Your Take: Back Again
Clay Walker’s latest single “Where Do I Go From You” is making its way up country charts right now, on the heels of his top five hit “She Won’t Be Lonely Long.” I reviewed the song Friday on the blog, which I thought struck a nice balance between old and new:
His neotraditional sound fit snugly into the niche reopened by the Zac Brown Band, Chris Young and Easton Corbin, and the song performed higher than any single since 2000’s “The Chain of Love.” And while that kind of streak up and down radio would make for an erratic line graph, his knack for choosing quality singles that complement his smooth twang and charm has remained constant.
Walker’s latest offering “Where Do I Go From You” is no exception, pairing a well-crafted melody with a solid, engaging performance that’s both a throwback to the singer’s heyday and a worthwhile contribution to contemporary country.
My Kind of Country has more information on the ups and downs of Clay’s performance on the charts:
Clay Walker was one of those 90s sensations that exploded right out of the box, with 5 of his first 6 single releases shooting straight to the top. Between 1991 and 1998, Walker released 17 singles to country radio, with all of them going into the top 40, and 12 landing inside the top 10. But somewhere around the end of the decade, mergers and further consolidation between labels relocated Clay to Giant’s parent company, Warner Brothers. After a few minor hits there, he made a short-lived switch to RCA in 2001, where another sprinkling of top 10 hits followed. His third label deal came from Asylum’s Curb division. The interesting aspect to Clay Walker’s chart success, to me, has been his many stops and starts over the past 7 or 8 years. While most artists struggle to get back in the graces of radio programmers after a year or more hiatus, Walker has found himself staging mini-comebacks on at least 3 occasions, the most recent being last year’s top 5 ‘She Won’t Be Lonely Long’, his best showing on the singles chart in a decade. But, recent history has shown Walker unable to follow up a career-reviving hit with another.
Walker’s “comebacks” aren’t rare – many artists and styles of music (revivals of bluegrass via O Brother, Where Art Thou?) drift in and out of popularity. Some experience big revivals, while others see songs alternate at the top and bottom of the radio charts.
What are some of your favorite country music comeback stories?
- bob: Thanks Barry. Just reserved the Adam Gussow book. Sounds interesting.
- Arlene: Another song sung by Ethel Waters: Irving Berlin's "Supper Time"