Steve Wariner - Billy Bob's Texas

Steve Wariner


In February of 1996, Charlie Nagatani joins Steve Wariner on stage and becomes the first, and to date only Japanese country artist to play Billy Bob’s.


Singer/songwriter/storyteller and multi-instrumentalist, Steve Wariner, is a troubadour in the music industry and continues to inspire artists today. More than 20 albums and five decades into his career, Wariner has become a modern-day multi-genre icon, earning 14 No. 1 hits, over 30 Top 10 singles, three RIAA-certified Gold albums, the Minnie Pearl Humanitarian Award, four GRAMMY Awards, four CMA Awards, three ACM Awards, two TNN/Music City News Awards, a Christian Country Music Association Award, a CMA Triple Play Award, 15 BMI Million-Air Awards, and most recently, Country Radio Broadcasters bestowed Wariner as the recipient of the 2018 CRB Artist Career Achievement Award. In October 2019, he’ll be inducted into the prestigious Musicians Hall of Fame, and throughout his illustrious career, has been inducted into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame, the National Thumbpickers Hall of Fame, the Music City Walk of Fame, and is one of only five guitar players in the world to be given the “Certified Guitar Player” (CGP) award by Chet Atkins.

As an award-winning songwriter, he has composed songs for Clint Black (“Nothin’ But the Taillights”), Bryan White (“One Small Miracle”), Keith Urban (“Where the Blacktop Ends”), as well as the three week No. 1 smash, “Longneck Bottle,” by Country Music Hall of Fame member Garth Brooks. Wariner has also penned songs for Country Music Hall of Fame members Alabama, Kenny Rogers, The Statler Brothers, Conway Twitty, Bill Anderson and Don Williams; pop music icon Peter Tork (of The Monkees); R&B singer Ruben Studdard; Bluegrass music’s Del McCoury Band and Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver; Rockabilly/Country hitmaker Bob Luman and many more.

Today, he continues to captivate audiences with his sensational voice and guitar prowess and is recognized through his portfolio of work spanning Country, Bluegrass, Rock, Jazz and Pop.

Born on Christmas Day, December 25, 1954, the Noblesville, Indiana native got his start in music at the tender age of 10 playing bass guitar. A few years later, he played drums in his father’s band.

One night while performing in an Indianapolis club, Country Music Hall of Fame member, Dottie West, happened to be there and spotted the talented teenager. West convinced the 17-year-old to make the bold move from Indiana to Music City to join her band. Upon accepting the offer, Wariner played bass for three years with her and eventually signed to Dottie’s publishing company as a songwriter. After he left Dottie’s organization, Wariner toured and recorded with Grand Ole Opry star Bob Luman.

In the 70’s, Wariner’s life and career forever changed when he connected with his idol and guitar extraordinaire Chet Atkins through guitar virtuoso Paul Yandell. Atkins signed him to his first recording contract at RCA Records in 1977 and eventually hired Wariner to play bass in his band. His first single, “I’m Already Taken,” peaked at No. 63 on the Country charts and was later re-recorded by Country icon Conway Twitty. More than 20 years later, Wariner recorded “I’m Already Taken” again in 1999 and took it all the way to the Top 5 on Billboard. Wariner’s first Top 40 hit was “Your Memory,” which was released in 1980 and peaked at No. 7, which paved the way for two more Top 10 hits, including “By Now” and his first No. 1 “All Roads Lead to You,” which was released in 1981.

While on the rise, Wariner left RCA in 1984 and signed with MCA Records, the label that would catapult him to achieve some of his biggest hits spanning into the 90s, including “What I Didn’t Do,” “Heart Trouble,” “Some Fools Never Learn,” “The Weekend,” and “Life’s Highway.”

His star began to shine brighter as his music made its way into television. In 1986, he recorded the theme song for ABC’s Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning TV sitcom, “Who’s The Boss?”

Wariner moved over to Arista Records in 1991 where he released his album I Am Ready. Shortly after, he earned his first GRAMMY Award for Best Country Vocal Collaboration as a vocalist on the single “Restless,” along with Vince Gill, Ricky Skaggs and Mark O’Connor, on O’Connor’s album. They were known as The New Nashville Cats.

Although he played the Opry since 1973 when he debuted as bass guitarist with Dottie West, a lifelong dream came true on May 11, 1996, when Wariner was asked to join the Grand Ole Opry as a member. He sang “A Woman Loves,” a duet with Bill Anderson on “Tips Of My Fingers” and Chet Atkins joined Wariner on “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You?”

In 1997, Wariner collaborated with Anita Cochran on the No. 1 duet “What If I Said,” which Wariner recorded on his RIAA Gold certified album Burnin’ the Roadhouse Down.

In 1998, Capitol Records signed and released Wariner’s “Holes In The Floor Of Heaven.” That same year, Wariner swept the Country Music Awards and Academy of Country Music awards by winning 3 ACMs and 3 CMAs for “Holes in the Floor of Heaven,” which won Song of the Year and Single of the Year. Wariner also produced “Holes in the Floor of Heaven.” The emotional hit smash was also nominated for a GRAMMY.

During that time, he won the GRAMMY Award for Best Country Instrumental as a musician on the Asleep at the Wheel song, “Bob’s Breakdown,” an award he would win again in 2008 for his collaboration with Brad Paisley for the single, “Cluster Pluck,” and in 2009 for “Producer’s Medley,” a track on Wariner’s album My Tribute to Chet Atkins.

In 2011, he released Guitar Laboratory, a collection of instrumental songs spanning many genres, including Bluegrass, Classical, Country, Jazz, Blues and traditional Hawaiian music. The release of It Ain’t All Bad followed in 2013 and All Over the Map in 2016.

Metal icon Dave Mustaine, of Megadeth, invited Wariner to play steel guitar on the band’s Dystopia album in 2015. It’s clear Wariner has a true passion for his profession, and evident through his extensive collection of guitars, including the first one he ever learned to play, the first one he bought, several gifted to him by Chet Atkins, his own Takamine models, including 3 editions, and in 2019, Gretsch released the Steve Wariner Signature Nashville Gentleman.

Over the course of his career, Wariner’s passion for writing, playing and singing music remains undiminished. He has served as an extraordinary role model and inspiration to artists in many genres and has become an excellent example of one our industry’s most talented and professional artists, songwriters and musicians, and has proven to be a triple threat; an award-winning artist, musician, and songwriter.

Debut Date

June 11th, 1981

# of Appearances





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