"When You Say Nothing at All" is a country song written by Paul Overstreet and Don Schlitz. It is among the best-known hit songs for three different performers: Keith Whitley, who took it to the top of the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart on December 24, 1988; Alison Krauss, whose version became her first solo top-10 country hit in 1995; and Irish pop singer Ronan Keating, whose version was his first solo single and a chart-topper in the UK in 1999.
Krauss, already a veteran bluegrass fiddler and vocalist at age 23, recorded "When You Say Nothing at All" with her group, Union Station, in 1994 for a tribute album to Whitley. After the song began to receive unsolicited airplay, BNA Records, the label that had released the album, issued Krauss' version to radio in January 1995. That version, also featured on Krauss' compilation Now That I've Found You: A Collection, peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart, and a commercial single reached No. 2 on the same magazine's Hot Country Singles Sales chart. Its success, as well as that of the album, caught Krauss by surprise. "It's a freak thing," she told a Los Angeles Times reporter in March 1995. "It's kinda ticklin' us all. We haven't had anything really chart before. At all. Isn't it funny though? We don't know what's goin' on....The office said, 'Hey, it's charting,' and we're like, 'Huh?'" While Krauss' version was on the charts, Mike Cromwell, then the production director at WMIL-FM in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, concocted a duet merging elements of Krauss' version with Whitley's original hit version. The "duet" garnered national attention, and it spread from at least Philadelphia to Albuquerque, and has been heard on radio stations in California as well. It was never officially serviced to radio and has never been available commercially. Krauss' recording won the 1995 CMA award for "Single of the Year". The song has been featured a couple of times in the soap opera The Young and the Restless.
Alison Maria Krauss (born July 23, 1971) is an American bluegrass-country singer, songwriter and fiddler. She entered the music industry at an early age, winning local contests by the age of ten and recording for the first time at fourteen. She signed with Rounder Records in 1985 and released her first solo album in 1987. She was invited to join the band with which she still performs, Alison Krauss and Union Station (AKUS), and later released her first album with them as a group in 1989.
She has released fourteen albums, appeared on numerous soundtracks, and helped renew interest in bluegrass music in the United States. Her soundtrack performances have led to further popularity, including the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack, an album also credited with raising American interest in bluegrass, and the Cold Mountain soundtrack, which led to her performance at the 2004 Academy Awards. As of 2012, she has won 27 Grammy Awards from 41 nominations, making her the most awarded living recipient, three behind the most honoured artist, classical conductor Sir Georg Solti. She is also the most awarded singer and the most awarded female artist in Grammy history. At the time of her first award, at the 1991 Grammy Awards, she was the second youngest winner ever (currently tied as third youngest).
When You Say Nothing at All
It's amazing how you can speak right to my heart
Without saying a word, you can light up the dark
Try as I may, I could never explain
What I hear when you don't say a thing
The smile on your face lets me know that you need me
There's a truth in your eyes sayin' you'll never leave me
The touch of your hand says you'll catch me if ever I fall
You say it best when you say nothing at all
All day long I can hear people talking out loud
But when you hold me near, you drown out the crowd
Old Mr. Webster could never define
What's being said between your heart and mine
--song written by Don Schlitz & Paul Overstreet
Simple beautiful positive love-song.It takes a country singer...
See? Its not all pain & tears & recriminations & paranoia & running off to caves & nunneries & monasteries & ships to take you away forever.
Every now & again relationships work. Must have something to do with it not being Crazy July. With all the manic brightness & steel-blue high skies that fry the brain.
Maybe the future is in bluegrass...? Rather than the blues...Two different animals. The heads & tails of Love.
Music video by Alison Krauss performing When You Say Nothing At All. (C) 1995 Rounder Records. Manufactured and distributed by Concord Music Group, Inc.