Sam Hunt Scores Seventh Number One With ‘Hard to Forget’

Ever wonder where this quirky standout came from?

Written by Chris Parton
Sam Hunt Scores Seventh Number One With ‘Hard to Forget’
Sam Hunt; Photo credit Connor Dwyer

Sam Hunt has notched his seventh Number One with “Hard to Forget,” a modern-country outlier with quirky sample of a 1953 hit, and hook just as memorable as its title suggests.

The infectious tune tops both the Billboard and Mediabase country radio charts this week, and Hunt has spoken extensively about the hit — which was written by a busload of names including Luke Laird, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne, Ashley Gorley, Audrey Grisham, Russ Hull, and Mary Jean Shurtz. That long list includes Hunt’s active co-writers and the team behind Webb Pierce’s “There Stands the Glass,” and Hunt told Sounds Like Nashville he’d been chasing the perfect mashup for years without success.

“I had been trying to sample a song for a long time – but I had been picking songs from the ‘80s and ‘90s, and I just couldn’t make it work,” he admitted — before explaining that Laird introduced him to the Pierce tune, and that made all the difference

Speaking with co-writer McAnally on his Behind the Hit Instagram series, Hunt says they immediately ditched all the work they had done beforehand.

“He plays it and immediately I was like, ‘Okay, we’ve got to scrap what we’re doing. We’ve got to work on this track,’” Hunt explained. “We’ve talked about finding a way to sample an old country song before. To me, this hit me as the perfect song to sample, and I had not thought to go all the way back to the ‘50s to find a song like this Webb Pierce song.”

“We were all through the roof,” McAnally added. “We were like, ‘This is magic.’”

“Hard to Forget” appears on Hunt’s Platinum certified second album, Southside. Find out more about the story behind the long-awaited, personally revealing project in SLN’s cover story.