One-Hit Wonder Dust Off: “I Loved Her First” by Heartland
With summertime comes the height of wedding season. There might be no better song for a father/daughter dance, than "I Loved Her First" by Heartland.
Released in June of 2006, "I Loved Her First" surprised everyone by racing up the charts to #1 on both the Mediabase and Billboard country chart by October.
Heartland was a seven-member band from Alabama, originally formed in 1994. They were on small independent Lofton Creek Records at the time. The label had never achieved a hit as big as "I Loved Her First."
The song was written by Walt Aldridge and Elliott Park.
Heartland was only able to chart two more singles with "Built to Last" (#58) and "Once a Woman Gets a Hold of Your Heart" (#52) in 2007. Members of the band left as the years went on, but core members Jason Albert, Charles Crawford and Keith West are still part of Heartland.
This song touched so many people when it was released to radio. I vividly remember as a kid the people calling in to WYRK and asking Brett Alan about the song -- "hey, who sings that song?" or "that song made me cry, I found the father/daughter song for my wedding!"
Heartland may be a one-hit wonder but that one hit made a big impact.