May 19.2015 – Story Behind “Find Out Who Your Friends Are” by Tracy Lawrence, Kenny Chesney and Tim Mcgraw

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“Find Out Who Your Friends Are” is a song written by Casey Beathard and Ed Hill, and recorded by American country music artist Tracy Lawrence. It was the lead-off single for his album For the Love, which was released in early 2007 on Rocky Comfort Records, a label which Lawrence owns. Originally released in August 2006, the single did not enter the Top 40 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart until January 2007.

After the release of For the Love, radio stations began to play an alternate version of the song which featured guest vocals from Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney, thus helping to boost the song to Number One on both the Billboard and Mediabase country singles charts. Upon reaching Number One in June 2007, “Find out Who Your Friends Are” set a new record for the slowest-climbing Number One single in the history of the Billboard country music chart, as well as the second-slowest climbing on any Billboard singles chart. In addition, it became Lawrence’s first Billboard Number One since 1996’s “Time Marches On”, ten years earlier.

Lawrence’s album For the Love features two versions of the song: one version sung by Lawrence himself, and a remixed version featuring guest vocals from country music artists Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney, both of whom are friends of Lawrence’s. Only the solo version was released to radio as a single; however, upon the release of Lawrence’s album, several radio stations began playing the version with McGraw and Chesney’s vocals instead. (Both versions were counted as one song when the singles charts were tabulated.

The week before the single reached Number One, Sony BMG (the parent company of BNA Records, the label to which Chesney is signed) e-mailed a cease-and-desist order to several radio stations that were monitored by Billboard, demanding that these stations cease playing the version featuring McGraw’s and Chesney’s vocals. According to the letter, which was written by Sony BMG’s president, Sony BMG “did not grant ‘singles’ rights to Rocky Comfort with respect to the album versions of this song and has not authorized any radio station to play this recording”. Despite the demands from Sony BMG, radio stations did not stop playing the version with McGraw and Chesney. One day after the release of that letter, Sony BMG issued a formal apology to the radio stations to which the cease-and-desist order had been sent.

Lyrics:
Run your car off the side of the road
Get stuck in a ditch way out in the middle of nowhere
Or get yourself in a bind lose the shirt off your back
Need a floor, need a couch, need a bus fare

This is where the rubber meets the road
This is where the cream is gonna rise
This is what you really didn’t know
This is where the truth don’t lie

[Chorus]
You find out who your friends are
Somebody’s gonna drop everything
Run out and crank up their car
Hit the gas, get there fast
Never stop to think ‘what’s in it for me?’ or ‘it’s way too far’
They just show on up with their big old heart
You find out who your friends are

Everybody wants to slap your back
wants to shake your hand
when you’re up on top of that mountain
But let one of those rocks give way then you slide back down look up
and see who’s around then

This ain’t where the road comes to an end
This ain’t where the bandwagon stops
This is just one of those times when
A lot of folks jump off

[Chorus]

When the water’s high
When the weather’s not so fair
When the well runs dry
Who’s gonna be there?

[Chorus]

You find out who your friends are
(yeah, yeah)
You find out who your friends are

Run your car off the side of the road
Get stuck in a ditch way out in the middle of nowhere
(Well man, I’ve been there)
Or get yourself in a bind lose the shirt off your back
Need a floor, need a couch, need a bus fare
(Man, I’ve been there)

Man, I’ve been there
Oooh yeah.

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About Robynn

Robynn Jaymes has spent her whole life in radio… 30 years!! And almost half of them have been at Star Country. Originally from Cincinnati, Robynn came to the area as a Liberty University student. Along with all things country music, Robynn is a big fan of Football!—The Virginia Tech Hokies, The Washington Redskins and, of course, the Cincinnati Bengals. And also, “I’m addicted to the Weather Channel,” she says. Right now, Robynn is a big fan if the music coming from Miranda Lambert, Lady Antebellum and Kenny Chesney! Robynn is also a winner of the Billboard Air Personality of the Year award. Hear all new Warm & Fuzzies with Robynn M-F at 11:45AM!