Friday, August 29, 2008

Darryl Worley Is a Happy Guy

Darryl Worley has many reasons to be happy. He has written a string of hit songs, including the patriotic anthem, "Have You Forgotten." He married his second wife a year ago, and they had their first child in March. And all of that happiness has come together in a new record. He told the Nashville media this week,"This could be the most different sounding record I've ever made, because I'm happy."

Some of us first heard about this in June when Darryl appeared at CMA Fest. He told the media that he had just signed a new recording deal with his longtime producer, James Stroud. In July, Stroud announced the formation of his own record label, Stroudavarious Records, with Worley as his first act. They released a new single from Darryl called "Tequila On Ice."

Stroud spoke at a Nashville luncheon, and recalled the first time he heard Darryl play: His publisher asked me if I'd ever heard of Savannah. I said in Georgia? He said, no, Tennessee. I hadn't. At the time, I owned a small private plane, so we flew down there. There wasn't an airport, but a landing strip. We land and I was looking to rent a car. I asked the lady at the landing strip where I could rent a car. She laughed and said they didn't have anything like that there. I told here I was there to see Darryl Worley. She knew all about him, and that he was playing at the VFW Hall. She tossed me the keys to her car, and said "Have a nice day." So we drove to the VFW Hall in Savannah Tennessee, saw Darryl, I knew I liked him the minute I saw him, and we signed the deal right there that night.

Darryl still lives in Savannah, although he lives in a nicer home. He started a local fundraiser, called the Tennessee River Run, to benefit an area hospital. He's raised millions of dollars and they named a wing of the hospital for him. Darryl's benefit takes place next week. Listen for his new single, "Tequila On Ice," from his new CD, which is expected to be released in February.

Jimmy Wayne co-hosts this weekend

Jimmy Wayne showed up at our Country Countdown USA with his guitar case and a smile, ready to make his first appearance on the show in four years. Back in 2004, Jimmy had already achieved a debut Top 5 hit with "Stay Gone." One year later, his record label, Dreamworks, closed, and its artists were scattered around town. Toby Keith began his own Show Dog label. Dreamworks executive Scott Borchetta formed Big Machine, home to Taylor Swift and Trisha Yearwood. Last October, Borchetta launched his second label, Vallory, and signed Jimmy.

The real challenge was to find a that would be strong enough to revive Jimmy's place in radio station playlists. Jimmy himself found the song: "Do You Believe Me Now." Jimmy told CCUSA host Lon Helton the incredible story of how he came to record the song: I was writing with Joe West and Dave Pahanish and we didn't come up with anything. So I was about to leave, when Joe said, "Do you have a second to listen to a song we wrote?" And I said "Sure." I listened to it, and I didn't over-react. I've learned my lesson, because if you over-react, the song could get pitched out from under you. That happened to me with "Don't Blink." That's what happens when you over-react. So I didn't say nothing! I was subdued, and said "Joe, mind if I have a copy of this?" He said "Sure." These guys were new to Nashville. So I told Joe not to play it for anybody, including his publisher. A month & a half later, I brought it to the record label. That was the minute my life changed. So then I called Joe, and told him it was going to be my first single. Finally they played it for their publisher. Lon, I'm going to tell you something I haven't told anyone. His publisher, after we recorded and mastered the song, went to another big star, and pitched it. What the publisher didn't know was a friend of mine was in the office of the artist he was pitching, and she texted me, "They're pitching your song here." So I called them right away and said "Let the guy who's pitching you that song to stop, that's my song. I've already recorded it." And there was a moment of silence. No one said anything. So you gotta be careful.