There's lots of excitement about Neal McCoy coming to the Dusty Armadillo next weekend, and a few of you suggested that now would be a good time to feature him. Good call. (I also featured him as part of my series on the 1990's)
McCoy is a really fun story. His fans love him dearly and he never disappoints in any way. He is possibly the best example of a guy that was not going to be denied. He certainly traveled a long road, and he carved out a very successful career primarily during country's biggest decade - the 1990's. And along the way developed a gigantic fan base that is loyal to him today. I have played all of his songs on the radio, tha majority when I was doing mornings in Florida on WPCV.
His Breakthrough Hit Song -
McCoy, from Texas, gave up selling shoes and finally got a recording contract after winning a talent competition hosted by country legend, Janie Fricke in Dallas. Then suddenly found himself opening on the road for another legend, Charley Pride for a few years. Word is Fricke and Pride had the same manager and Pride thought McCoy was a real talent. Pride also convinced Ronnie Milsap to go strictly country a number of years earlier - and that worked out well too. Kudos to the late, Charley Pride.
Great Song On The Radio, Live And In The Clubs
McCoy recorded a couple of albums that really fell flat with no traction in the early 1990's. Then in 1994, he hit with the song, No Doubt About It off a new album of the same name. It was a perfect song in many ways. Well written, timeless, easy to listen too, country and just flat out good. It still holds up very well. The song went #1 and changed Neal McCoy's recording life. Wink was also a big number one and was very popular in the clubs. The City Put The Country Back In Me was a top five hit and the album sold over a million copies. It was tough sledding in the 1990's. There were so many big stars, it was exceedingly hard to cut through and get noticed.
Loved This Song
The next album Ya Gotta Love That (also a single that I loved) was a big hit with 4 singles, all top 3's. It also sold a million nad McCoy was establishing himself as a real fan favorite. In a decade of absolute superstars I think McCoy gave fans sort of an underdog to root for. He was/is likeable, affable, approachable and just flat out professional. He puts on an incredible live show too, whether he's at the Dusty, or at an outdoor music festival in front of 20,000. He has also been a champion for charity and his performing for the military has endeared him to millions of fans. He has been married to his wife Melinda for over 40 years and fans love that too.
Very Underrated Song
Over the next number of years there was varying levels of chart success and some big songs, like The Shake, Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye, and Billy's Got His Beer Goggles on. He continued to record, and in 2013 did a real nice album that was a tribute to Charley Pride. He is an incredible ambassador still for Country Music and one of the nicest stars I have ever worked with. He has even showed up here at the WQMX studios in years past just out of the blue for a visit.
Huge Song With Fans
McCoy is the kind of act you are glad is in country music. He fought and fought, stuck with it and made himself a viable star and has millions of fans to show for it that have gone on this journey with him. Most, if not all other music formats don't really have stories like his anymore.
Fans Love This Song
But Neal McCoy's is a good one. Go see Neal McCoy!