Garth Brooks Dedicates “The Dance” To Keith Whitley and Lorrie Morgan

Garth Brooks Dedicates “The Dance” To Keith Whitley and Lorrie Morgan | Classic Country Music | Legendary Stories and Songs Videos

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The Grand Ole Opry Honors Keith Whitley With A Tribute Show 

Music City gathered last weekend to remember the late Keith Whitley at the famous Grand Ole Opry. The event, I Wonder Do You Think of Me: The Opry Remembers Keith Whitley, was a “one-of-a-kind show” with a lineup including Garth Brooks, Terri Clark, Ashley McBryde, Lorrie Morgan, Jesse Keith Whitley, Mark Wills, and the Grascals. 

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Garth Brooks Dedicates “The Dance” To Keith Whitley and Lorrie Morgan    

Garth Brooks performed his signature track, “The Dance” during the special tribute show. He dedicated the song to Keith Whitley and Lorrie Morgan who wed in November of 1986, but their love story was tragically cut short by Whitley’s untimely death in 1989. 

Brooks can be seen wiping tears from his eyes as the song comes to a close. 

“The innocence, the love, the tradition of country music is alive and well in this house. It has been an honor to pay tribute to Keith Whitley in the house of country music tonight.” 

The Story Behind “The Dance” 

“The Dance” was written by Tony Arata in 1988 when he was an aspiring songwriter in Nashville, TN. Garth Brooks heard the ballad for the first time at an open mic night and told Arata that he would cut the song if he ever secured a record deal. 

The emotional song describes the struggle of remembering good times amidst pain. Brooks once reflected on the song: 

“To a lot of people, I guess ‘The Dance’ is a love gone bad song. Which, you know, that it is. But to me, it’s always been a song about life. Or maybe the loss of those people that have given the ultimate sacrifice for a dream that they believed in, like the John F. Kennedy’s or the Martin Luther King’s. John Wayne’s or the Keith Whitley’s.” 

See Tony Arata, the original songwriter, perform a stripped-down version of “The Dance” at the famous Bluebird Cafe below.

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