There are some songs in the world that become instant classics. “When You Say Nothing At All”, by Keith Whitley and Alison Strauss, has got to be one of them. This great country love song has lasted throughout the years, never becoming dated. After all, love is love, no matter what era.
The song was originally written by the talented songwriting team of Paul Overstreet and Don Schlitz. The duo is also responsible for the runaway hit “Forever and Ever, Amen.”
“When You Say Nothing At All” was released in 1988 by Whitley, who fell in love with the song when he was first introduced. His recording hit the number one spot on both the U.S. and Canada country music charts. Later, Country Music Television raked it as the 12th greatest country love song.
Schlitz, the song’s co-writer, was very happy with Whitley’s rendition. He told Tim Roland, author of The Billboard Book of Number One Country Hits, that Whitley did a beautiful job with the song, “He truly sang it from the heart.”
Sadly, Whitley passed away less than a year after releasing “When You Say Nothing At All”. The loss sent shockwaves through the country music community, and left a void in his wake. Across the nation, fans, artists, and critics alike mourned the loss of someone who had so much potential.
Six years later, Alison Kraus and her band Union Station decided to tackle the song. Her recording further solidified the legendary status of the song, and earned her a Single Of The Year Award at the CMA Awards.
Mike Cromwell, the intrepid production director at WMIL-FM in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, decided Krauss and Whitley belonged together. He created a duet version of their songs. While it never enjoyed a commercial release, it definitely earned a large number of fans.
Watch this great duet version of “When You Say Nothing At All” in the video below! What did you think? Leave us a comment, we’d love to hear from you!
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