Country Music Memories: Garth Brooks’ ‘That Summer’ Hits No. 1


Twenty-eight years ago today (July 3, 1993) was a thrilling day for Garth Brooks: It was on that date that he earned his 10th No. 1 hit with “That Summer,” from 1992’s The Chase.

Brooks co-wrote “That Summer” with Pat Alger and his then-wife, Sandy Brooks. With lyrics such as, “When I told her that I’d never / She softly whispered, ‘That’s alright’ / And then I watched her hands of leather / Turn to velvet in a touch / There’s never been another summer / When I have ever learned so much / She had a need to feel the thunder / To chase the lightning from the sky / To watch a storm with all its wonder / Raging in her lover’s eyes,” the song about a secret affair between a widowed woman and a young, inexperienced man quickly became one of Brooks’ favorite songs of his career.

“”That Summer” started out as a single guy and a married woman meeting at a party,” Brooks recalls. “The married woman [was] being ignored by who she was with, and they snuck off together.

“[Producer] Allen Reynolds told me, ‘Man, I just don’t find myself pulling for these characters. It doesn’t seem innocently cool,'” Brooks continues. “I was thinking that he was right.

“Going home that night in the truck, I started singing, ‘She has a need to feel the thunder.’ Sandy started helping me write the chorus, and we got the chorus done,” he adds. “Probably one of the neat things that I love about “That Summer” is that I think the song is very sexy.”

“That Summer” spent two weeks at the top of the charts.

This story was originally written by Gayle Thompson, and revised by Annie Zaleski.

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