7 Songs You Didn’t Know Rafe Van Hoy Wrote

Although Rafe Van Hoy may not have the same name recognition as many other songwriters, his award-winning works speak for themselves. Since signing his first publishing deal at just 17, the Grammy nominee has penned significant hits for some of country music’s most celebrated artists.

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This October, the Tennessee native will be inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame alongside Kix Brooks, Keith Urban, Casey Beathard, and David Lee Murphy. 

[RELATED: Keith Urban, Kix Brooks Among Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Class of 2023]

In honor of this remarkable achievement, let’s take a look back at the classic country songs Rafe Van Hoy wrote for other artists:

1. “Golden Ring,” George Jones and Tammy Wynette

This lovelorn duet from Tammy Wynette and George Jones was the brainchild of Van Hoy and Bobby Braddock. Released in 1976 as the iconic title track from the pair’s seventh album together, “Golden Ring” soared to No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart.

2. “I’m Only In It For The Love,” John Conlee

Penned with fellow 2023 Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee Kix Brooks and singer/songwriter Deborah Allen, this hopeful and romantic track became a No. 1 hit for Conlee in 1983.

3. “Old Flames Have New Names,” Mark Chesnutt

Another stellar work from Van Hoy and Braddock, “Old Flames Have New Names,” follows the theming of George Strait’s hit “All My Ex’s Live in Texas.” The tune about a ladies’ man who gets left behind by his former flames earned Mark Chesnutt a Top 5 hit in 1992.

4. “Baby I Lied,” Deborah Allen

This 1983 single was a massive crossover hit for Allen, driven by her passionate vocal delivery. Co-written by Van Hoy and Rory Bourke, “Baby I Lied” became her most commercially successful song, climbing into the Top 10 on both country and adult contemporary stations.

5. “Let’s Stop Talkin’ About It,” Janie Fricke

The songwriting trio that found success with “Baby I Lied” also supplied Janie Fricke with her fifth No. 1 hit. “Let’s Stop Talkin’ About It,” a cut from Fricke’s eighth album Love Lies, took the top spot on Billboard‘s Hot Country Songs chart in 1984.

6. “Hurt Me Bad (in a Real Good Way),” Patty Loveless

Allen and Van Hoy’s creative bond sparked magic again in 1991 for Patty Loveless. The sweeping “Hurt Me Bad (In a Real Good Way)” became a Top 5 hit and was the first single from the country star’s superb fifth record, Up Against My Heart.

7. “What’s Forever For,” Michael Martin Murphey

Although “What’s Forever For” has been recorded by multiple artists over the years, Michael Martin Murphey’s version became a chart-topper in 1978. The song, one of the most-played singles on country radio that year, still stands as one of the country artist’s most recognizable tracks.

(Photo by R. Diamond/Getty Images)

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