When Montgomery Gentry hit the charts, country was in the middle of unparalleled success and popularity. This duo had its work cut out for them as we had a bevy of big stars ruling the charts, plus Brooks And Dunn was by far the dominant duo in our format. But what MG did very well was flashlight for that niche and capitalize on it while finding a different sound and image that would be a separator from the fierce competition. They did it, and had a great run on the charts for a number of years assembling a huge and and exceedingly loyal following along their trek.
First Hit Single - Got Them Noticed
But success was not immediate. The first number of songs did not get a lot of traction, including a single called Hillbilly Shoes, which I loved. It was a bit different, BUT there were those that called it their favorite song at that moment. But it only went to #13. Lonely and Gone was next and went top ten. Then there was a series of misfires and their future seemed partly cloudy. But interestingly enough that debut album, Tattoos And Scars, sold a lot of copies even without a massive hit from it. Fans wanted to like them and did.
First Top Ten Song
Then as I saw it from my seat behind the mic, they found their footing thanks to a big hit song. The next album, Carrying On and the single, She Couldn't Change Me which was a top five hit, but for them it was bigger than that. As much as any act I can recall after all these years, that song instantly defined them from that moment on. It gave them a real identity that had been missing. A terrific story song with a thump and a happy ending. I feel that highly relatable record completely connected with fans, and in the grand scheme of things, we now had lot better idea of who they were and we liked it. They were not Brooks And Dunn, they were authentically their own act and it's thanks to that single.
This Song Changed Everything
That was 2001, and the gateway had been jimmied opened to far greater success. Over the next eight years MG ran off a long list of big songs that were real fan favorites. There were a few missteps as far as singles were concerned here and there but they chalked up a bunch of number one songs and a lot of other top tens and were real fan favorites. Even a few undeniable country "anthems" like My Town, Hell Yeah, and Something To Be Proud Of were hugely popular.
Of course you more than likely know that Eddie Montgomery is John Michael Montgomery's brother, who left his brothers band to form MG with Troy Gentry and go their own way. You may also know that Gentry was suddenly killed in a helicopter crash in September 2018, just days before they were to perform at the Wayne Country Fair, a show that I was hosting, he was 50.
My Town (Huge Hit With Fans)
Over their run they won CMA's, ACM's, and People's Choice Awards. They have several million selling albums, some 40 singles and 5 number one songs. They were very successful and extremely popular with fans but sadly their big run ended far too early. After about 2010, their charting success was far less. But as I have stated before, no one is guaranteed a 20 year run.
One Of My Favorites From Them
But for their time, they were a big deal. Montgomery Gentry - well done guys - well done.
Stations May Play This Song Forever