Many musicians have had songs hit No. 1 on their respected music charts, but there aren’t many that can claim that they’ve had three consecutive No. 1 singles, especially in country music.
Chris Young can.
From Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Young watched “Gettin’ You Home (The Black Dress Song),” “The Man I Want to Be” and “Voices” climb the country charts to the top spot and all were off his sophomore album The Man I Want to Be.
What makes it more special is the fact “Voices” was a re-release and with that single becoming No. 1, it marked the first time in 25 years since a song had been re-released by a country music artist and went No. 1. The last was 25 years ago when “On the Other Hand” was a chart-topper for Randy Travis.
The first No. 1, “Gettin’ You Home (The Black Dress Song),” is now a staple in dance halls across the country. It has basically replaced Brooks and Dunn’s “Neon Moon” as one of the most requested songs in country nightclubs.
Young auditioned for the reality show Nashville Star in 2006 and went on to win it and receive a recording contract with RCA Nashville and has since recorded two albums, the first being self-titled and a third, Neon, will be released this summer.
He’s been nominated for a Grammy, two Academy of Country Music awards and won the Nationwide Is On Your Side Award at last year’s Country Music Association Show.With all this success, it’s hard to imagine that Young is just 25 years old.
Young spoke with The Examiner during a touring stint with Rascal Flatts to promote his show March 10 at the Texas Longhorn Club in nearby Vinton, La.
How elated were you about the achievement of those singles?
It’s really been an exciting time. Not in my wildest dreams did I think I would have back-to-back-to-back No. 1 songs. When you make a record, something you always shoot for is a No. 1 single, but to have three off one record is a dream come true.
The third song was a re-release, which was the first single off the second record. Why was that particular song sent back to radio?
It was the label that decided to do it. After the first two No. 1 songs, we were looking at what single to put out next and we had a lot of people from the radio industry tell us that the song got lost in the shuffle. The fans really liked it so they decided to put it back out. It was really special because it had been 25 years since a re-release went No. 1. Being able to make history like that made the three consecutive No. 1 singles extra special.
The last artist to do so was Randy Travis and isn’t he one of your favorites?
His song ‘Diggin’ Up Bones’ was the first song I learned all the words too.
Was there a particular moment that you decided this was going to be your career path?
Everyone always asked that question and I have no idea what to tell them. I wasn’t one of those kids that did voice lessons at three years old. My parents didn’t realize I could sing because I never shut up. Then they realized it in there somewhere that I could sing. The first time I played on stage with a band was probably the first time I thought this is what I wanted to do. The more I did it the more progressive I got with the idea to really pursue it. Then I learned how to play instruments and write songs. I think It worked out pretty well.
You won the reality show ‘Nashville Star.’ There usually comes a stigma with winninga music reality show.
A show like that can get you a record deal, but after you sign is when the work really begins. I put out two records and it was almost four years before I had my first hit, and it came off my second album. Shows like that are great, especially that one, because it has a good track record. Look what happened with Miranda Lambert and myself. It can be done, it’s just a matter of what you do after you get your shot.
A new record is on the horizon. Any added pressure going into this one due to the success of your last album?
I didn’t feel any added pressure. You know what’s weird is, most people feel pressure about the sophomore, or second record, and I actually broke through with that album so I never really faced those questions. Going into this third one, it’s a mix of what I thought did really well on the last record and figuring out where I can stretch as a song writer. We used the same producer, James Stroud. We just put out our first single, ‘Tomorrow.’ We released it to iTunes exclusively before it went to radio and it sold over 30,000 copies and that was a great feeling. It’s really my first new music in nearly three years, so I am excited about that more than anything.
Any noticeable differences?
We didn’t change my vocals. The sound you hear on the second record with the vocals is the same you will here on this one. There are some mixing differences. The stuff that everyone liked about the second record is here on this new one.
How much songwriting did you contribute to the album?
I kind of make it a point to seek out others. I don’t know if it will ever come to a point where as I wrote or co-wrote an entire record. Nashville is such a huge songwriting town, so I always have been able to find good songs, which of course I would love to have written myself. With that being said, I did co-write half the songs on the new album but there are songs on the album that I didn’t write, yet fell in love with.
Aaron Lewis of Staind has done a solo project that is country themed. How did you get involved?
They brought me in to sing some harmonies on the song ‘Country Boy.’ Aaron is making a really cool project and I was able to hook up with him through my producer, James Stroud.
Being on the road is constant in the music industry. Do you ever feel like you need a break?
This is something I love do. I’m almost more comfortable on my bus than my house. It’s really easy because I have a great crew, plus you get to work with really great musicians, whether it be with Rascal Flatts or Alan Jackson. When I am home not playing, I am still working on songs and wishing I were playing.
Chris Young will perform at the Texas Longhorn Club in Vinton on March 10 with doors opening at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20. For more information call (337) 589-5647.