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"Stop and Smell the Roses"
Single by Mac Davis
from the album Stop and Smell the Roses
Released 1974
Format 7" (45 rpm)
Genre Pop, Adult contemporary
Length 2:57
Label Columbia Records
Writer(s) Doc Severinsen, Mac Davis
Producer Gary Klein

"Stop and Smell the Roses" is the title of a 1974 song (see 1974 in music) by the American singer-songwriter Mac Davis. The song was written by Davis and the noted bandleader and trumpeter Doc Severinsen.

Released as a single from his album of the same name (not to be confused with the album released in 1981 by Ringo Starr), the song "Stop and Smell the Roses" became Davis' second Top 10 hit on the U.S. pop chart, where it peaked at #9 in the fall of 1974. The song remained in the Top 40 for ten weeks.[1] On the U.S. adult contemporary chart, "Stop and Smell the Roses" became the singer's second #1 hit, following "Baby, Don't Get Hooked on Me".[2] On the U.S. country music chart, where Davis has enjoyed considerable success, the song reached #40.[2] Also that year, Henson Cargill took a rendition to #29 on the same chart.

Severinsen was best known as the bandleader on the NBC late-night talk show The Tonight Show. Davis was an occasional guest on the show, and during this time the two became acquainted. Following an appearance on the show, Severinsen approached Davis with the idea of recording a song that included the phrase "stop and smell the roses", since he had recently heard the phrase from a physician.[2] Soon after, Davis vacationed in Hawaii and wrote the song, crediting Severinsen as a co-writer for giving him the idea. Severinsen was quoted as saying that Davis "could've gone ahead and written the song and not done that."[2]

The lyrics to the song advise that while it is often necessary to forsake family obligations and pleasurable activities in order to succeed professionally, everyone should make sure that they take some time to "stop and smell the roses along the way".


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1996). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 6th Edition (Billboard Publications)
  2. ^ a b c d Hyatt, Wesley (1999). The Billboard Book of #1 Adult Contemporary Hits (Billboard Publications)


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