1987: Forever and Ever, Amen
> Songwriter(s): Paul Overstreet, Don Schlitz
> Performer / recording artist: Randy Travis
> Number of weeks on Billboard 100: 15 weeks between April 25, 1987 and Aug. 1, 1987
The second hit in a row penned for Randy Travis by Paul Overstreet and Don Schlitz, “Forever and Ever, Amen” also won the 1987 Grammy for Best Country & Western Song.
1988: 80s Ladies
> Songwriter(s): K.T. Oslin
> Performer / recording artist: K.T. Oslin
> Number of weeks on Billboard 100: 15 weeks between May 9, 1987 and Aug. 15, 1987
A onetime musical theater chorus girl from Arkansas, K.T. Oslin made country music history by becoming the first woman to win the CMA Song of the Year title with this effort, which she also performed. It was the title song from Oslin’s debut album, which hit No. 1 on the country charts and was certified Platinum.
1989: Chiseled in Stone
> Songwriter(s): Max D. Barnes, Vern Gosdin
> Performer / recording artist: Vern Gosdin
> Number of weeks on Billboard 100: 17 weeks between Sep. 10, 1988 and Dec. 31, 1988
A performer as well as a songwriter, Vern Gosdin had a long career, ranging from childhood gospel singing through West Coast recordings with former members of The Byrds to numerous No. 1 country hits. “Chiseled in Stone,” from the album of the same name, was co-written by Gosdin and Nashville singer-songwriter Max D. Barnes. The song is about the death of Barnes’s son, Duane, who was killed in a car crash at age 18.
1990: Where’ve You Been
> Songwriter(s): Don Henry, Jon Vezner
> Performer / recording artist: Kathy Mattea
> Number of weeks on Billboard 100: 19 weeks between Dec. 2, 1989 and April 7, 1990
This poignant ballad won the 1990 Grammy for Best Country Song and garnered Kathy Mattea the award for Best Country Vocal Performance, Female. Mattea’s husband, singer-songwriter Jon Vezner, penned the song in collaboration with Don Henry, who has written or co-written for Miranda Lambert, Ray Charles, Blake Shelton, Conway Twitty, and Gary Morris, among many others.
1991: When I Call Your Name
> Songwriter(s): Tim DuBois, Vince Gill
> Performer / recording artist: Vince Gill
> Number of weeks on Billboard 100: 17 weeks between June 23, 1990 and Oct. 13, 1990
Singer-songwriter-musician Vince Gill has the unique distinction of having shared songwriting credits on the CMA Song of the Year for three years straight. The one-time lead singer for Pure Prairie League and a Grammy winner for Best Country Vocal Performance, Male, Gill co-wrote this song with his then-manager, Tim DuBois.