Story Behind the Song: Suzy Bogguss, ‘Letting Go’
Suzy Bogguss' 1992 single "Letting Go" was a Top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart, and enjoyed significant Adult Contemporary chart crossover success as well, but the song almost never saw the light of day. In fact, Bogguss had to fight for the song after being repeatedly told that it was "too pop" to make it onto one of her records.
One day, however, Bogguss took advantage of some spare studio time to record "Letting Go." Below, she recounts the story behind making the song, including how one soloist came in to play on the track with a 103-degree fever.
I had been trying to get it on a record from the beginning, from [my 1989 debut] Somewhere Between. I tried to get it on that record, and they said, "No, it's not gonna fit. It's too pop." Then I tried to get it on the next record, and it was, "No, it's too pop."
Finally, the next year, we were doing all the Aces songs, and we got done with all the songs we were gonna record, and we still had a whole other session. And I just said, "Can we please lay down a track for this song? If we can do that and you don't like it, we don't have to put it on the record. But we've got time, and we've already paid these guys."
My husband [Doug Crider] and [producer and songwriter] Matt Rollings actually wrote that song. Matt had the flu, and normally, he was my keyboard player on every tracking session. But this particular day, he wasn't there, and it was his first time that he ever had a cut. I called him to tell him that we were cutting his song, and I was so sorry he didn't get to play on it, but he had a temperature of 103.
He said, "Please, please, please let me play the solo. I won't touch anybody. I won't breathe on you!" I was like, "Oh my God, you're sick as a dog." But he came in and played that solo with a 103 temperature. And then we sprayed the room down with Lysol.
When I got ready to re-record [the song] for the Aces Redux album [in 2016], that was the one that had deepened the most for me. It was written about my mom and I ... but at that point I didn't have a child. When I got ready to do Redux, my son had already graduated high school and gone to college, and I was feeling the mother's side of things.
It really deepened the meaning for me, the second time I recorded it. So now I feel even more empathy when I look out there and the moms are dabbing their eyes. But half the time, it's the dads dabbing their eyes, because they were the ones that took [their kids] to college and dropped them off, or whatever. It's pretty neat to have a song that, everyone goes through that time period, whether it's college, getting a job in a different town, moving out or whatever. It's just a big part of life, and a big deal.
All of Suzy Bogguss' Country Albums, Ranked