Our top 10 Old Dominion Songs list presents the best Old Dominion Songs like “Written in the Sand,” “One Man Band” and many more. Born and raised in Virginia’s Roanoke Region, Matthew Ramsey and Whit Sellers grew up as high school rivals. While attending James River High School, Ramsey played as one of its drummers. Sellers did the same as a student from Lord Botetourt High School. After high school, the two men also attended different universities before each moving to Nashville. Ramsey started off as a songwriter and teamed up with Rosen in 2003. As for Sellers, he met Geoff Sprung and Brad Tursi as fellow students at James Madison University. Sellers and Sprung also moved to Nashville where the two met Ramsey and formed Old Dominion as a trio in 2007. Tursi later joined Old Dominion in 2012. These four men, all from Virginia, formed the band’s original lineup. Trevor Rosen is the only member of the Old Dominion band that did not have roots in Virginia. He was from Michigan.
The original concept behind Old Dominion was to showcase the songs each of its members wrote. Each of them has been credited as a songwriter for musical material recorded by other artists such as Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Tyler Farr, and Blake Shelton. Craig Morgan’s hit, “Wake Up Lovin’ You,” was a song he covered that was written by Ramsey and Rosen for Old Dominion that became a hit for him. “Say You Do” was a song covered by Dierks Bentley that was also an OlSong for Another Timed Dominion original that also became a hit. The success of both songs resulted in the group releasing the EP, It Was Always Yours in 2012. This resulted in the rise of Old Dominion’s popularity as more than just songwriters. “Dirt on a Road” and “Shut Me Up” were two songs that won over a fan base that saw the star power of Old Dominion begin to rise. This would lead to the group to release their third EP, a self-titled recording that became available on October 7, 2014.
As Recording Stars
Seeing the potential in Old Dominion, RCA Nashville signed them up to a record deal in February 2015. Shortly afterward, the group’s debut solo album, Meat and Candy, was recorded and released before the end of the year. The album brought forth three big hits for the band, including the chart-topping “Break Up with Him.” As an album, it became certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.
In 2017, the second studio album, Happy Endings, was released and later became certified gold. It brought forth three singles, including another chart-topper, “No Such Thing as a Broken Heart.” This was followed by “Make It Sweet,” a single that was released in late 2018. It, along with “One Man Mand,” is featured on Old Dominion, the title of the group’s third studio album that was released during the fall of 2019. In 2021, Old Dominion released their fourth studio album, Time, Tequila & Therapy. After it released the first single, “I Was on a Boat That Day,” the band switched to the label, Arista Nashville.
Of the ten singles, Old Dominion released, seven of them became number one hits.
In 2016, Old Dominion was recognized by the Academy of Country Music Awards as New Vocal Duo or Group of the Year. They were also awarded Breakthrough Group / Duo of the Year that same year by the American Country Countdown Awards. “Break Up with Him,” “Snapback,” “Song for Another Time,” and “Hotel Key” each earned nominations from the country music industry but it wasn’t until 2020 that “One Man Band” would become the first single to earn an official win. It won Group Video of the Year with the CMT Music Awards and Song of the Year with the Academy of Country Music Awards. Additional awards Old Dominion received were Vocal Group of the Year in 2018 with the Academy of Country Music Awards, as well as the Country Music Association Awards. This happened again in 2019 and 2020.
Top 10 Old Dominion Songs
# 10 – Some People Do
“Some People Do” served as a reality check song that revealed a side to Old Dominion that there’s more to them than simply entertaining an audience. They’re also about dishing out some truths that may or may not be welcome by the listeners. Music designed to serve as an important message is tricky enough to do and so few artists are able to pull it off without sparking controversy.
The songwriting genius behind “Some People Do” pointed out the obvious that no matter how hard some people try to turn their lives around and stop hurting others, circumstances do come about that are beyond their control. On the music charts, it peaked as high as number twenty-eight on the US Billboard Country Airplay chart, at number thirty-eight on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, and at number forty-five on the Canadian Country Tracks chart. The richness of the piano beautifully laid out this ballad as the lyrics dealt with the realities of human nature.
# 9 – I Was on a Boat That Day
Released as a single in 2021, “I Was on a Boat That Day” became a number one hit on the Canadian Country Tracks chart. On the US Billboard Country Airplay chart, it peaked as high as number nine and was a number eight hit on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. The song’s popularity even reached Australia, peaking at number thirty on its Country Hot 50 chart.
From Old Dominion’s fourth studio album, Time, Tequila & Therapy, this song became country music’s answer to a summer party anthem. Instead of worrying about the world’s troubles, the appeal to get on a boat and enjoy the day not only inspired the content of this song but scores of fans agreeing Old Dominion still knew how to write and perform awesome music that’s destined to become cult classics. For a fun song to just get caught up in the moment, “I Was on a Boat That Day” is it.
# 8 – Make It Sweet
On the US Billboard Country Airplay chart and the Canadian Country Tracks chart, “Make It Sweet” became a number one hit in 2018. This optimistic tune’s highlights featured the rhythm of clapping hands and standout guitar riffs as if adding their musical statement to making the most out of life, moment for moment. According to Old Dominion, the formation of the song seemed to take on a life of its own. On the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, it peaked as high as number eight and was a number fifty-six hit on the US Billboard Hot 100. It also became a certified gold hit with the RIAA. In Canada, it became certified platinum.
#7 – Hotel Key
“Hotel Key” became a number one hit on the Canadian Country Tracks chart and a certified gold seller. On the US Billboard Country Airplay chart, it also became a number one hit. With the RIAA, it became one of several platinum success stories to Old Dominion’s credit. It was a number five hit on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and a number forty-eight hit on the US Billboard Hot 100.
The subject matter of “Hotel Key” revolved around a one-night stand where the woman in the story kept the hotel key as a memento. What is heard on the radio stations slightly differs from the original recording where “smoking a little” was replaced with “stuck in the middle.” Either way, “Hotel Key” was a highly entertaining track from the album, Happy Endings.
#6 – No Such Thing as a Broken Heart
In 2017, “No Such Thing as a Broken Heart” became Old Dominion’s third hit single that would top the US Billboard Country Airplay chart. From the album, Happy Endings, the song served up another big hit for the group. It also peaked as high as number four on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, and at number forty-six on the US Billboard Hot 100. In Canada, it was a number two hit on its Country Tracks chart.
“No Such Thing as a Broken Heart” also became certified platinum with the RIAA and Music Canada. This inspirational tune about not letting the world’s influence get you down was well received as a message by music fans. The lyrics of “No Such Thing as a Broken Heart” featured an inquiry behind John Cougar Mellencamp’s infamous couple, “Jack and Diane.”
#5 – Song for Another Time
The inspiration behind “Song for Another Time” as a title came from the popular phrase “That’s a story for another time.” The title came before the songwriting attempt as Old Dominion debated what would make a perfect fit for it. While on tour with Kenny Chesney, the idea of performing “Song for Another Time” as a breakup tune came about. While on the tour bus, the songwriters got to work and did what they do best.
After performing it at a sound check while on tour, the group agreed it sounded good enough to record on their debut album, Meat and Candy. Not only was it good enough to record but good enough to become a number one hit on the US Billboard Country Airplay chart after it was released as a single in 2016. It also peaked as high as number four on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, and at number three on the Canadian Country Tracks chart. On the US Billboard Hot 100, it became a number fifty-nine hit. With the RIAA, “Song for Another Time” became the group’s third certified platinum hit in a row. In Canada, it became certified gold.
#4 – Snapback
“Snapback” was a follow-up single behind “Break Up With Him.” On the US Billboard Country Airplay chart, it peaked as high as number two after it was released in 2016. It was a number four hit on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and a number fifty hit on the US Billboard Hot 100. In Canada, “Snapback” topped its Canadian Country Tracks chart where it also became certified platinum. With the RIAA, “Snapback” became the second single in Old Dominion’s career to become certified platinum twice over. The cheekiness of the lyrics, combined with the songwriting talent, witnessed in “Snapback” illustrate why Old Dominion commands the amount of respect they do from music critics and fans alike.
#3 – Break Up with Him
“Break Up with Him” became a number one hit from Old Dominion’s debut album, Meat and Candy. After it was released as a single in 2015, it topped the US Billboard Country Airplay chart as the first song from the group to realize this achievement. On the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, “Break Up with Him” peaked at number three. It was also a number forty-four hit on the US Billboard Hot 100. The single was also very popular in Canada as it also peaked as high as number three on its Country Tracks chart and at number fifty-three on the Canadian Hot 100 chart.
While in Canada “Break Up with Him” became certified platinum, this happened twice over with the US’s RIAA. In the music video for the song, it paid homage to the 1985 science fiction hit, Back to the Future as Matthew Ramsey assumed the role of its lead character, Marty McFly. The song itself featured a fusion of hip-hop and rock blend with the contemporary country style that’s served as the group’s signature sound since the start of their career.
#2 – One Man Band
After it was released as a single in 2019, “One Man Band” became Old Dominion’s most successful song to date. In addition to earning a series of awards for its outstanding quality as a song, “One Man Band” became a number one hit on the US Billboard Country Airplay chart and on the Canadian Country Tracks chart. It also peaked at number four on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and at number twenty on the US Billboard Hot 100. To date, this is the highest-charted single to the band’s credit.
In addition to its chart success, and the awards “One Man Band” received, it also became yet another certified platinum seller by the RIAA and Music Canada. In its acoustic glory, the content of this song was a metaphor for a man no longer wishing to live life as a single. Regarded as the group’s first official love song, it also served as a reflection of the group’s relationship with each other as friends and professional musicians.
#1 – Written in the Sand
In 2017, Old Dominion released the second single from their second album, Happy Endings. “Written in the Sand” was a song about a relationship wondering about the fate of its future. It became the group’s fourth number one hit on the US Billboard Country Airplay chart and was also a number one hit in Canada. On the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, it peaked as high as number three. On the US Billboard Hot 100, “Written in the Sand” climbed as high as number fifty-one.
It was also the third occasion Old Dominion had an RIAA double-platinum certification for a hit single. In Canada, was their fourth certified platinum single there. As songwriters, Old Dominion is regarded for its genius wordplay. “Written in the Sand,” wondered if the couple’s relationship was star destined or doomed to be swept away at a moment’s notice. The song’s popularity also reached Australia, becoming certified gold. This was the first time in Old Dominion’s history as a band to achieve certification from the nation’s Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA).
Top 10 Old Dominion Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022
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