where The Sidewalk Ends’ below
3. ‘Gonna Get A Life’
Mark Chesnutt was one of the many stars of ’90s country that regularly sought what became termed “a Lauderdale.”
Co-written with Frank Dycus, the song became Chesnutt’s sixth #1 Billboard Country hit in May 1995.
Watch Mark Chesnutt’s video for ‘Gonna Get A Life’ below
4. ‘Halfway Down’
‘Halfway Down’ was released by Patty Loveless in July 1995 as the fourth single from her album When Fallen Angels Fly.
It charted for 20 weeks on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart, reaching number #6 during the week of October 7, 1995
Stream ‘Halfway Down’ below
5. ‘Hole In My Head’
Co-written with Buddy Miller, ‘Hole In My Head’ appeared on the Dixie Chicks’ fifth studio album Fly, which sold over 10 million copies.
The album was also nominated for a Grammy and debuted at #1 on the US Billboard album chart.
Stream ‘Hole In My Head’ below
6. ‘You Don’t Seem to Miss Me’
Patty Loveless and George Jones
Following the success of ‘Halfway Down’ two years prior, Patty Loveless released ‘You Don’t Seem to Miss Me’ with the legendary George Jones in 1997.
It was the first single from her album Long Stretch of Lonesome.
The song peaked at #14 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in December that year.
Watch Patty Loveless’ clip for ‘You Don’t Seem to Miss Me’
7. ‘We Really Shouldn’t Be Doing This’
By now, you will have noted that it became habbit of George Strait’s to record songs written by Lauderdale. All up, her recorded 15 of them.
‘We Really Shouldn’t Be Doing This’ was released in September 1998 as the third single from Strait’s album One Step at a Time.
Once again the combination of Strait and Lauderdale proved successful. The song peaked at number 4 in the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.
Watch the clip for ‘We Really Shouldn’t Be Doing This’ below
8. ‘What’s On My Mind’
Gary Allan and Blake Shelton
Co-written with Leslie Satcher, ‘What’s On My Mind’ was originally recorded by Gary Allan for his 2001 album, Alright Guy.
The song then appeared on Shelton’s 2004 album release, Bar & Grill.
The track wasn’t an official single for either artist, but both albums featuring the track achieved Platinum certification in the USA.
Watch the clip for ‘What’s On My Mind’ below
9. ‘Tough All Over’
Gary Allan and the Nashville Television Series
Co-written with Odie Blackmon, ‘Tough All Over’ was the title track for Gary Allan’s sixth studio album, which was released in October 2005.
It was then given new life on the Nashville television series, when performed by Will Lexington (Chris Carmack) in the first and eighteenth episode of the first season.
Stream ‘Tough All Over’ below
10. ‘Don’t Make Me Come Over There And Love You’
It seems fitting to finish this list of Jim Lauderdale composed hits with one more of his George Strait classics.
Co-written with Carter Wood, ‘Don’t Make Me Come Over There And Love You’ was the second single from George Strait’s 2000 self-titled album.
It peaked at #17 on the Billboard Hot Singles Charts.
Watch the clip for George Strait’s ‘Don’t Make Me Come Over There And Love You’ below
Listen to Episode #4 of the Tone Countrycast featuring Jim Lauderdale
Jim Lauderdale – From Another World Tour
Plus special guest Imogen Clark
Friday October 11th
The Landsdowne, Sydney NSW
Saturday October 12th
Out On The Weekend
Seaworks, Williamstown VIC
Sunday October 13th
Caravan Music Club, Melbourne VIC
Tuesday October 15th
Spotted Mallard, Melbourne VIC
Thursday October 17th
The Tivoli, Brisbane