The celebrated song is now being used as an anthem to help others coping with the loss of a loved one.
It was a lucky-break performance at Nashville’s Bluebird Café in 1988 that launched the careers of Garth Brooks and songwriter Kent Blazy.
That night Brooks was given the opportunity to sing one song. Unknown at the time, Brooks chose one he had co-written with Blazy the previous year. It was a song about their wives, a haunting, love-sick track called “If Tomorrow Never Comes.” It had been turned down by music execs countless times, and the men were considering reworking it.
But somebody from Capitol Records was in the crowd that night who recognized the song’s potential. “If Tomorrow Never Comes” would go on to become a No. 1 hit, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Fast forward to last week. It was six days before his wife Sharon died, and Blazy was back at the Bluebird singing the song he had written for her decades before—the song that had changed their lives. That night, The Tennessean was in the crowd.
"If tomorrow never comes, will she know how much I loved her?" Blazy sang, pouring his heart into the lyrics of the song Brooks made famous.
For the past 25 years, the Bluebird Cafe has been dedicating the entire month of January to raise money for Alive Hospice. Every night of the month singers and songwriters perform, donating their proceeds to the nonprofit organization that provides care and support for terminally ill patients and their families. Blazy is one of those artists, and for the last nine years he’s taken the stage for the cause. But this year it’s personal. This time Alive helped his wife die the way she wanted—at home.
Blazy recalled Sharon’s brain cancer diagnosis five years ago, and the struggle of the years that followed. In her final days, Blazy said Alive brought them "honor and peace." He called them angels.
This year, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the concert series, 100 country music stars will take the stage to raise money for Alive. And according to The Tennessean, on February 1st, Blazy will do it again—this time with Brooks by his side.
Blazy says he plans to borrow the guitar he used to write the song for the big event, which currently resides in the Country Music Hall of Fame.
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A lot has changed in the 30 years since they wrote the song, but its lyrics ring truer than ever. “So tell that someone that you love/ Just what you’re thinking of/ If tomorrow never comes”