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Almost Country: Pop Music Star Bruce Hornsby

Bruce Hornsby
Daniel Pierce Wright/Getty Images

I received an email from a gentleman in Northeast Tennessee.  He said he enjoyed the ‘Almost Country’ series of stories here at and suggested that Bruce Hornsby, a major Pop star in the 1980’s would fit that description.


It’s 1986.  And a song comes onto the Pop and Rock music charts, a different kind of song, one that doesn’t seem to really fit in with Van Halen, Motley Crue, or the other ‘Big Hair’ bands in those Rock and Roll days.

But it doesn’t matter.  It goes to the Top of the Pop/Rock charts and is now considered a Pop Music Classic.  Who is that guy?

That guy is Bruce Hornsby and the song is ‘The Way It Is’.


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In 1987 Bruce Hornsby (and The Range) win the Grammy for Best New Artist.  He goes on to have more Pop hits, songs like ‘Mandolin Rain’ and others.

Bruce Hornsby was almost, but not quite, Country.  But wait….maybe he was a little more ‘Country’ than we thought.  After all, did you know Bruce won another Grammy…in 1990 for Best Bluegrass Album?  Yep.  He has appeared on the Grand Ole Opry, and has done tons of work with Country and Bluegrass artist’s, perhaps most notably with the great Ricky Skaggs.

I would say Bruce Hornsby is a lot more Country than many of the Country act’s today.



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