Maybe somewhere in all of Dierks Bentley’s 38 years he’s made some mistakes bigger than these. But the three hits he didn’t record have to at least be in his Top 10 list of career regrets.
There are some great tunes Bentley heard, then turned down, that then went on to be massive hits. According to the The Tennessean newspaper in Nashville, Bentley revealed some of those titles during a show at Nashville’s Marathon Music Works last week.
1. “I Drive Your Truck” This finely-crafted ballad of mourning in nontraditional ways was written by Jessi Alexander, Connie Harrington and Jimmy Yeary. After Bentley said “No, thanks,” Lee Brice said “Yes, please.” Brice’s recording of the song was released in late 2012 and has sold roughly 870,000 copies in the U.S.
2. “Drink a Beer” You know what they say: One man’s trash is another man’s platinum treasure. Jim Beavers and Chris Stapleton wrote this ballad which Bentley ultimately turned down. But Luke Bryan picked it up and ran with it. In November 2013, Bryan released it, and everyone went crazy for it. The single has sold more than sold 1.1 million copies in the U.S. alone.
Despite the success of those three particular songs, Bentley has a good perspective on music.
“It’s all about the right song finding the right home,” Bentley said, adding he thought “Drink a Beer” was a good fit for Bryan.
Beavers and Bentley have been writing together since Bentley first started making music in Nashville, right around the time he graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1997. Even Beavers’ brother Brett has been writing with Bentley all these years as well. Brett and Bentley co-wrote his 2003 debut song “What Was I Thinkin’.”
I’d love to know if Bentley has recorded hit songs that other artists have turned down. It would be a short list, I think, because Bentley tends to write his own material. His first 18 singles were all ones he wrote or co-wrote. In fact, “Tip It on Back” and “Bourbon in Kentucky” — from 2012 — were the first singles he released that he wasn’t involved in writing.