6 Songs You Didn’t Know Garth Brooks Wrote for Other Artists

Former American Songwriter cover star Garth Brooks is one of the most successful songwriters and performers in the history of country music—no, in the history of American music, in general.

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With his giant stadium tours, cowboy hat, and onstage aerobics, Brooks has wowed audiences all over the world with his heart-pounding shows.

The artist is also in a power-couple relationship with acclaimed songwriter and country performer Trisha Yearwood. In fact, the two have even collaborated on songs together (as you will see below).

While the 60-year-old, Tulsa, Oklahoma-born artist has penned dozens of popular songs for himself over the years, he’s also written for some big-name artists, from Yearwood to Tanya Tucker and more. Here, we will dive into six such numbers that Brooks helped put together for other musicians.

1. “The Thunder Rolls,” Tanya Tucker

Written by Garth Brooks and Pat Alger

Many know the song “The Thunder Rolls” from Brooks’ own catalog (it was co-written with Pat Alger, who plays acoustic on the recording). But many don’t know that the musician, who released it on his album No Fences in 1991, wrote it for country star Tanya Tucker, who first recorded the song. Tucker’s version, though, was shelved until 1995, when it appeared on her self-titled box set.

Tucker’s version also includes a fourth verse, which kills off the unfaithful husband antagonist just as the “thunder rolls.” Brooks’ shorter version is on his album. Fans of Brooks and Tucker can see both talking about the writing of the single and its evolution in the video clip below.

2. “What He’s Doing Now,” Crystal Gayle

Written by Garth Brooks and Pat Alger

Co-written with Pat Alger, the song “What She’s Doing Now” was penned and recorded by Brooks, released in December 1991 as the third single from his record Ropin’ the Wind. But before he dropped it, country singer Crystal Gayle cut the track in 1989 and released it in 1990 on the album, Ain’t Gonna Worry. Her version was not released as a formal single.

“‘What She’s Doing Now’ was an idea I had a long, long time about a man wondering what a woman was doing. And it was very simple,” wrote Brooks in the liner notes on his album The Hits. “What is she doing now? Is she hanging out the clothes? Is she running a business? Is she a mother? Is she married? Who is she with? When I told the idea to Pat Alger, he looked at me with a smile and said, ‘I wonder if she knows what she’s doing now to me?’ When I heard that, the bumps went over my arms and the back of my neck, and I knew that he had something.

“Crystal Gayle cut this song back in 1989. It came back to us for the Ropin’ The Wind album. It is a song that has crossed all boundaries and borders around the world. This has made me extremely happy because the greatest gift a writer can ask for is to relate to someone. I can’t help but think that this song might relate to a lot of people.”

3. “In Another’s Eyes,” Trisha Yearwood

Written by Garty Brooks, Bobby Wood and John Peppard

The two lovebirds have made a life together. But they’ve also worked on popular songs together. Here, let’s dive into two works, in particular.

The song, “In Another’s Eyes” was recorded by Yearwood and Brooks. It was released in 1997, the second single from Yearwood’s compilation album, (Songbook) A Collection of Hits. The track, which hit No. 2 on the Billboard Hot Country chart, was written by Brooks with Bobby Wood and John Peppard, formally.

The song also marks the first major collaboration between Yearwood and Brooks. At the time, the two were only close friends, married to other spouses. Brooks was wed to Sandy Mahl and Yearwood was married to Robert Reynolds (Mavericks). But later, by 2001, the two had divorced and got together formally in 2005. The two even won the Grammy for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals for the track.

Another song they worked on together was the track, which came even earlier than the one above, “Like We Never Had a Broken Heart.” It was written by Alger and Brooks and recorded by Yearwood, released in 1991 as the second single from her debut self-titled LP. The song hit No. 4 on the Billboard Hot Country chart.

Check out both songs below.

4. “Forever Lovin’ You,” Pat Alger

Written by Garth Brooks and Pat Alger

The song, “Forever Lovin’ You,” was written by Brooks and longtime collaborator Pat Alger (see previous collabs above). It was first recorded in 1990 and released in 1991 by Alger on his album True Love & Other Short Stories. The jazzy, acoustic-driven song is a shoulder-shaker complete with harmonica and love-lost lyrics. Don’t know how it happened, only know it’s true, Alger sings, forlorn. But if it ever really matters you could say I’ve been forever lovin’ you.

5. “Whatcha Gonna Do With a Cowboy,” Chris LeDoux

Written by Garth Brooks and Mark D Sanders

The song, “Whatcha Gonna Do with a Cowboy,” was recorded first by country artist Chris LeDoux, with Brooks. It was released in July 1992 as the first single from LeDoux’s album of the same name. The track hit No. 7 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart in September 1992. On it, Brooks is a featured duet partner. It’s a jaunty track with slide guitars, fiddles, and LeDoux’s rubbery, quintessential country voice. It’s all about the novelty of meeting a true cowboy.

Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT/ViacomCBS

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