Some fans might say that Garth Brooks’ signature song is “Friends in Low Places,” while others might agree that it’s “Unanswered Prayers.” Then there are those who believe it’s his ballad, “The Dance.”

Interestingly enough, it’s the latter that almost never saw the light of day. In fact, it was one that no one wanted.

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“The Dance” got passed on from record label to record label before it fell into Garth’s hands. Recalling the hit during a visit on “The Bobby Bones Show,” Garth said, “I heard it down at [Nashville’s] Bluebird [Café].”

Garth went on to explain that the writer of the song, Tony Arata, was at the Bluebird and was performing “The Dance” to an intimate crowd. That’s when Garth got chills. He approached the writer and told him that he would love to one day record the song.

“Tony Arata was playing down there. I heard it and took it to Alan Reynolds, [Alan] loved it,” said Garth excitedly.

But, somewhere between that night at the Bluebird and actually recording the hit Garth got cold feet.

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“You know how it goes, sometimes things take longer to cut than you think. Months went by, and I started getting scared that it wasn’t traditional country enough,” said Garth. “It was crazy, because I don’t know how much you remember of country music at that time, but we were the guys that were the non-traditional. So that was scary, because you love your peers and you want them to accept you.”

Garth added, “Alan said, ‘Look, this will be the biggest hit you’ve ever had if you don’t do it.’”

Nashville-based writer and Rare Country contributor Melinda Lorge has always been passionate about country music. Follow her @MelindaLorge and join the conversation @RareCountry.
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