Song of the Week: “Remember Her Name” by Mickey Guyton

“Remember Her Name” is the title track of the debut country album from Mickey Guyton.

Mickey Guyton may have lived in Crawford, next to then-Texas Governor George W. Bush’s ranch, but she’s spent 10 years in Nashville trying to make her way in the country music business. She had some missteps along the way — she admits trying to (unsuccessfully) write “beer truck” songs because that’s what was on the radio — but last year she became the first Black solo female country artist to be nominated for best solo country performance for her song “Black Like Me.”

“I have been pursuing country music for a very, very long time, and I wasn’t really making any true progress. To be perfectly honest, I was pandering to an audience and just trying to be accepted in a genre that I don’t think was going to ever accept me,” Guyton said in a Vogue interview shortly before the Grammys last March. “I just want to open doors, burn down that ‘good old boys’ town, and make it more of an inclusive genre, because so many people would love it if they were given the chance to be able to sing it.”

“I realize the power in truth and love, the power in your voice. It’s why Dolly and Johnny Cash mattered so much to the people.”

— Mickey Guyton, American Songwriter

Guyton is doing her best to kick the door down with the September 24 release of Remember Her Name, her debut album. The title song is an anthem about a young woman overcoming discrimination while training to be a firefighter like her father and drawing strength from remembering her younger, fearless self.

“She felt the storm and danced out in the pouring rain. Remember her laughing through all the pain,” Guyton sings. “Remember the girl that didn’t let anything get in her way.”

Still, Guyton recognizes that the progress she makes is also thanks to earlier female country stars such as Dolly Parton.

“She is a true boss,” Guyton told CMT.com. “And she wrote some of the most amazing songs. She came up in a time that was extremely conservative but she had such progressive views. She taught people to love for who they are no matter what and I think that’s amazing.”

Mickey Guyton plays Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium with Jason Isbell on October 17. You can find her upcoming tour dates at her website.