Dana asked if I would feature Tim McGraw this week as he kicks off the summer concert season at Blossom Music Center on Thursday. Well, yeah! - McGraw is certainly going into the Mega Star Series as his career has been nothing short of incredible. I have played his music on great radio stations all across the country.
Six Weeks Number One!
TM had an interesting road to the top, and is proof positive that it isn't always easy as it may look. Most of us can go back to the time we first heard, Indian Outlaw and the rest is history. That song, although not a huge chart hit, was a gigantic hit with the listeners and really got him noticed at last. It then paved the way for Don't Take The Girl, which in turn paved the way for decades of great success. But there was a time before that where the dream seemed far away. Much like Tracy Lawrence, TM was very young when started recording, and was 26 when he finally hit.
Breakthrough Hit Single
But in the 1990's and well into the 2000's it seemed that McGraw could do no wrong at all in any way. It was just hit after he hit and all of them simply huge. His appeal was sweeping as he was popular with guys, women, young, old, fringe country listeners, traditionalists, he was just a huge star that everyone liked. When he was really rolling, TM was on par with any of the mega stars of the era, or any era, and being honest, he outlasted most of them. He was not a part of the class of 1989, but you thought he may have been.
When I Heard This Song, I Knew There Was Something There - (Should've Been A Hit)
His breakthrough came in 1994 with the album, Not A Moment Too Soon, after the lack of success from his debut album of 1992 that was self titled. There was a song on that first album though that only went to #47 on the charts that I absolutely loved called, Welcome To The Club. I thought it was a hit, others didn't, but I loved what I heard. I heard something in the song that told me he was going to make it in time. As his debut album faded, the Not A Moment Too Soon album took hold, and TM was on this way to superstardom.
This Song Made Him A Star (Huge Video Too)
I always felt that the calling card that McGraw had was the quality of his entire albums. One of the reasons the 1990's is such a great decade for us, artists in general started paying much deeper attention to the overall quality of the entire album. For decades for many, it was two great songs and fillers, and more albums in a short period of time. The 1990's erased that for good, and McGraw was a big part of it. I always felt Earl Thomas Conley in the 80's was the real trailblazer on that, as his albums were stocked from start to finish. McGraw would record great album after album, that featured many great songs start to finish with huge success.
What A Song!
The Everywhere album in 1997 to me, is the best country album of the last 40 years, and one of the best albums of any genre - period - of the same era. That album to me is the kind of project that every recording artist dreams about when they get their record deal. To me, it i was a career crown. It boasted 6 singles, 4 number ones and Just To See You Smile was number one for 6 weeks! The YouTube views on those videos are huge. There would be great albums of his to follow that enjoyed tremendous success, but Everywhere is a gem plain and simple.
Beloved Duet - Will Be For Generations (With Faith)
McGraw married Faith Hill of course and their duets have always been popular as have their incredibly successful Soul 2 Soul concert tours. He has recorded with artists like, Def Leppard, Florida Georgia Line, JoDee Messina, Nelly and countless others. During this amazing run, he has become of of the most popular recording artists in any format. McGraw has some insane stats, including 80 million albums sold, some 25 number one songs, and a list of top 5 songs that is borderline ridiculous. He has also recorded some songs so big, so powerful, they will be played on the radio for generations to come, without any question.
Another Classic - Will Be For Years Still To Come
Lucky for us, TM is still recording and releasing hit songs, and even luckier for us, he is still touring. He is a sensational performer and his shows are not to be missed. It's almost difficult to think, he's been around for 30 years now, but it's true. Not bad for a performer that whiffed on the charts with his first album, only to go on and become one of the biggest international stars we have ever had. That does happen sometimes, just ask George Strait, happened to him as well.
McGraw 21st Century - Still GREAT!
Tim McGraw - one huge star!
Others In The Exclusive Mega Star Series (So Far)