The Valley Road

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"The Valley Road"
Bruce Hornsby - The Valley Road single cover.jpg
Single by Bruce Hornsby and the Range
from the album Scenes from the Southside
B-side "The Long Race"
Format7" (45 rpm)
Genre Pop rock
Label RCA Records
Songwriter(s) Bruce Hornsby, John Hornsby
Producer(s) Bruce Hornsby, Neil Dorfsman
Bruce Hornsby and the Range singles chronology
"Every Little Kiss"
"The Valley Road"
"Look Out Any Window"

"The Valley Road" is a song recorded by Bruce Hornsby and the Range. Hornsby co-wrote the song with his brother John Hornsby and co-produced it with Neil Dorfsman. The song is included on Bruce Hornsby and the Range's 1988 album, Scenes from the Southside .

Bruce Hornsby American singer, pianist, and songwriter

Bruce Randall Hornsby is an American singer-songwriter, Actor and pianist. He draws frequently from classical, jazz, bluegrass, folk, Motown, gospel, rock, blues, and jam band musical traditions.

Jonathan Bigelow "John" Hornsby is an American composer, musician and actor. He is the brother of musician and composer Bruce Hornsby, and the two have collaborated often.

<i>Scenes from the Southside</i> 1988 studio album by Bruce Hornsby and the Range

Scenes from the Southside is the second album by Bruce Hornsby and the Range. The single "The Valley Road" was Hornsby's third Top 10 U.S. hit, peaking at number five on the Billboard Hot 100, and also his first number one on the Billboard Album Rock Tracks chart. It became his third chart-topper on the Billboard adult contemporary chart, following "The Way It Is" and "Mandolin Rain". Two other notable tracks on the record were "The Show Goes On", which was featured in Ron Howard's 1991 film Backdraft, and "Jacob's Ladder", which was written by Bruce and John Hornsby, but is most well known as being a number-one hit for Huey Lewis and the News in March 1987.


Released as the lead single from the album, "The Valley Road" reached the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in June 1988, peaking at number 5 the week of July 2. [1] It also spent a week atop the Billboard adult contemporary chart in mid-June. [2] This was the group's third song to reach number 1 on the adult contemporary chart, following "The Way It Is" from 1986 and "Mandolin Rain" from 1987. The single lodged three weeks at the summit on the Billboard mainstream rock chart, becoming the first of the group's two chart-toppers on that list. [1] Roughly around the same time, the song reached number 44 on the UK Singles Chart. [3]

Single (music) type of music release usually containing one or two tracks

In the music industry, a single is a type of release, typically a song recording of fewer tracks than an LP record or an album. This can be released for sale to the public in a variety of different formats. In most cases, a single is a song that is released separately from an album, although it usually also appears on an album. Typically, these are the songs from albums that are released separately for promotional uses such as digital download or commercial radio airplay and are expected to be the most popular. In other cases a recording released as a single may not appear on an album.

The Billboard Hot 100 is the music industry standard record chart in the United States for songs, published weekly by Billboard magazine. Chart rankings are based on sales, radio play, and online streaming in the United States.

The Way It Is (song) 1986 single by Bruce Hornsby and the Range

"The Way It Is" is a song by American rock group Bruce Hornsby and the Range. It was released in September 1986 as the second single from their debut album The Way It Is. It topped the charts in the United States, Canada and the Netherlands in 1986, and peaked inside the top twenty in such countries as Ireland, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Written by Bruce Hornsby, it made explicit reference to the Civil Rights Movement. Musically, the song is characterized by two long piano solos.


Hornsby was quoted in an interview with the Chicago Tribune saying that the song was inspired by observations he made growing up in the Commonwealth of Virginia. "Every year, some rich girl would get involved with some country guy, and they would act irresponsibly and have to deal with the ramifications." [2] When asked why many of his band's songs dealt with socio-political issues, Hornsby replied that "there are some issues that we feel are important, so we write about them... we also like to tell a story, like in "The Valley Road", or paint a picture." [2]

<i>Chicago Tribune</i> major daily newspaper based in Chicago, Illinois, United States

The Chicago Tribune is a daily newspaper based in Chicago, Illinois, United States, owned by Tribune Publishing. Founded in 1847, and formerly self-styled as the "World's Greatest Newspaper", it remains the most-read daily newspaper of the Chicago metropolitan area and the Great Lakes region. It is the eighth-largest newspaper in the United States by circulation.

Virginia State of the United States of America

Virginia, officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a state in the Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States located between the Atlantic Coast and the Appalachian Mountains. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" due to its status as the first English colonial possession established in mainland North America and "Mother of Presidents" because eight U.S. presidents were born there, more than any other state. The geography and climate of the Commonwealth are shaped by the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Chesapeake Bay, which provide habitat for much of its flora and fauna. The capital of the Commonwealth is Richmond; Virginia Beach is the most populous city, and Fairfax County is the most populous political subdivision. The Commonwealth's estimated population as of 2018 is over 8.5 million.

Re-recorded version

In 1989, Hornsby re-recorded "The Valley Road" with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, which was included on the Dirt Band album Will the Circle Be Unbroken: Volume Two . Hornsby and the Dirt Band won a Grammy Award for this recording in 1990 in the category Best Bluegrass Recording. This version of the song was more in the country-bluegrass style of recording, inspired by Leon Russell and his collaborations with the New Grass Revival. Responding to some of the backlash he received from the bluegrass community on his Grammy win, Hornsby stated: "I won the bluegrass Grammy. It pissed off all the purists. And I understand their feeling about this. Here's this pop guy, and he's making this quasi-bluegrass. I totally understood the purists' protest." [4]

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band American band

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, an American country rock band, has existed in various forms since its founding in Long Beach, California, in 1966. The group's membership has had at least a dozen changes over the years, including a period from 1976 to 1981 when the band performed and recorded as the Dirt Band. Constant members since the early times are singer-guitarist Jeff Hanna and drummer Jimmie Fadden. Multi-instrumentalist John McEuen was with the band from 1966 to 1986 and returned during 2001, staying 16 years, then departing again in November 2017. Keyboardist Bob Carpenter joined the band in 1977. The band is often cited as instrumental to the progression of contemporary country and roots music.

<i>Will the Circle Be Unbroken: Volume Two</i> 1989 studio album by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

Will the Circle Be Unbroken: Volume Two is a 1989 album by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. The album follows the same concept as the band's 1972 album, Will the Circle Be Unbroken, which featured guest performances from many notable country music stars.

Grammy Award accolade by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States

A Grammy Award, or Grammy, is an award presented by The Recording Academy to recognize achievements in the music industry. The annual presentation ceremony features performances by prominent artists, and the presentation of those awards that have a more popular interest. The Grammys are the second of the Big Three major music awards held annually.


Chart (1988)Peak
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders) [5] 23
Canada Top Singles ( RPM ) [6] 2
Canada Adult Contemporary ( RPM ) [7] 1
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40) [8] 27
South African Top 20 [9] 9
UK Singles (Official Charts Company) [10] 44
US Billboard Hot 100 [11] 5
US Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks1
US Billboard Adult Contemporary Chart1

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  1. 1 2 Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 8th Edition (Billboard Publications), page 292.
  2. 1 2 3 Hyatt, Wesley (1999). The Billboard Book of #1 Adult Contemporary Hits (Billboard Publications), page 335.
  3. UK Singles Chart info Retrieved 26 July 2009.
  4. "Bruce Hornsby Revisits Bluegrass on CMT Crossroads", 23 February 2007. Retrieved 26 July 2009.
  5. " – Bruce Hornsby and the Range – The Valley Road" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  6. "Top RPM Singles: Issue 8720." RPM . Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved February 18, 2019.
  7. "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 8738." RPM . Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved February 18, 2019.
  8. "Nederlandse Top 40 – Bruce Hornsby and the Range" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40.
  9. "SA Charts 1965 - 1989 (As presented on Springbok Radio/Radio Orion): Acts H". South Africa's Rock Lists Website. South Africa's Rock Lists. October 2000. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  10. "Bruce Hornsby and the Range: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved February 18, 2019.
  11. "Bruce Hornsby Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved February 18, 2019.