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Tim McGraw, a promising young country singer from Louisiana, took the stage at the Ryman Auditorium in 1994 with a moving performance of “Don’t Take the Girl” – the song that would go on to be his first career #1.
“Don’t Take The Girl” was written by Craig Martin and Larry W. Johnson, and tells the story of two young lovers navigating through different stages of life. One thing remains constant: no matter where the couple is in life, the young man finds himself repeatedly asking, “Don’t take the girl…”
Today, Tim McGraw is one of the biggest names in country music, with more than 50 million records sold worldwide, 43 chart-topping singles, 14 Academy of Country Music Awards, 11 Country Music Association Awards, 3 Grammy Awards and countless more accolades. But McGraw’s eventual success did not come without challenges.
McGraw’s first single, “What Room Was The Holiday In,” never made it to the Billboard charts and many radio stations did not pick it up. His first studio album, released two years after his first single, was commercially unsuccessful and did not sell well.
It wasn’t until his second album, Not A Moment Too Soon, was released the following year that McGraw began to gain national exposure and carve out a place for himself in the industry. It was this album which contained the beloved tune, “Don’t Take The Girl.”
The Ryman Auditorium is considered to be one of the most influential and revered concert halls in the world and is regularly referred to as the “Mother Church of Country Music.” Located in Nashville, TN, the Ryman was originally constructed to be a tabernacle in 1892, but is most famous for being home to the Grand Ole Opry from 1943 – 1974.
Some of the most celebrated figures in country music have graced the stage of the Ryman, many of whom are members of the Grand Ole Opry. Surprisingly, Tim McGraw has not yet joined the ranks as an Opry member, despite his many performances at both the Ryman Auditorium and the more recently constructed Grand Ole Opry House.
Watch the Official Music Video for “Don’t Take the Girl” below.