Shoulda Been a Hit: Chely Wright’s “She Went Out for Cigarettes” [Video]
Did you know that Chely Wright only had one top ten hit in her career? It’s true. She reached #1 in 1999 with the huge smash “Single White Female,” but didn’t have another song to break the Top Ten on the Billboard charts. I suppose, because of that fact, I could easily have written about “Shut Up and Drive” in this week’s Should Been a Hit column. After all, that’s one of my favorite country songs . . . EVER. But, instead, I’m choosing “She Went Out for Cigarettes.” And here’s why . . .
After reaching the top of the charts with ‘Single White Female,” Chely released a pretty decent follow-up. In fact, “It Was” just narrowly missed being a big hit itself. It eventually peaked at #11. Naturally, for her album’s 3rd single, the label strategically released a ballad . . . “She Went Out for Cigarettes.” The song had all the makings of one of country’s “woman-giving-a-man-just-what-he’s-deserved-for-a-long-time” songs. For all practical purposes, THIS was Chely Wright’s “Independence Day.” Or, it could of been. Heck, if you ask me . . . it SHOULDA been. Listen!
But “She Went Out for Cigarettes” wasn’t a hit. In fact, it tanked and peaked at a mere #49 on the country chart. Nothing she has released since has even cracked the Top 20. It’s hard to believe, but Chely’s last chart hit was way back in 2004 and “Bumper of My SUV” only climbed to #35 and that was the second time around (the song was officially released twice).
I suppose you could say her chart career “went out for cigarettes and just kept driving on.” I don’t know about you . . . but nothing about that seems “Wright.” It’s wrong, wrong, wrong!