Brad Paisley became a country music staple from the moment his debut album came out, back in 1999.
A proud member of the Grand Ole Opry, Brad embraced the Opry and the iconic country legends from day one, often going fishing with Little Jimmie Dickens and writing songs with Bill Anderson.
His songs are so creative and yet stay true to his country sound. He really does embody what one would think of when they use the phrase “country star.”
As we mark Brad’s 49th birthday today (10/28), we take a look at the songs that made him the superstar he is today.
A solid and catchy tune, Brad said this about the origin of the song: "Every guy has been there. You're talking to a girl and realizing that it's going nowhere--but you still keep trying. I know I've been turned down enough to feel like I've really lived this song.”
The song's music video begins with a parody of ‘American Idol,’ called "Celebrity Icon," in which William Shatner plays a Simon Cowell style judge who becomes very critical of Paisley during his performance. Paisley is, of course, a bit ‘Star Trek’ fan.
This song is made better by its music video which is set in the World War II era. It begins with a bus of war veterans who still hear the sound of explosions from the war fresh in their minds. One of the men, played by actor and director Rick Schroder, who directed the video, looks at a picture of kissing his wife under a willow tree.
Something Paisley doesn’t want people to know about him, he actually doesn’t drink, at all. However, the tune was hugely successful for Brad and was nominated for two Grammys: Best Country Song and Best Country Male Vocal.
Paisley’s debut single and the title of his debut album. The song tells of finding an undeveloped camera, which contains pictures of him and his previous lover - enjoying themselves in Cozumel, Mexico, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. At first, he considers developing the film on the camera, but then, he changes his mind, asking himself, "Who needs pictures / With a memory like mine?"
Brad said of creating “We Danced” with his co-writers “It started out with us focusing on a guy who owns a bar. And we began with the scenario that he's there working after the bar is closed, sweeping and putting the chairs up. Then this girl comes in who's forgotten her purse. We built the rest of the song around that concept.”
Two of country music’s best guitar players teamed for this duet. In the album's (Play) liner notes, Paisley writes: "People have been asking for years when Keith and I would do something like this. I am so honored to get to finally pick and sing with one of my favorite players in the world. I am so humbled by his talent."
In the song, the narrator lists off various foreign-themed items such as "Brazilian leather boots," a German car, The Beatles, Canadian bacon, French kissing, and toga parties, using each as illustrative examples of the cultural diversity in the United States.
Brad’s first number-one single. The song was based on Paisley's frequent co-writer and best friend, Kelley Lovelace's stepson McCain Merren. Paisley said to him, "Let's make a song about you two that will make your wife cry."
A beautiful love song. In it, the male narrator expresses his love for his female partner. In the verses, he recalls various events in their relationship, such as meeting for the first time, kissing on her porch, and then proposing to her at the place where they first met.
So good it makes you want to hit the pool. The song’s video features Brad playing guitar in a pool and funny videos of people interacting with water.
When writing the song, Brad thought that the bridge to Alabama's 1982 single "Mountain Music" would fit well with the song. Instead of sampling that song, he asked Alabama band members Randy Owen, Jeff Cook, and Teddy Gentry to join him in the studio and record a piece of it.
Paisley said the song that he had written years ago, took on a new meaning during the COVID-19 pandemic. He noted, “If we’ve ever felt unified as Americans, as citizens of the world, it’s in the fact that nobody loves what we’re going through, but everybody’s willing to do what we have to do. One of those things is, let’s be a team.”
An ode to country music. Brad debuted the song at the Country Music Association (CMA) awards show on November 10, 2010. At the time, he had not recorded a studio version of the song and said that the CMA performance would be like a demo. Paisley said that he "almost [broke] down crying" while recording it.
A classic. In the song, he explains to his female companion that he is "still a guy" despite his companion's attempts to correct his stereotypical behavior and society's attempts to apply feminine traits to men.
Another true Paisley classic. Having written the song before he recorded his first album for Arista, Garth Brooks, George Strait, and Alan Jackson had all shown interest in recording the song. Brad chose to keep it for himself. Smart move. It appeared on his Part II album and was his third number one song.
In an interview, Carrie Underwood described the recording of the song as "the most unorganized thing [she] had ever been a part of" but added that it "all worked out so perfectly.”
Love this song! The song was nominated for a Dove Award for Country Recorded Song of the Year at the 37th GMA Dove Awards. It won 2 Academy of Country Music Awards for Video of the Year, Vocal Event of the Year and was nominated for Song of the Year. The song also won a Country Music Association Award for Vocal Event of the Year and was nominated for Single and Video of the Year.
The song features a vocal from legendary actor Andy Griffith. Paisley has referred to "Waitin' on a Woman" as "one of the most important songs" that he's ever recorded. Because of the importance that he places on the song, he asked Andy Griffith to star in the music video, as he felt that Griffith's personality matched the personality of the older man in the song.
My personal favorite Brad Paisley song. Paisley told Country Weekly magazine that he was inspired to write the song after hearing the announcement that Barack Obama, whom Paisley endorsed, would become President of the United States and realizing that the first president in his children's lives would be an African American.