Vern Gosdin’s “Set ’em Up Joe” is considered one of the best country music singles ever made.
Never heard of this guy, never heard of this song, am not a particularly big country music fan. But I immediately love this. Probably listened to it 20-30x so far today. And loud.
“Set ’em Up Joe” is a classic country song by Vern Gosdin, released in 1988. The song was written by Gosdin, Max D. Barnes, and Robert John Jones, and produced by Bob Montgomery.
The song tells the story of a man who is drowning his sorrows at a bar, reminiscing about lost love and missed opportunities. Gosdin’s rich, emotive voice perfectly captures the melancholic mood of the song, conveying a sense of regret and longing that resonates with listeners.
The song’s instrumentation is understated but effective, with a simple guitar and piano arrangement that allows Gosdin’s voice to take center stage. The chorus, with its memorable refrain of “Set ’em up Joe, I got a little story I think you should know,” has become a classic of the country music genre.
“Set ’em Up Joe” was a commercial and critical success, reaching #1 on the country charts and earning Gosdin widespread acclaim. The song has become a beloved classic of the genre, a testament to Gosdin’s skill as a songwriter and performer, as well as his ability to capture the universal experiences of love, loss, and heartbreak.