Reba McEntire’s Dramatic Version of “That’s The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia”


If you love a bloody Southern story, it’s a great time to revisit the Reba McEntire hit song, “That’s The Night the Lights Went Out In Georgia.” It’s a gothic country tale with a fantastic plot twist at the end. What makes McEntire’s version even more interesting her is dramatic retelling of the story in the video. With some additional storyline, she makes the tortuous story even more sorted.

“That’s The Night the Lights Went Out In Georgia”

Reba McEntire, That's the night the lights went out in Georgia
Reba McEntire (photo from

Bobby Russell wrote “That’s The Night the Lights Went Out In Georgia” in 1972. It was a song that didn’t have an auspicious beginning. He wrote both the lyrics and the music, but wasn’t happy with it. And when they pitched the song, no one really knew what to do with it. It wasn’t exactly country. It wasn’t exactly pop. And with the bloody plot line, there was concern it might cause offense.

Russell’s then-wife, Vicki Lawrence, ended up recording the track. When she finally managed to get it released as a single in 1973, it did extremely well. “That’s The Night the Lights Went Out In Georgia” gave her a No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. McEntire covered the song as part of her 1991 For My Broken Heart album.

A Sinister Storyline

Reba McEntire, that's the night the lights went out in Georgia
Reba McEntire (photo

The basic plot line of the song is that a man comes back from being out of town only to learn his wife is having two affairs. One with a young man. The other is with the man who is informing her husband of her infidelity. (Basically, he is confessing to his friend). The husband, known as Brother, goes home to confront his wife, but she isn’t there. So he goes to the man who told him about the affairs (who was one of her lovers).

When he arrives, the lover is already dead. In an effort to get the attention of the sheriff, he fires a shot. The sheriff arrives, and proclaims Brother committed murder. The judge quickly passes sentence and the whole thing is wrapped up.

The plot twist is that it was actually the husband’s sister who committed the murder. And not only of the lover. She also admits to killing the wife and stashing her somewhere she will never be found. 

Reba McEntire Retelling

Reba McEntire
Reba McEntire (photo from

McEntire creates an extremely interesting tale in the video. In it, she plays the sister who committed the murder. But she tells the story as an old woman, complete with stage makeup to make her look the part. She tells the story as a confession to a journalist. And she also adds some new details to the  original story that make it even more sorted. One is that her brother knew she did it, but plead guilty anyway. It’s a dramatic retelling.

You can watch the whole story in the video in the link below.