We love hearing our favorite artists on the radio, but what about the silver screen? It’s like finding one last cookie at the bottom of the jar, a free gift of music. Some of these songs never make it onto the artist’s album and are never nominated for awards. Most of them you will never hear on the radio. Some of the best cinematic moments are met with great music behind them. These are just a few of the best made-for-movie songs, sung by country music artists.
“My Little Girl” from Flicka by Tim McGraw.
The song would make McGraw’s Greatest Hits Vol 2 album and go on to reach number 3 on the charts. McGraw co-wrote the song and also appeared in the movie. The guy can do it all.
“I Cross My Heart” from Pure Country by George Strait
Strait’s 13th studio album was the soundtrack from Pure Country. The song reached the top spot on the charts, and the album, is still Strait’s best selling album to date. I think Dusty Chandler would approve.
“How Do I Live?” from Con Air byTrisha Yearwood
Perhaps the most controversial country music song to get stuck between two artists. The song was originally recorded by LeAnn Rimes, with the intent for it to be used in the film. Walt Disney Pictures decided that Rimes was both too young to sing about the subject matter and her voice had too much of a “pop” sound. They approached Yearwood to give the song a deeper, country feel to it. Yearwood released her version to country radio and had it appear in Con Air. Neither Rimes or Yearwood’s version appeared on the movie soundtrack.
“There You’ll Be” from Pearl Harbor by Faith Hill
I still don’t know why this movie gets such a bad rap. Regardless, Faith sings the lights out of this song. While it does appear on two of Hill’s greatest hit albums, when it was released as a radio single in 2001, no commercial CD was released, as the movie executives wanted to boost the soundtrack sales.
“Where Are You Christmas? from How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Faith Hill
Thanks to marital issues between Mariah Carey, who wrote and recorded the song, and her then-husband and producer Tommy Mottola, the song could not be released. So it was then re-recorded and released by Faith Hill. This song makes everyone’s Christmas playlist and became an iconic song for Faith.
“Ever, Ever After” from Enchanted by Carrie Underwood
I have never even seen this movie, nor have plans to, but this is still a good song. A song that had Underwood wanted to release to radio, would have made a splash. But alas, at least we can get a cute Carrie music video out of it.
“Fake ID” from Footloose by Big & Rich ft Gretchen Wilson
When most people think of the Footloose remake they think of Blake Shelton’s version of the iconic song. But “Fake ID” is one catchy, boot stomping song, that you won’t be surprised to hear in any country dive bar.
“When I Pray for You” from The Shack by Dan + Shay
This entire album is so good, but Dan + Shay deliver a moving, uplifting tale with this song. Maybe it’s Shay’s once again, unbelievable vocals, or the fact that when the movie and song came out, he was a new dad, and the song became more relatable. Whatever it is, this song hits all the right notes-literally.
“To Make You Feel My Love” from Hope Floats by Garth Brooks
Written by Bob Dylan and recorded by countless other artists, Brooks version is the one that makes the cut in “Hope Floats.” Brooks future wife, Trisha Yearwood also did a cover of the song; together they make up the first and last tracks of the soundtrack.
“I Did With You” from Best of Me by Lady Antebellum
The song about lost love is only fitting for a movie based off a Nicholas Sparks book. The “Best of Me” soundtrack is filled with other country artists, from Kip Moore and Kacey Musgraves, but you can’t beat the male and female back and forth that Charles and Hillary bring to the song. This may be my favorite Lady A song-ever.
“9 to 5” from 9 to 5 by Dolly Parton
The song was written specifically for the movie, and in a sense it feels like a two and half minute summary of the movie. It also was Parton’s debut on the silver screen. No doubt that this song and this movie elevated Dolly’s career to a near unattainable level.