17 Years Ago: Big & Rich Receive First Gold Single for ‘Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)’
Seventeen years ago today (Oct. 28, 2004) was a big day for Big & Rich: It was on that date that the duo, made up of "Big Kenny" Alphin and John Rich, earned their first gold record, signifying sales in excess of 500,000 units, for their song "Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)."
"Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)," which was the second single from Big & Rich's debut record, Horse of a Different Color, was written by the twosome. The album, which was released in May of 2004, earned gold status in July and platinum status, for sales exceeding one million copies, in August. Horse of a Different Color went on to be certified triple platinum, although it didn't churn out any No. 1 hits. "Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)" was the highest-charting song on the disc; it peaked at No. 11.
The raunchy lyrics of "Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)" -- which includes lines such as, "I'm a thoroughbred / That's what she said / In the back of my truck bed / As I was gettin' buzzed on suds ... And we made love / And I saddled up my horse / And I ride into the city / I make a lot of noise / 'Cause the girls / They are so pretty" -- were questionable for the airwaves, but Rich stood by the song.
"When your dad's a preacher and you have a song on the radio called "Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)," that makes for an interesting conversation," he joked to Billboard.
Perhaps in an attempt to lure in more listeners, Big & Rich followed up "Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)" with the single "Holy Water," which peaked at No. 15. The country duo has only had two other singles reach gold status, "Lost in This Moment," which was released in 2007 as the debut single from their Between Raising Hell and Amazing Grace album, and 2014's "Look at You," from that year's Gravity.
Big & Rich also included "Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)" on their Big & Rich's Super Galactic Fan Pak 2.
This story was originally written by Gayle Thompson, and revised by Annie Zaleski.
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