On this day in July of 1998, legendary country music group The Chicks (then known as The Dixie Chicks) released their record-breaking single, “Wide Open Spaces.”
Written by lead singer of The Groobees, Susan Gibson, “Wide Open Spaces” was released as the third single and title track from the trio’s fourth studio album.
The track played a big part in shaping the group’s image with the sense of youthfulness, romance, adventure and independence it portrayed. It wasn’t long before the song was coined as one of their signature songs that resonated greatly with fans, especially young teenage girls.
Gibson was blown away when she heard The Chicks’ recording of her personal song. “It made me bawl my eyes out,” shared the songwriter. “It was so beautiful—it had this stunning musicianship and very professional production. I could still see my handwriting on the page, and here was this gorgeous recording of it.”
“Wide Open Spaces” shot up the charts, hitting number one on the U.S. Country singles chart, placing number 41 on the U.S. Pop singles chart and reaching number one on Canada’s country music chart, which gained a following for The Chicks in that region.
The accolades didn’t stop there, as the single was placed at number 259 on the RIAA’s 365 Songs of the Century list, was named number 22 on CMT’s 100 Greatest Songs in Country Music list, secured the Country Music Association Awards Single of the Year in 1999 and won Gibson the American Songwriter Professional Country Songwriter of the Year award in 2000.
Click above to re-live the “Wide Open Spaces” music video.