Twenty-five years ago today (May 30), Billy Ray Cyrus’ “Achy Breaky Heart” reached No. 1 on Billboard’s country chart and there it stayed for five consecutive weeks.
But the song, with its recognizable guitar licks and infectious melody, will be forever be ingrained in the brains of any music fan who hears it.
To celebrate, we’ve turned our CMT Music channel into an “Achy Breaky” heaven with a 25-hour marathon loop of the iconic video.
We know what you’re thinking… YASS!
Interestingly, it was love-at-first-listen when Cyrus heard the demo. The song was originally written by songwriter and U.S. military veteran Don Von Tress, and it was his first piece of original material to be recorded by an artist signed to a major label. Two years before its release, he started the song in his sister’s basement while noodling with his guitar on a new amplifier his wife had given him for his birthday.
In a Billboard interview from 1992, Von Tress is described as a hardworking family man who had been playing guitar since he was in high school. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1969 and during his time in the military, he flew more than 140 aerial combat missions as as a helicopter pilot.
By the time “Achy Breaky” was released, he and his family had been calling Cypress Inn, Tennessee, home since 1976. Back then, when Von Tress wasn’t working with the wallpaper business he owned with his sister, he would often spend time in the Muscle Shoals creative community and play music for fun. He signed his first publishing deal in 1990.
Cyrus’ producers Jim Cotton and Joe Scaife thought the song would be a perfect fit for his debut album Some Gave All, which would break Cyrus as a superstar act.
Cyrus has never stopped moving since then. From singing to acting, he’s a powerhouse of talent. And if you’re looking for even more Cyrus, you’re in luck.
Season two of Still The King returns to CMT in July, and it’s promised to be crazier than ever.
This scripted series features Cyrus as Vernon Brown, aka “Burnin’ Vernon,” a scandal-ridden, one-hit-wonder who was kicked out of country music, and fresh out of jail was determined to reclaim his position in the spotlight while being present in the lives of Charlotte and Debbie.
To complicate matters even further, Debbie is now pregnant with a child that may be Vernon’s. When Vernon discovers that he can’t have it all, he must make the difficult choice between fame and family.