The Story Behind The Song: “Somebody Should Leave” – Reba McEntire

Reba McEntire
Reba McEntire

“Somebody Should Leave” – Reba McEntire (#1, 1985)

Reba McEntire began to come into her own as a recording artist with the album “My Kind Of Country.” She suggested to producer Harold Shedd that they avoid recording the album with a string section, and became adamant about it when informed that strings would cost an additional $10,000.

Reba also started selecting her own material, and manager Bill Carter set up one of her first song-finding appointments with veteran songwriter Harlan Howard.

McEntire drove with then-husband Charlie Battles over to Howard’s home, and after a half-hour of small talk, they sat down to listen to songs. Harlan played several “ditties” and Reba diplomatically passed on them. Satisfied that she wanted something better, Howard pulled out his ace.

He played her “Somebody Should Leave” and according to Harlan, Reba sat “bolt-upright in that chair like she’d been pinned by a Sumo wrestler.” Tears came to her eyes and the hair stood up on her arms. When the song finished playing, Reba blinked away the tears and asked Harlan, “Can I have that song?” Harlan smiled and said, “I thought you’d like that one.”

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