Saturday, July 15, 2006

The Night A Country Star Was Born

We wrote "Country Star" about five years ago with our friend Marty Rainone from Nashville. We started writing one Sunday morning while drinking our coffee, and the song seems to write itself. A short time later we were recording it on our little cheesy little handheld cassette player. Except for how easy this one came, it was really no different than the hundreds of other songs we have written....though this one did seem to strike a chord (pun intended).
A few days later we went to the beach to visit our friend and her late husband Ron Norris. Ron was cooking up a batch of his Mighty Rad Gumbo and they had invited some other friends to play music and eat gumbo. Wes Laird, whom I had met several years earlier through a mutual friend Skip Tucker, was there.
It just so happens that Wes owns a small record company and he was recording a project with Lamar Morris who is a great songwriter. He had written number 1 songs for Hank Williams Jr. and was Hank's band leader for about twenty years. We played them "Country Star" and they both liked the song.
A few days after we returned home, Wes called and asked us to send a copy of the tape down for them to consider for the project. The next weekend, Wes called to say they were indeed going to record the song and asked if we wanted to come to Nashville for the recording....which we did.
Wes had hired the "A" team for the session. The musicians were a literal who's who in Nashville studio circles.
They started out recording a few songs that Wes and Lamar had written. The pickers were like machines. They would listen to the song one time through; make some notations on a notepad and they would play it flawlessly. I was amazed.
Then it was time for "Country Star." The pickers asked for a tape and to my dismay, Lamar plugged in the cheesy tape we had made a few weeks before in our living room. I was embarrassed at the quality of the tape, but the pickers never batted an eye. When it was complete, they kicked it off and we all witnessed the birth of "Country Star".
The song was released in Europe and other parts of the world and we watched over the following months as the song inched its way up the European Indie Label Charts.
It hit number 1 in March of 2001 and stayed there two weeks.
We hoped the song would catch on here, but it is very difficult getting songs on the radio here in America.
We thought the song had run its course but our last ASCAP royalty check had a distribution for "Country Star". Wow!!! I thought. Then today, we get an email from our buddy Wes and the song is now being played in Australia on the "Cowboys and Outlaw" webcast program.
I would love for that song to come back around and get released here in the U.S.
It could very easily hasten my four-year retirement plan.

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