In Line With Billy Ray Cyrus

Achy Breaky dance moves in this week's Forgotten Video
  • Billy Ray Cyrus in "Achy Breaky Heart"
September 30, 2010 -- 4:00 am PDT
GRAMMY.com

Welcome to Forgotten Videos. Well, for some forgotten, for others just filed away, and for others still, a totally brand-new discovery. Whichever category you fall into, each week we'll feature a video that's possibly been collecting dust when what it really deserves is a fresh look. Or, we'll be giving a fresh look at a video that deserves to be collecting dust. We're not here to judge, we just want to take you on a little trip down memory lane. Yep, you'll remember when hair was really that big, when drums were that up front in the mix, when video was young(er) and so were you.

Billy Ray Cyrus
"Achy Breaky Heart"
1992

Hailing from Flatwoods, Ky., Billy Ray Cyrus was close to taking his turn at bat instead of inside a recording studio. While attending Kentucky's Georgetown College on a baseball scholarship, Cyrus purchased a guitar, which led him to rethink his career path. Eventually, he signed with Mercury Records and released his debut album, Some Gave All, in 1992. Following the lead of the romping "Achy Breaky Heart," which peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1992, the album has sold more than nine million copies.

Achy breaky lore has it that the song was initially offered to the Oak Ridge Boys, but they passed since lead singer Duane Allen did not like the words "achy breaky." Their loss was Cyrus' break, as the song became his signature and garnered a GRAMMY nomination for Record Of The Year in 1992.

While perfectly styled country lyrics such as "You can tell your ma I moved to Arkansas/You can tell your dog to bite my leg" provide enough fodder for discussion (as do Billy Ray's power mullet and Elvis-like hip shakes), the song is arguably most notable for its video, which helped spearhead the line dancing craze of the early '90s. The Achy Breaky dance became hugely popular at local bars, taverns and dives nationwide, and the legend is still intact today thanks to YouTube. (If the passage of time has clouded your memory of how the dance goes, check out this helpful tutorial.)

Like so many songs that become pop culture phenomena, "Achy Breaky Heart" was either loved or hated. The song was No. 2 on VH1's 50 Most Awesomely Bad Songs list (losing out to Starship's badly awesome "We Built This City") and also placed on Blender magazine's 50 Worst Songs Ever list. But AOL country music website The Boot named the song one of the top 10 catchiest country tunes of all time.

Cyrus would not plate a Billboard Hot 100 Top 40 hit again until 2007 with "Ready, Set, Don't Go" — the same year his daughter Miley first broke the Top 10 with "See You Again." Also in 2007, Cyrus was a contestant on "Dancing With The Stars," but his achy breaky moves were only good for fifth place.

On a scale of one to 10, how would you rate Billy Ray's mullet? Got a Forgotten Video recommendation? Leave us a comment.

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