American Songwriter attended this year’s Radnor in the Round, a special musical event featuring hit songwriters performing outdoors in the round to benefit Radnor Lake in Nashville. For the next several weeks, we’ll share performance videos from Radnor in the Round, beginning with songwriter Kent Blazy’s performance of his 1989 Garth Brooks hit “If Tomorrow Never Comes.” Read a short Q&A with Blazy and watch the performance below.
How did you write “If Tomorrow Never Comes,” and what inspired it?
I met Garth when he was cleaning churches and selling boots. I had a demo studio and he wanted to be a demo singer. He brought a cassette over and played me six songs. I liked what I heard and said I would use him. He told me he wrote so we set up an appointment for a few months down the road. He brought in the idea for “If Tomorrow Never Comes.” He said he’d run it by 25 writers and no one liked it. I said play what you have. He did and I told him what I would do. We did it and at the end of the day we had a song. We pitched it for about a year and no one was interested. He got a call to come sing one song at the Bluebird Cafe to fill in for an artist who didn’t show up. He sang our song and someone from Capitol Records who’d passed on Garth three times heard it and said come back in. He did and got a record deal.
What is it like to co-write with Garth Brooks?
Garth is a great, great, songwriter. One of the best. He is always two steps ahead of us other writers and has a good “outside the box” way of looking at things.
The song is widely beloved and meant a lot to Garth’s career. Did you expect it to have the impact that it did? What does it mean to you now, looking back?
We thought we had written a really good song and we were disappointed no one wanted to cut it. When it became a hit we got tons of letters from folks telling us how it touched them. I had prayed for a song like that and I’m honored it was that song written with a great artist and friend. I play songwriter shows around the world and folks still share what that song means to them 30 years later. It is still my favorite song I’ve written.
Video shot and edited by Neal Dahlgren.