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"Callin' Baton Rouge" is a country music song written by Dennis Linde. It was originally recorded by The Oak Ridge Boys on their 1978 album Room Service, and was later covered by New Grass Revival on their 1989 album Friday Night in America, and more famously by Garth Brooks on his 1993 album In Pieces. Brooks' rendition, the fifth single from the album, reached a peak of number two on the U.S. country singles charts in 1994. The number one spot was occupied by "She's Not the Cheatin' Kind" by Brooks & Dunn.

"Callin' Baton Rouge"
Callin Baton Rouge single.jpg
Single by Garth Brooks
from the album In Pieces
B-side"Same Old Story"
ReleasedAugust 1, 1994
FormatCD single, 7" 45 RPM
LabelLiberty 18136
Songwriter(s)Dennis Linde
Producer(s)Allen Reynolds
Garth Brooks singles chronology
"Hard Luck Woman"
"Callin' Baton Rouge"
"The Red Strokes"



"Callin' Baton Rouge" is an up-tempo song with a bluegrass sound. In it, the male narrator, presumably a truck driver, is attempting to make contact with a female ("such a strange combination of a woman and a child") named Samantha, whom he met the night before in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

New Grass Revival versionEdit

New Grass Revival recorded the song on their 1989 album Friday Night in America, produced by Garth Fundis and Wendy Waldman for Capitol Records.[1] It was the first of two singles from that album. In addition, it was the band's only Top 40 hit on the Billboard country singles charts, where it peaked at number 37. "Let Me Be Your Man" was the b-side.[2]

Chart (1989) Peak
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[3] 33
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[4] 37


Garth Brooks versionEdit

Garth Brooks covered the song on his 1993 album In Pieces. The song was recorded at Jack's Track's Recording Studio in Nashville, Tennessee, produced by Allen Reynolds, and backing Brooks were acoustic guitarists Mark Casstevens and Pat Flynn, electric guitarist Chris Leuzinger, keyboardist Bobby Wood, resonator guitarist Jerry Douglas, drummer Milton Sledge, mandolinist/fiddler/backing vocalist Sam Bush, bass guitarist Mike Chapman, banjo player Béla Fleck and backing vocalist John Cowan.

Background and recordingEdit

Brooks provided the following background information on the song in the CD booklet liner notes from The Hits:

"I have always been a fan of "Baton Rouge." I was, still am, and always will be a fan of the members of New Grass Revival, four guys well ahead of their time (even if they came out thirty years from now). "Baton Rouge" was a single for them about the time my first album was released. This song did not even break the top thirty, and I believe it did not get a fair shot. When we recorded it, it seemed only natural to bring in the guys from New Grass Revival – Pat Flynn, Bela Fleck, John Cowan, and Sam Bush, teamed with Jerry Douglas. This was the first time the New Grass Revival had been together since their breakup over a year prior to the recording of this song. It was a very good day and an extremely proud moment, and I think this is reflected in the cut itself."[5]

Chart performanceEdit

Brooks's version, the album's fifth single, peaked at number two on the U.S. country singles charts, and number one on the RPM country charts in Canada.

Chart (1994) Peak
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[6] 1
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[7] 2

Year-end chartsEdit

Chart (1994) Position
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[8] 50
US Country Songs (Billboard)[9] 58


Brooks's version is the pre-game song for the LSU football team and run out song for the LSU Tigers baseball team. It is also the version that is played at 2am when all of the college bars in Baton Rouge’s “Tigerland” are closing down.


  1. ^ Johnson, Zac. "Friday Night in America review". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-04-14.
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. p. 297. ISBN 0-89820-177-2.
  3. ^ "Top RPM Country Tracks: Issue 6423." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. July 24, 1989. Retrieved August 28, 2013.
  4. ^ "New Grass Revival Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.
  5. ^ Garth Brooks – The Hits: transcription from the CD booklet (bar code 7-2438-29689-2-4)
  6. ^ "Top RPM Country Tracks: Issue 2639." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. October 31, 1994. Retrieved August 4, 2013.
  7. ^ "Garth Brooks Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.
  8. ^ "RPM Top 100 Country Tracks of 1994". RPM. December 12, 1994. Retrieved August 4, 2013.
  9. ^ "Best of 1994: Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 1994. Retrieved August 4, 2013.

External linksEdit