Country Chatter

Billy Ray Cyrus Celebrates 25th Anniversary of “Achy Breaky Heart”


What started out as a simple song with two-chords and a chorus became a world wide hit and launched the career of Billy Ray Cyrus as a country star from the small town of Flatwoods, Kentucky.  Now, 25 years later Cyrus heads back to record a new version with numerous different versions and guest appearances, including one with Ronnie Milsap on the keyboard. The song was cut in Muscle Shoals and co-produced by Cyrus and Don Von Tress, the writer of the hit song.

Cyrus has stated that he saw similarity’s from 25 years ago to today, and felt it was a good time to head back and record a new version.

“When the song was released in the spring of ‘92 the world, believe it or not, felt much like it does right now,” said Cyrus. “There were wars and rumors of wars. Famine and darkness was revealing itself much around the globe. People were divided. And politically it felt as crazy across America as it does now. Basically, it felt like a good time for a happy song. Something simple that everyone could sing and yes, even dance to. Take your mind off all the heavy stuff for 3 minutes and 27 seconds!”

The new version of “Achy Breaky Heart” will be more like Von Tress’ original that was written over 25 years ago. “We went back to my original demo which was a little more back in the pocket, and Billy really loved the demo all those years ago and he said ‘Yeah, let’s try to emulate this thing,” recalls Von Tress of recording the new version. “So we kind of did that, but with some new twists. The song is so simple…it’s two chords and some nursery rhyme verses really, so we created something again we both just really love, and it’s just fun to have the opportunity to put this song out again for people to really enjoy again. I really hope they love it as much as the first time!”

For Cyrus being able to head back into the studio and record the song that made him a huge success is kind of taking his career full circle.

“For me personally it completed the body of work known as Some Gave All and a decade of persistence, dedication, failure, successes and a will to strive for purpose through the music,” said Cyrus. “A journey which led to a moment in time that just fit. Not to mention a friendship and musical soul mate that would last a lifetime. For you see, I had written “Some Gave All” about a Vietnam Veteran I met in 1989. Don Von Tress, himself a Vietnam Vet, walks into my life with what will become the cornerstone and launch pad for an album that represents a singer/songwriter from the Appalachian foothills of Eastern KY who had a dream and vision of touching peoples’ lives through music. Nothing more…nothing less. Full circle if you will.”

Here is the original version of “Achy Breaky Heart” from 1992.

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