The Valley Road

"The Valley Road" is a song recorded by Bruce Hornsby and the Range. Hornsby co-wrote the song with his brother John Hornsby and co-produced it with Neil Dorfsman. The song is included on Bruce Hornsby and the Range's 1988 album, Scenes from the Southside.

"The Valley Road"
Bruce Hornsby - The Valley Road single cover.jpg
Single by Bruce Hornsby and the Range
from the album Scenes from the Southside
B-side"The Long Race"
Format7" (45 rpm)
GenrePop rock
LabelRCA Records
Songwriter(s)Bruce Hornsby, John Hornsby
Producer(s)Bruce Hornsby, Neil Dorfsman
Bruce Hornsby and the Range singles chronology
"Every Little Kiss"
"The Valley Road"
"Look Out Any Window"

Released as the lead single from the album, "The Valley Road" reached the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in June 1988, peaking at number 5 the week of July 2.[1] It also spent a week atop the Billboard adult contemporary chart in mid-June.[2] This was the group's third song to reach number 1 on the adult contemporary chart, following "The Way It Is" from 1986 and "Mandolin Rain" from 1987. The single lodged three weeks at the summit on the Billboard mainstream rock chart, becoming the first of the group's two chart-toppers on that list.[1] Roughly around the same time, the song reached number 44 on the UK Singles Chart.[3]


Hornsby was quoted in an interview with the Chicago Tribune saying that the song was inspired by observations he made growing up in the Commonwealth of Virginia. "Every year, some rich girl would get involved with some country guy, and they would act irresponsibly and have to deal with the ramifications."[2] When asked why many of his band's songs dealt with socio-political issues, Hornsby replied that "there are some issues that we feel are important, so we write about them... we also like to tell a story, like in "The Valley Road", or paint a picture."[2]

Re-recorded versionEdit

In 1989, Hornsby re-recorded "The Valley Road" with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, which was included on the Dirt Band album Will the Circle Be Unbroken: Volume Two. Hornsby and the Dirt Band won a Grammy Award for this recording in 1990 in the category Best Bluegrass Recording. This version of the song was more in the country-bluegrass style of recording, inspired by Leon Russell and his collaborations with the New Grass Revival. Responding to some of the backlash he received from the bluegrass community on his Grammy win, Hornsby stated: "I won the bluegrass Grammy. It pissed off all the purists. And I understand their feeling about this. Here's this pop guy, and he's making this quasi-bluegrass. I totally understood the purists' protest."[4]


Chart (1988) Peak
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[5] 23
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[6] 2
Canada Adult Contemporary (RPM)[7] 1
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[8] 27
South African Top 20 [9] 9
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[10] 44
US Billboard Hot 100[11] 5
US Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks 1
US Billboard Adult Contemporary Chart 1

Year-end chartsEdit

Chart (1988) Position
United States (Billboard)[12][13] 78


  1. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 8th Edition (Billboard Publications), page 292.
  2. ^ a b c Hyatt, Wesley (1999). The Billboard Book of #1 Adult Contemporary Hits (Billboard Publications), page 335.
  3. ^ Official Charts Company info Retrieved 26 July 2009.
  4. ^ "Bruce Hornsby Revisits Bluegrass on CMT Crossroads", 23 February 2007. Retrieved 26 July 2009.
  5. ^ " – Bruce Hornsby and the Range – The Valley Road" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  6. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 8720." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved February 18, 2019.
  7. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 8738." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved February 18, 2019.
  8. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Bruce Hornsby and the Range" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40.
  9. ^ "SA Charts 1965 - 1989 (As presented on Springbok Radio/Radio Orion): Acts H". South Africa's Rock Lists Website. South Africa's Rock Lists. October 2000. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  10. ^ "Bruce Hornsby and the Range: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved February 18, 2019.
  11. ^ "Bruce Hornsby Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved February 18, 2019.
  12. ^ "1988 The Year in Music & Video: Top Pop Singles". Billboard. 100 (52): Y-20. December 24, 1988.
  13. ^ "Billboard Top 100 – 1988". Retrieved October 3, 2016.

External linksEdit