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Max T Barnes

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B i o g r a p h y

      Hot Country TV’s 2018 International Artist Of The Year, 

Max T. Barnes,  wrote his first hit song at the age of 19, 

Vern Gosdin’s “Way Down Deep". He’s been topping the charts ever since. Writing “Let Go of the Stone” by John Anderson 

“At the Sound of the Tone” by Dukes of Hazard's John Schneider and   “Before You Kill Us All” by Randy Travis.

3 Weeks at #1 with “That’s How Your Love Makes Me Feel” by Diamond Rio - and 3 Weeks at #1 with “Love, Me” by Colin Raye. Further credits include the complete score to 

“A Letter From Death Row” for HBO starring Martin Sheen and Charlie Sheen.

That’s  nine #1's   and hits, and dozens of album cuts with album sales nearing 20 million.


         “Love, Me", the career launching hit For Colin Raye also took Max T. to the CMA awards as a CMA “Song of the Year” Nominee. But Max T.  did not win it that time around. Among other greats, he was up against his dad, legendary songwriter and Hall of  Fame member, the late Max D. Barnes. His father took home the award that night with  “Look At Us”, a co-write with Vince Gill. “My poor mom didn’t know who to root for.”  Max T. remembers. “I am proud to have been a part of the only father/son competition in CMA history.” His father, Max D., had also won in 1989 with “Chiseled In Stone”.


     Max has been a staff writer and producer in Nashville for nearly thirty  years. Working under contract for Sony, Warner Brothers, Polygram, MCA, Island Bound, Curb And Ray Stevens.  

Early on however he also played lead guitar. Touring with

Bobby Bare,  Shelly West,  Joe Sun, Linda Davis and Tanya Tucker to name a few. He did tours with Reba, Garth Brooks, The Judds, Merle Haggard, George Jones and too many more to mention.


    In the past 18 months Max T. has toured Australia twice, Ireland four times, Belgium, Scotland, Canada, Norway and Sweden. He has done his shows and songwriting seminars in Denver, Dallas, Birmingham, L.A. and at home in Nashville. He just  scored a cut on Trace Adkins new album called “I’m Gone”. In 2015 Max T. released a single in the UK, a duet with Irish Super Star Jonny Brady, titled “The Craic” (which means a good time in Celtic) The pair enjoyed great success at radio and received a nomination for “Single Of The Year” at IrishTV. 2017 Found Barnes releasing "Hen Party" and "Way Back In The Mountains", a duet with Marty Haggard. It went to #1 on the UK airplay charts. Collin Raye and Max T paired up for a duet and video for "I can Sleep When I'm Dead".


         His songwriting credits range from Ralph Stanley to Montgomery Gentry. Poison to George Jones. Among his latest singles were two Joe Diffie hits, “A Night to Remember” and “Tougher Than Nails” as well as the title song and single from the Billboard #4 Comedy album, “We The People” by Ray Stevens.

Merle Haggard

talks about Max D.


Vince Gill Talks about writing "Look At Us with Max D."


Max T.'s  Father


Max D. Barnes and Merle Haggard

Max D. Barnes


"A True Country Music Giant"

                                                     -Garth Brooks

"If you love country music, You Know a Max D. Song"

                                                      -Merle Haggard


Article of Max D. and Merle meeting and forming a publishing company together


        Max T.'s Late father is a two time CMA song of the year winner. and Grammy nominee. He wrote 24 #1's and hits. including "Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes", "Look At Us",  "Chiseled in Stone", "Joe Knows How To Live"  and many more country classics.

   Max D. Barnes is in the Nashville songwriter Hall Of Fame.

Over the course of his carreer he enjoyed an elite level of success.  He had  well over 400 cuts by major artists selling over 50 million records. 

      Born in Hardscratch, Iowa in 1936, Max D. grew up poor. He worked as a truck driver and eventually moved to Nashville in 1973 to follow his dream. Success found his earthy style quickly as he scored his first #1 with Conway Twitty. "Don't Take it Away". Many more hits followed including "Love Ten Feet Away" by Keith Whitley and "Don't Tell Me What to Do" by Pam Tillis and "Do You Beleive Me Now" by Vern Gosdin.

      Max D.  has Had songs recorded by:

                                (Partial List)

   Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, 

Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Jamey Johnson,

Lee Ann Womack, Tammy Wynette, Reba,

Dobie Gray, Eddie Raven, George Jones,

Johnny Rodriguez, Lorretta Lynn,

Conway Twitty, Hank Williams Jr., Randy Travis,

Vince Gill, Skip Ewing, Kenny Rogers,  Bobby Bare, GeneWatson, Keith Whitley, Loretta Lynn,

The Whites, Lonnie Mack,  Delbert McClinton,

Montgomery Gentry,  Pam Tillis,

The Flying Burrito Brothers,   Lorrie Morgan,  

George Strait, Cal Smith, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

Albert Lee, Chris Ledoux, Marty Stuart,

Steve Wariner,  John Conlee, Lynn Anderson,  

The Marshal Tucker Band,  John Anderson,

Johnny Paycheck,  Moe Bandy, Joe Stampley, 

Alan Jackson, Ralph Stanley, 

The Kendalls, Daryl Singletary, Ray Price,

Pure Prarie Leauge, Alabama, Charlie Pride 

and even George Burns


       Max D. is buried near Johnny Cash in

Hendersonville TN.

Max D. Hits reel