American Honky-Tonk Bar Association

"American Honky-Tonk Bar Association" is a song written by Bryan Kennedy and Jim Rushing and recorded by American country music singer Garth Brooks. It was released in September 1993 as the second single from his album In Pieces. The song reached the top of the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks (now Hot Country Songs) chart.

"American Honky-Tonk Bar Association"
American Honky Tonk Bar.jpg
Single by Garth Brooks
from the album In Pieces
B-side"Every Time That It Rains"
ReleasedSeptember 7, 1993
FormatCD Single, 7" single
LabelLiberty 17639
Songwriter(s)Bryan Kennedy, Jim Rushing
Producer(s)Allen Reynolds
Garth Brooks singles chronology
"Ain't Going Down ('Til the Sun Comes Up)"
"American Honky-Tonk Bar Association"
"Standing Outside the Fire"


The song was originally titled "American Redneck Bar Association.".[1] Brooks provided the following background information on the song in the CD booklet liner notes from The Hits:

"'AHBA' is definitely one of the livelier moments in our live show. The two writers of this song are not only great artists but have been extremely good friends to me since I moved to Nashville. Jim Rushing's style of music like 'Sometimes Silence Says It All," I think, is what country music is all about. Bryan Kennedy is one of the first guys I met at The Bluebird Cafe and he introduced me to his dad, Jerry Kennedy, who has been very, very good to me. Here's to Jim Rushing at his great country music. Here's to Bryan Kennedy... for his great friendship. And here's to great horses, firm handshakes and great cods."[2]


This song is an uptempo honky-tonk anthem that compares bars to fraternal organizations or support groups for blue collar people. The song's title name is a pun on the name American Bar Association.

Critical receptionEdit

Mike Greenblatt of Modern Screen's Country Music referred to the song as a "modern day redneck classic sung with a snarl and a smile— except that ill-advised line about welfare recipients."[3]

Chart positionsEdit

Chart (1993–94) Peak
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[4] 2
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[5] 1

Year-end chartsEdit

Chart (1993) Position
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[6] 100
Chart (1994) Position
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[7] 47


  1. ^ [1] ASCAP page for this song
  2. ^ Garth Brooks - The Hits: transcription from the CD booklet (bar code 7-2438-29689-2-4)
  3. ^ Greenblatt, Mike (April 1994). "Juke Box Jury". Modern Screen's Country Music. 88 (5): 34.
  4. ^ "Top RPM Country Tracks: Issue 2331." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. December 18, 1993. Retrieved August 4, 2013.
  5. ^ "Garth Brooks Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.
  6. ^ "RPM Top 100 Country Tracks of 1993". RPM. December 18, 1993. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
  7. ^ "RPM Top 100 Country Tracks of 1994". RPM. December 12, 1994. Retrieved August 4, 2013.