In 1996, Brooks & Dunn earned a chart-topping country hit with their version of “My Maria,” which was originally a Top 10 pop hit for B. W. Stevenson in 1973. The song also earned Brooks & Dunn a Grammy for Best Country Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group.
However, it took B&D member Kix Brooks convincing his musical partner Ronnie Dunn to record the song.
“I was afraid to even sing it a lot for a while,” Dunn said during an interview for I Miss…90s Country Radio with Nick Hoffman on Apple Music Country. “I was hesitant to do it because I thought, ’Oh man, it’s just that falsetto thing.’ It’s a rock song, in my opinion. And I was very much wrong.”
Brooks adds, “I’ve heard him sing probably more than anybody at this point and I knew, man, if I could just convince him, can we please cut it one more time? And it was weeks after that, that it took because he didn’t want to cut it in the first place and to his credit, he went back and did it again. Man, I was so excited to hear that record the second time.”
During the episode, the duo also discussed the legacy of not only a catalog that includes gems such as “Neon Moon,” “Believe” and “You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone,” but also their electrifying live shows.
“We talked about it recently,” Brooks says. “With all the thousands of dollars worth of confetti that we blew in the air and stuff we blew up and inflatable girls and awful looking clothes and through that period when it was just how much nonsense can we create in one roll the dice. To think now that people are talking about the music and none of that stuff. Occasionally a flame shirt comment will come up, but it was a lot worse than that on that end of things and the music is what people are talking about. I think that’s the greatest compliment to both of us.”
“From day one, if there’s one thing you want to, years from now, look back and say, and we always said it was that music would be timeless,” Dunn adds. “The music would define it. And that’s all you can ask for, because you know you’re going to get older, you’re going to look older, you’re going to do whatever. But if that music can hang around and do its job, then you made your mark.”
For more from Brooks & Dunn’s conversation, tune in to hear the full conversation on Friday (May 28) at 8 p.m. CT or anytime on-demand at Apple Music Country.