Jeffrey Steele
Wikipedia via Dave Mann

Jeffrey Steele – Country Music’s Unsung Hit Maker

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You may never have heard of Jeffrey Steele, but you’ve heard his songs. Fans of this gifted singer-songwriter believe he performs his songs better than the artists that have made them famous. Let’s check out Jeffrey’s work.

Introduction: Jeffrey Steele country music’s hit maker

Jeffrey Steele is one of country’s most successful and prolific songwriters. He’s written hundreds of hit songs, including chart-toppers for Rascal Flatts, Montgomery Gentry, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Leanne Rimes, Keith Urban, Keith Anderson, Tracy Byrd, Billy Ray Cyrus, Mark Wills, Pam Tillis, Steve Holy, Trace Adkins, Collin Ray, Clay Walker, Trick Pony, Lonestar, Phil Vassar, Van Zandt, Pat Green, Emerson Drive, Joe Nichols, Aaron Tippin, Diamond Rio, and many more.

Steele is also an artist in his own right, and many of his fans feel he performs the songs he writes better than the artists who ultimately record them and chart a hit. Versions of his demo recordings of the songs can be found on his website.

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Between 1990 and 1996, Steele was the lead singer and bass guitarist in the country music band Boy Howdy, which recorded two albums and an EP on Curb Records. In 2001 he released the album “Something in the Water” on Monument Records.

Many people wonder why Steele hasn’t enjoyed the same success as the groups he has written hits for. Part of that may be that due to his own personal preferences in his solo work. Steele has leaned more towards traditional country, rather than the pop-country hits he has written for others. Nonetheless, his songwriting remains top-notch.

In 2017, Steele released another traditional-country-flavored solo record, giving the album a group name, the self-titled Sons of the Palomino on his own 3 Ring Circus label, named after the famous country showcase, the Palomino Club in Los Angeles.

The album features guest appearances by John Rich (Big and Rich), John Anderson, and Gretchen Wilson as well as a stellar cast of A-List Nashville studio musicians.

Jeffrey Steele’s top songs

1. What Hurts the Most, recorded by Rascal Flatts (2005)

What Hurts the Most” was written by Jeffrey Steele and Steve Robson. The song reached #1 on the US Hot Country Songs (Billboard), #1 on US adult contemporary and #6 on the Billboard Hot 100, and #9 on the US adult top 40 in 2006-2007. On the year-end charts, it was also #4 on the country charts, #13 on the adult contemporary charts, and #26 on the adult top 40 for 2006, and #9 on the US adult contemporary in 2007.

Cascada version (2007-2008)

The song was also recorded by Cascada and reached #1 in US dance/mix and #2 in US hot dance singles in 2007-2008, as well as #3 in Austria, #2 in Finland, #2 in France, #5 and hungry, #4 in Scotland, #6 in Ireland, #9 in Germany, and #8 on the European hot 100 singles (Billboard) in 2007-2008.

2. The Cowboy in Me, recorded by Tim McGraw (2001)

The Cowboy in Me” was written by Jeffrey Steele, Al Anderson, and Craig Wiseman.

The song reached #1 on the US Hot Country Songs (Billboard) in 2001-2002, and #21 for the year in 2002, in #33 on the hot 100 chart in 2001-2002.

3. My Wish, recorded by Rascal Flatts (2006)

My Wish” was written by Jeffrey Steele and Steve Robson. As of May 2016, the song had sold 2.927 million in the US. It reached #1 on the in US Hot Country Songs (Billboard), #13 on US adult contemporary, and #28 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2006-2007.

4. These Days, recorded by Rascal Flatts (2002)

These Days” was written by Jeffrey Steele, Steve Robson, and Danny Wells.

The song reached #1 on the US Hot Country Songs (Billboard) in 2002, and reached #43 in 2003.

5. Something to Be Proud Of, recorded by Montgomery Gentry (2005)

Something to Be Proud Of” was written by Jeffrey Steele and Chris Wallin.

The song reached #1 on the US Hot Country Songs (Billboard) in 2005.

6. Here, recorded by Rascal Flatts

Here” was song written by Jeffrey Steele and Steve Robson.

The song reached #1 on the US Hot Country Songs (Billboard) in 2008-2009.

7. Brand New Girlfriend, recorded by Steve Holy (2006)

Brand New Girlfriend” was written by Jeffrey Steele, Shane Minor and Bart Allmand.

The song reached #1 on the US Hot Country Songs (Billboard), reaching #12 overall for the year, and #40 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2006.

8. Gone, recorded by Montgomery Gentry

Gone” was written by Bob DiPiero and Jeffrey Steele.

The song reached #3 on the US Hot Country Songs (Billboard) and #10 on the year-end charts in 2004-2005.

9. Hell Yeah, recorded by Montgomery Gentry (2003)

Hell Yeah” was written by Jeffrey Steele and Craig Wiseman.

The song reached #4 on the US Hot Country Songs (Billboard) and #45 on the hot 100 in 2003.

10. My Town, recorded by Montgomery Gentry (2002)

My Town” was written by Reed Nielsen and Jeffrey Steele.

The song reached #5 on the US Hot Country Songs (Billboard) #37 for the year, and #40 on the US Billboard hot 100 chart in 2002.

11. Speed, recorded by Montgomery Gentry (2002)

Speed” was written by Jeffrey Steele and Chris Wallin.

The song reached #5 on the US Hot Country Songs (Billboard), and #47 for the year in 2002, and #24 on the year-end country chart in 2003.