Ashes by Now

"Ashes by Now" is a song written by Rodney Crowell. It has since been recorded several by times by various musical artists in the country music format. The song was first recorded by Crowell himself, eventually releasing it as a single in 1980.

"Ashes by Now"
Rodney Crowell--Ashes By Now.jpg
Single by Rodney Crowell
from the album But What Will the Neighbors Think
B-side"Blues in the Daytime"[1]
ReleasedApril 1980
GenreCountry pop
Length4:11 (album version)
3:32 (single version)
LabelWarner Bros. Records
Songwriter(s)Rodney Crowell
Rodney Crowell singles chronology
"(Now and Then There's) A Fool Such as I"
"Ashes by Now"
"Ain't No Money"

Rodney Crowell versionEdit

Crowell originally recorded "Ashes by Now" in January 1978 in Los Angeles, California. The recording session featured musician Ricky Skaggs playing the fiddle, among other prominent session musicians of the period.[1]

Before its release as a single, it served as the b-side to his 1978 single "Elvira." The song was later re-released in April 1980 as the A-side single via Warner Bros. Records becoming a minor chart hit on the Billboard Hot Country Singles and Hot 100 that year.[2] The song was included on Crowell's 1980 studio album But What Will the Neighbors Think.[1]

The song was covered by Crowell's fellow collaborator Emmylou Harris on her 1981 album Evangeline.

Chart performanceEdit

Chart (1980) Peak
US Hot Country Singles (Billboard)[2] 78
US Billboard Hot 100[2] 37

Emmylou Harris versionEdit

Emmylou Harris covered "Ashes by Now" on the tenth and final track on her 1981 record, "Evangeline," which was released under Warner Records. Harris is a 12-time Grammy Award recipient and an iconic woman in Country and Folk music.

Lee Ann Womack versionEdit

"Ashes by Now"
Single by Lee Ann Womack
from the album I Hope You Dance
B-side"Lonely Too"[3]
ReleasedOctober 9, 2000
LabelMCA Nashville
Songwriter(s)Rodney Crowell
Producer(s)Mark Wright
Lee Ann Womack singles chronology
"I Hope You Dance"
"Ashes by Now"
"Why They Call It Falling"

It was notably covered by Lee Ann Womack in 2000 and her version became the most commercially successful after also being issued as a single. Womack's rendition of the song was released in October 2000 as the second single from her third studio album, I Hope You Dance, and peaked at number 4 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart, as well as number 45 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.[3]

Critical receptionEdit

Wade Jessen of Billboard wrote, "The Earnhardt tragedy may have played a role in a minor decline in plays of Womack's Ashes by Now."[4] Editors at The Toronto Sun wrote, "A thorough makeover of the Rodney Crowell classic, from one of the exceedingly rare albums with the power to unite staunch old-timers and New Country types alike."[5] Editors at Billboard wrote, "The inventive percussion that opens this terrific single is just the beginning of the magic that producer Mark Wright and Lee Ann Womack weave. One listen to this great single and it's obvious the song is sure to throw fuel on the fire."[6]

Music videoEdit

A music video directed by Gregg Horne was created for Lee Ann Womack's version of the song.[7]

Chart performanceEdit

In the October 21, 2000 issue of Billboard, "Ashes by Now" debuted at number 49.[8]

Chart (2000–2001) Peak
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[9] 41[a]
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[10] 4
US Billboard Hot 100[11] 45

Year-end chartsEdit

Chart (2001) Position
US Country Songs (Billboard)[12] 23


  1. ^ "My Next Thirty Years" had not yet peaked when RPM ceased publication in November 2000.


  1. ^ a b c "Praguefrank's Country Discography 2: Rodney Crowell". Blogspot. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  2. ^ a b c Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. p. 109. ISBN 978-0-89820-177-2.
  3. ^ a b Whitburn, p. 473
  4. ^ Jessen, Wade. Billboard Country Corner (March 10, 2001)
  5. ^ The Toronto Sun DE LA SOUL'S DONE WITH FOOLIN' (June 7, 2000)
  6. ^ Billboard COUNTRY: LEE ANN WOMACK, JO DEE MESSINA, KEITH URBAN (October 14, 2000)
  7. ^ Stark, Phyllis. Billboard Nashville Scene (September 8, 2001)
  8. ^ Jessen, Wade. "LABEL CHANGE PUTS WOMACK IN FAST LANE." Billboard 118.33 (2006): 51. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 6 June 2011.
  9. ^ "Top RPM Country Tracks: Issue 7268." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved January 17, 2022.
  10. ^ "Lee Ann Womack Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.
  11. ^ "Lee Ann Womack Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  12. ^ "Best of 2001: Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2001. Retrieved August 14, 2012.